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ClassicRadar: The 16 most awesomely bad videogame movie moments


From: Doom (2005)

Doom, as anyone who’s played it can tell you, is about a lone space marine fighting demons on the moons of Mars. Doom the movie, meanwhile, is about a futuristic SWAT team led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fighting the mutant offspring of genetic experiments. We don’t even care where it takes place, we’ve already lost interest.

Above: Meh

Even so, there was one scene that commanded the attention of anyone who sat through the trailers: a sequence shot in first-person, “just like the game.” We put that in quotes because it’s actually much closer to a haunted house at a carnival, with dudes in hokey costumes lunging out of the woodwork to take half-hearted swipes in the direction of the camera before being shot.

Above: What’s even going on here?

It’s also surprisingly long (clocking in at over five minutes), and totally out of character with the rest of the movie. This is Hollywood’s idea of throwing gamers a bone. You might as well watch it:


From: Street Fighter (1994)

It took us a few years, but we’ve swung around to the point where we absolutely love the first awful Street Fighter adaptation. Sure, it made Guile the center of the story, and cast unrepentant Belgian Jean-Claude Van Damme to play him. And yes, it was Raul Julia’s sad swan song before he died of cancer.

Above: His worst role… or his greatest?

But if you watch it as a comedy, Street Fighter is actually a ridiculously awesome movie. Much of this is down to Julia’s wonderfully campy performance as M. Bison, although Van Damme deserves a good chunk of the credit, too.


Besides, how can you take a movie seriously enough to be angry at it when it contains this portrait?

Or this desk, where Bison rides the saddle of the world?

Or this?

In the end, we couldn’t pick just one favorite, awesomely terrible moment from Street Fighter, so we declared it a three-way tie between Bison’s levitation speech, Guile’s “we can all go home” address and Chun-Li’s strangely mocking story of her father’s death, which is followed by what may be the greatest comeback in cinema history. Watch and love:

Oh, and then there’s this:

Above: What


From: Super Mario Bros. (1993)

God, Super Mario Bros. Where to even begin? Every scene in this movie is horrible in a really over-the-top way. Taking place in a twisted version of Manhattan where humans evolved from dinosaurs, Super Mario Bros. has about as much to do with the games it’s “based” on as it does with watchable filmmaking. Apparently there was a conflict over whether to make it into a kid’s movie or a more “adult” sci-fi fantasy, and the result is an embarrassing mess that nearly everyone involved has publicly disavowed.

With such a rich vein of awful, what do we pick on? Should we single out Koopa’s (Dennis Hopper) awkward attempt to seduce Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis)?

Above: “You know what they say about… little girls…”

Or how about the dance-club scene, in which a canary-yellow Mario tries to pick up an overweight, rubber-spike-covered bouncer with what might be the lamest line ever?

Above: Actual subtitles from the movie

Or, hey, how about toward the beginning, when Daisy gets threatened by an evil developer who wants to build where she’s looking for dinosaur bones? And then immediately accepts a ride with two plumbers she’s just met?

Or Mojo Nixon’s inexplicable appearance as Toad?

Or the thing Koopa turns into at the end?

Above: What some creature designer thinks Bowser looks like

Or this?

No, we’ll go with the movie’s climax, when Koopa and Mario (Bob Hoskins) are magically transported from DInohattan to Brooklyn. First, a little context: before the scene begins, Koopa and Mario start to de-materialize as the dinosaur and human worlds are merged.

Which then explains this:

Once in Brooklyn, Koopa aims a “de-evolution gun” (actually just a repainted Super Scope 6) at Mario…

… who heroically leaps out of the way so Koopa can hit that evil developer from earlier instead.

The developer is then turned into a chimpanzee, much to the delight of the assembled crowd.

Above: “Ha ha! We laugh because his situation is one of unfathomable horror!”

Then there’s something about Mario foiling Koopa by throwing a mushroom at him after the Super Scope makes it huge. You know what? Just watch it:

Mar 8, 2011

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After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.