home.GIF (824 bytes)
cheat.gif (1075 bytes)
search.gif (874 bytes)
about.gif (951 bytes)
The Undertow                                             Home
A column dedicated to sucking you into the muck and mire of gaming.

Movies Based on 3D Games?  Gimme a Break!
Monday, July 20, 1998

So what's just as important as games?  Movies of course!  It seems that those of us who are into computer games are also into movies.   It's no mistake, each one is a different medium for expressing creativity, good or bad.  Can the world of computer games cross over into the realm of movie making?   Besides development time and budget, we all know that one!  Well, I could make this column very short and just come out with it, but what fun would that be.

Instead, let's take a journey to the spelling and grammatically challenged recesses of the internet...namely, an unnamed Quake chat channel hosted on some backwater server.  Meet our two innocent victims, Game Freak and Movie Freak.  Shhhhhh, let's step in quietly, perhaps they won't notice they're on Candid Undertow...

Game Freak:  ...so dude, I like did a roket jump up to the legde and guess what?
Movie Freak:  Uh, what
Game Freak:  I didn't have any armor and barely any health, oops, duh, hehe.  Funny thing is, I
                     coulda just run up the ramp.  I lost the match
Movie Freak:  wtf, your a nad
Game Freak:  Biteme, I could kick yor ass anyday.  Anyway, I here there makin a whole bunch of
                     movies on games!
Movie Freak:  oo boy, I'll be in line for that one!
Game Freak:  Waddya meen?  Lara rulz!  Who cares if theres a plot, I just wanna see skin and
                     explosions!   <g>
Movie Freak:  Every here of the Super Mario Brothers movie?
Game Freak:  c'mon dude, you cant compare a freakin' ninteno game to something like Doom!
Movie Freak:  Oh yeah, I seemd to have forgottin that they are both games with no plot whatsoevr.
                     ok, how bout the Streat fighter movie?
Game Freak:  wat!? you cant compare a mofo arcade game to something like my boy quake!!
Movie Freak:  Oh yeah, I seemd to have forgottin that they are both games with no plot whatsoevr.
                     Lemme try again,  Mortal combat mvoei
Game Freak:  Okay now yor pissing me of!  you cant compare a mofo arcade FIGHTING game to
                     something like my boy quake!!
Movie Freak:  Nevrmind...
Game Freak:  A Doom movie would rock!
Movie Freak:  so tell me what the movie would be abot
Game Freak:  I dont no, a cool space marine blowin' the shit outta stuff, trying to save the planet
                     from evil guys
Movie Freak:  haha, hey, didnt youz writ the script for Godzilla?  :-)
Game Freak:  Hehe, you suk dude.  Okay what about Quake!?
Movie Freak:  What 'bout it?
Game Freak:  It would work!
Movie Freak:  What would IT be bout?
Game Freak:  well, a cool polygon space marine blowin' the shit outta stuff after he crashes on a
                     enema base on a planet, ya know just like Unreal!
Movie Freak:  Hmm, I see a trend here...
Newbie has joined>
Newbie:         hay guys!   unreal rocks the mofo world!
Game Freak:  shuptup dork
Movie Freak:  cant you see we're busy...go back to your AOL chatrooms!
Newbie:         u guys suck, and you probaly suk at quake to!  i could kill both you guys at the
                    same time in DM!
Newbie has left>
Game Freak:  okay, now that we'ze throwd out the trash, wat games wuld make goode movies?
Movie Freak:  I dont know, like mabbe sompthun with, oh, I dunno, a PLOT!!
Game Freak:  hey you freakaziod, quake and doom gottsa plot!  you hafsta go thru all the levels
                     and kill everything ta git out
Movie Freak:  Thos ain't plots, their lameass attempts by game desginers to buy there shit!
                     usually they puts in stoopid cutscenes or a one page storie at the front uv the
                     mannuel so they can justify wats going on in the game
Game Freak:  i still think they all gots gud plots:  duke, Doom, quake, Sin, Tomb raider, all of em
                     would be cool movies
Movie Freak:  your high man!  u bean sniffin you're moms nail remover or sumpthin?  Final
                     fantasty 7 would make a cool movie!  mabee even Myst.
Game Freak:  whose high?  wtf!  FF7 is boaring as hell, and you have to rede all that crap about
                     the charakters...just let me kill things and git to the end!  and Myst!!!????  that
                     game is for complete looser wusses!!
Threshkiller has joined>
Threshkiller:  Who wants to die first?  I'm running a 400 Mhz PII on a T1 with a Voodoo 2.  I need
                    a little exercise.
Movie Freak:  wats with your name, like you could beet thresh!
Game Freak:  ya, you suck!  us guys could kill you at the same time in DM!  butt were busy
                     talkin bbout movies and stuff.
Threshkiller:  ahhh, lowlife high ping losers.  Okay gents, enjoy your little "chatsy".  If you ever
                     want to lose look for Threshkiller!
Threshkiller has left>
Game Freak:  man, is it me, or are we the only non-jerks who join this channel!  wat a bunch of
                     stoopied loosers!
Movie Freak:  almost all games would suk as movies.   movies make good games tho!
Game Freak:  you ever reed that doom book?  that was good, he could rite good!
Movie Freak:  naw, i bought it but used it to light a fire at a kegger.  hehe
Game Freak:  haha, mabbe there is a good use for the stories they write bout games, <g>
Movie Freak:  Heh he, yeah, I used pages frm an Unreal book to pull poop off my cats ass!  they
                     have really long hair!
Game Freak:  God, yor sick dude!  If you dont want them send them too me!
Movie Freak:  Sorry, the cat had diarrea last nite...all gone!
Game Freak:  Okay, howz about Dear Hunter!  thay could make a cool deer huntin mvoie, kinda a
                     cross betwen the Deer Hunter (ya know, wit deNiro), Deliverance (ya know, the guy
                     from smokey and da Bandit) and Redneck Rampage.  Dudez with shotguns and
                     rocket launchers huntin deer and hillbillies.  Man that would ROOL!!!
Movie Freak:  Uhhhh...what?  do u have brane damage?
Game Freak:  ok,ok,ok...how bowt Titanic, oh crap, nevermind...
Movie Freak:  HYPE, that movie was a average piece of bloated HYPE!
Game Freak:  I got it, how bout...

Let's leave the meeting of the minds.  Very interesting debate...if your name is Beavis.  I think I would have to side with Movie Freak on this one...though Game Freak did have some good points for a fartknocker.   For participating in our little eavesdropping experiment, The Undertow is sending our intrepid linguists free movie passes to Tomb Raider The Movie if it makes it to the bigscreen, two Blockbuster movie rentals otherwise, or an AOL trial CD if the movie never sees the light of day.  As a bonus, we are sending them a genuine jpeg of the latest movie poster.  I can feel their excitement already.

newtombs.jpg (6586 bytes)

Let's face it, movies based on any 3D action games is a big mistake.  The only ones to benefit from these movies ever being made are the intellectual property holders:  id, Eidos/Core, Epic, 3D Realms, Ritual, etc.   Who would lose?  The studios dumb enough to fall into the hype that some games create, and moviegoers ignorant enough to flush $7-$8 down the drain for the pleasure of wishing they had brought a cyanide tablet with them to the theatre.  Curiosity killed the cat.  In this case, curiosity will also cost the foolish his money.  It will happend anyway.  Even I will probably go to some of these movies out of curiosity; mine being different from yours.  I would go just to see how truly horrible they turned out, while others would go to see some blood and T&A.  I would go to a half-priced matinee of course.

The only way these movies should be made is through animation and then straight to video.  The makers of SiN (Ritual) may have the right idea signing a deal with ADV Films to bring their game to video.  None of them are worthy of the big screen.  Hell, a lot of the trash that comes to the theatre is unworthy of the bigscreen.  Based on the precedence of past Hollywood output, I may be proven wrong.  Soon we may see a whole slew of movies based on games.

There are a few select games out there that would make excellent movies if done correctly...none of them 3D based, most of them adventures or RPGs.  "Done correctly".  That's the key isn't it?  I can guarantee you that any movie based on a 3D action game would be a complete hack job to make a quick buck.  The Tomb Raider movie, if ever made, will be a complete Indiana Jones rip-off, skin flick unless it can distinguish itself from the Lucan/Spielberg powerhouse.  To top it off, it's possible that Tomb Raider the Movie may have to go head-to-head with Indy 4.  That would be and interesting (and possibly humbling) summer.

       My prediction:  D

Save your money for the Star Wars prequels and don't hold your breath.  Go play the games.   It's more expensive, but at least you won't be expecting anything other than a fragfest.  Most of these movies will never be made.  Hollywood suits are asinine, but I have faith that they haven't de-evolved to the caveman level...then again...

~ Neal Ulen

Drop me an e-mail and let me know what you like and/or dislike about gaming, a particular title, or the industry in general.  As always, all (non-belligerent) criticism welcome!

The Undertow Copyright (c) 1998-99 Neal E. Ulen and GamesFirst!