Why are movies about gamers usually so bad? There have been a few good examples such as The Last Starfighter, but most of the time the result is pretty much unwatchable. I think the reason is that games are fun to play, not fun to watch. If I wanted to watch a game being played while I sit around bored, I'd get in a time machine and go hang out with my older brother when the N64 just came out. No movie could ever capture that feeling you get when you finally beat a really hard monster or discover a hidden area that was right in front of you the whole time. Here are the worst movies about gamers.
This is a classically bad "what if games were real" kind of movie. I'm pretty sure it was written by a middle schooler. In it, players control death row inmates who battle each other to the death. In this world, death row inmates are set free if they manage to win thirty games in a row. That doesn't really seem like a good way to decide on which violent criminals to let loose back in to society. It then turns out that SPOILER ALERT the guy who invented mind control is actually a bad guy. This was made by the dudes who made the Crank movies so I had pretty high hopes for it. I think the only way someone could enjoy this is to have their mind taken over.
This movie is terrible for a lot of different reasons. First, it was directed by 7 different people. That's a pretty clear sign that you're in for some garbage. It's about a computer programmer who gets transported to another dimension by an evil sorcerer played by Bull from Night Court who wants to use his magic to defeat technology. The hero gets transported to a bunch of different realms where he has to shoot monsters with lasers. Calling this a rip off of Tron would be giving this film way too much credit. Also, for heavy metal fans, there is an appearance by the band W.A.S.P. for no particular reason.
The Bishop Of Battle (Nightmares)
This is a short film that was part of the horror anthology Nightmares that featured such terrifying monsters as a giant rat and a possessed Chevrolet. The Bishop Of Battle is about a kid played by Emilio Estevez who breaks in to an arcade late at night to finally get the the last stage of a really hard game. As it turns out, the game is EVIL! Oh, no! The monsters start flying out of the game and attacking him in the real world. He eventually gets sucked in to the game and trapped inside it permanently. Supposedly, the special effects in this scene nearly bankrupted the film. I kind of wish it had.
Mazes and Monsters
This movie is a great example of how stupid someone can look when they don't understand something and it makes them frightened. It is supposedly based on a true story, but is in fact based on an example of terrible journalism surrounding the disappearance of a Michigan teen. The movie makes it seem like if you play Dungeons and Dragons then you will go crazy and want to hurt yourself or others. It became a popular excuse by parents for why they wouldn't let their kids play Dungeons and Dragons. The only redeeming quality of this film is that it starred Tom Hanks in his first big role. So I guess without this we wouldn't have Sleepless In Seattle. I don't think I could live without Sleepless In Seattle.
The Lawnmower Man
This movie was so bad that Stephen King sued to have his name taken off of it. It's about a simple minded gardener who gains great intelligence and eventually telekinetic powers by playing some virtual reality games. The CGI scenes were awesome when it came out, but are pretty hilarious by today's standards. It might have one of the worst sex scenes ever in a movie so that's at least one thing that the director can be proud of. That's probably why he got selected to direct the prestigious Highlander 5.
WarGames: The Dead Code
The original WarGames is great. It's the story a kid who stumbles upon a nuclear missile simulator on a government computer and thinks that it's a secret new video game. Part of the reason it worked so well was that in 1982, video games weren't as much a part of the mainstream as they are now. This one didn't work because it made absolutely no sense. In WarGames 2, the government runs some sort of gambling site where you bet on terrorist attacks. They use this site to try to find new terrorists. It ends with the government computer going through simulations and deciding that war is bad. It's an exact rip off of the ending to the original movie. The worst part about this movie is that they advertised it by posting advertisements on the walls of various levels of Counter-Strike on the Steam servers. I would often find myself staring at them and wondering why an ad for a modern movie would be posted in an Aztec temple right before getting AWPed for the 20th time in a row.
I know I might get a lot of hate for this, but hear me out. I remembered this movie fondly too. It had the first appearance of the Nintendo Power Glove. After I watched it as an adult, I realized that this movie was just as crappy as the Nintendo Power Glove. It's not even fun to watch in a so bad it's good kind of way. It's just a long advertisement for Nintendo and Universal Studios. Instead of giving this a watch, just go look up gameplay videos on Youtube. That is a much better way to spend an hour and a half.
Which movie do you think is the worst? Let me know on twitter @zachlunch or in the comments below!