Above: Oregon Trail: The Movie??? Think about THAT shit for awhile.
Before Resident Evil, before Tomb Raider, before the hideous abominations BloodRayne and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, there were the classics. Big, stupid movies, based on 8- and 16-bit video games, full of bright colors, bad dialogue, simple storylines, and big explosions. This is what filmmaking is all about. The real deal. Movies based on video games. From the 90's. Epic.
The Top Five:
5) DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
Del Tigre summed this one up in a post way back here, and I highly recommend checking it out. The guy from Iron Chef and one of the Power Rangers team up with a neon-and-splatterpaint clad Alyssa Milano to defeat Terminator 2 and rejoin two halves of a mystical amulet or something. Not too shabby.
Plus, you get the dude from The Hills Have Eyes (left) and super awesome latex gore effects (below, right).
The casting alone makes it a must-see. But the action sequences (possibly choreographed by the same guy who did the aforementioned Power Rangers) put it over the top, along with the costumes, set design, and haircuts. This flick is 90'S INCARNATE. Check those guys out down there. Can you even imagine two dudes you would rather go rollerblading with? No way.
The final battle:
4) MORTAL KOMBAT (1995)
Left: One of those guys is Christian Bale. No joke.
It is a well known fact here at Illogical Contraption Branch HQ that the ONLY techno EVER allowed on the premises is the theme song from Mortal Kombat. Although it consists of little more than an oonce-oonce beat, a Christopher Lee-esque voice-over listing off characters, and a guy shouting "MORTAL KOMBAAAATTT!!!" over and over, the song never fails to pump all nads present. Similarly, the film itself is a high-octane Bro-Fest of epic proportions. I watched it just the other day (the same day I watched The New Barbarians, in fact) but I'm still not sure what the plot is all about. Oh, and the sequel, Mortal Kombat Annihilation? Don't get me started.
As far as movies from the 90's based on video games go, Mortal Kombat definitely qualifies as the one most faithful to the original. The characters look like they do in the game, the sets are similar, and the dialogue is about the same too. And Christopher Lambert as Rayden? Shiiiit. Forget about it.
Mortal Kombat fun fact: Did you know that an Inside The Torn Apart-era Napalm Death appeared on the soundtrack? Hmmm.
Below: GORO, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!
3) WING COMMANDER (1999)
I threw this one in as a sorbet, to cleanse the palate. I've never seen the movie, nor have I played the video game. But according to my research this is the ONLY other live-action movie based on a video game released in the 1990's. So I pretty much HAD to include it.
2) SUPER MARIO BROS. (1993)
Right: "First off, we'd like to thank the Academy..."
Super Mario Bros. was the FIRST official video game to movie adaptation, and also nearly the best. While it isn't exactly "good" per se, it IS loud, weird, unsettling, and accidentally creepy. Surrealistic almost to the point of complete insanity, Bros. was a major box office failure, which is always a good inversely-proportional indicator of a film's quality. The movie-going public could NOT wrap their head around this one, and I don't blame them. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the titular characters? They're not even Italian.
It's small details like these that make Mario Bros. a masterpiece.
Not to mention all those tiny-headed lizard men and Dennis Hopper. Oh, and dinosaurs. This movie really has it all, but bears very little resemblance to the game it was based upon. Which is OK. I hate to say it, but the game's storyline was kinda weak.
Below: The game, based on the movie, based on the game. (???)
1) STREET FIGHTER (1994)
Left: In case his "AMERICAN" accent wasn't a sufficient proof of just how "AMERICAN" he is, JCVD's AMERICAN FLAG tattoo should be. BOO-YAH!
After a long and dignified run on stage and screen, which included several successful Broadway plays and appearances in The Morning After, Moon Over Parador, Othello, and King Lear, Raul Julia performed in the crown jewel of his storied career just before his death in 1995. As his final curtain call, Julia played the ruthless M. Bison, opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme's Colonel Guile, in 1994's Street Fighter. A more fitting end to his life could not possibly have been imagined.
By the way, did you know that Raul Julia's father was the first man to bring pizza to Puerto Rico? I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.
Again, resemblances to the actual game are minimal besides the cast of characters and a running theme of dudes fighting each other. But both the game and the movie excel in ass-kickery far beyond the call of duty, and are here thusly rewarded.
Street Fighter: #1 MOVIE BASED ON A VIDEO GAME FROM THE 90'S OF ALL TIME.
Below: Golden Globe Award winner. Tony nominee. Spokesman for The Hunger Project. After a lifetime of accomplishments, Raul Julia receives his last, and final, honor: Being kicked in the face by Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Quite possibly the best trailer of all time: