Hollywood often tries to squeeze the most money out of anything they make, whether it’s an outstanding piece of cinematic genius or straight up garbage. This often means releasing a director’s cut version and printing various useless memorabilia related to it. However, the most anticipated piece of movie-related madness is probably the video game based on the film itself; everyone wants their chance to speed through Gotham city and indiscriminately blow stuff up (kind of) just like Batman. But what about movies that aren’t fortunate enough to have a story made for recreating in other mediums? Here are 15 movies that would make awful video games.
My Dinner With Andre
In My Dinner With Andre two friends, one a struggling actor (Wallace Shawn), the other a director (Andre Gregory), share dinner together in an upscale New York restaurant. Wallace orders a potato soup appetizer, Andre a pâté. Both decide on the quail as an entrée. Over the course of the meal the two discuss experimental theater, the nature of life, and living in New York in the late 1970s.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Since the movie is entirely driven by a steady stream of unbearably pretentious, pseudo-intellectual BS, action would almost certainly be kept to a minimum. Most likely the entirety of it would play out like an interminable cut-scene — think something out of the Metal Gear Solid series. Regain health by eating quail, but beware easily rebuffed philosophical assertions: they will deplete your health meter rapidly.
How It Could Be Made Slightly Bearable: Alcohol consumption increases intoxication levels and yields new dialogue trees. A button that allows you to use a fork to stab yourself in the eyeball repeatedly.
Clerks chronicles the epic narrative of Dante and Randall, one an attendant at a convenience store, the other a video rental store employee. Wait, it gets even better! Over the course of 24 hours at their jobs these two ostensibly “loveable losers” discuss everything from the ramifications of contractors working on the Death Star in Star Wars to… So much horrible stuff, let’s just forget it. Also, at some point they play hockey on a rooftop.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: The black and white color palette is not going to do it any favors in the graphics department, and the gameplay would likely be as tedious and trite as the movie itself: engage in “witty” conversations with “zany” customers, re-stock shelves, belittle patrons’ rental choices in a variety of “clever” ways, get angry with your promiscuous girlfriend; videogames are meant to help you escape from your terrible 9-5, not relive it.
How It Could Be Made Slightly Bearable: Every copy of the game comes scratched, unplayable, and with a hand-written note from Kevin Smith, in which he promises to stop making movies.
A Room With A View
Oh boy! A turn of the century, Victorian-Era romance between conventionally repressed English women who resist, but eventually succumb to, the temptations presented by men leading a free wheeling Italian lifestyle! One of the key scenes is described by Wikipedia as such: “In an unguarded moment, George embraces and passionately kisses Lucy as she approaches him to ask a question in a rural barley field. Charlotte sees the act and quickly stops it. George’s unrestrained passion shocks Lucy, but also lights a secret desire and romance in her heart.” Unguarded moments in rural barley fields are such a videogame cliché!
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Dating games are a trend in Japan, but they don’t play as well when you set them in a Victorian context. It was a time when women were chaste and cared about things like money, prestige, and estates. Thankfully, times have changed! Although it would probably be comparable to an RPG in terms of play-time, which is admittedly a pretty good value, stealing kisses in rural barley fields under the watchful gaze of overprotective siblings in the hopes of getting under a girl’s corset would be an exercise in frustration.
How It Could Be Made Slightly Bearable: Limit the gameplay to the scene where three completely naked guys chase the two sisters through the forest. Dibs on Charlotte!
The Virgin Suicides
Five sisters are not allowed to date by their overprotective and religious parents. Despite the restrictions, four boys from their neighborhood become obsessed and initiate tentative relationships with the sisters. After one of the sisters (Lux) has sex with one of the boys (Trip Fontaine), all five of them commit suicide. Somewhat of a misleading title, no?
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Dating games can be tough but this is really pushing it. Sure, you have a selection of characters to play as, but unless you pick Trip Fontaine or Lux you are not going to end up with a very happy ending, and even then only Trip’s ending will have much of an upside. Getting laid in this game is about as easy as beating Battletoads on your first try or making it all the way through My Dinner With Andre without stabbing yourself repeatedly in the eye with a fork.
How It Could Be Made Slightly Bearable: Make the dad a playable character who gets to design traps and set curfews, spoiling his daughter’s attempts at dating. Let the player design their own unique suicides for each girl and upload them to the Internet to share with other enthusiasts.
Precious: Based on The Novel Push by Sapphire
An anti-social and obese girl in Harlem overcomes incest, parental abuse, poverty and multiple teenage pregnancies in an effort to better her life. Through the aid of caring social workers, teachers, and nurses she discovers a talent for mathematics, raises her children, and makes a group of friends.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Videogames are all about connecting with the characters you play as. The sad fact is: most hardcore gamers just can’t relate to an anti-social and obese player character (known as a PC in gamer parlance). Most popular video game characters are thin, spiky-haired, handsome/beautiful, wield oversized swords and are AIDS-free. THAT is the kind of character that gamers can identify with. Another glaring problem is that Precious really likes fried chicken, and this is just not something most gamers can relate to.
Furthermore, the gameplay would be extremely tedious as you spent hours trying to level-up Precious by repeatedly training her reading and writing skills so that you can advance to the next stage. This problem is only further frustrated by the time-limit imposed by Precious’ illness: you’d like to maybe explore Precious’ world, but you really can’t do to much with her except daydream and cook dinner until she is at least at an eighth grade level or so.
How to Make an American Quilt
Several women gather in a home to share stories and hold a quilting bee where they are constructing a wedding quilt as a gift for one of the member’s granddaughter. The quilt’s “theme” is “where love resides” because every good quilt needs a kickass theme like that one. Over the course of the quilt’s construction, stories of and life and love are shared, which prove revelatory to the granddaughter who is still unsure as to whether her fiancée is “The One.”
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Quilts are pretty fun to have, but making them is only fun for the elderly because their impaired mobility forces them to derive enjoyment from pastimes that require the bare minimum of movement. Preferably, these activities are held sitting down and involve grandchildren because old people love sitting almost as much as they love grandchildren. If somehow it was okay for your grandparents to sit on you, they probably would — and you’d better believe they’d be loving every darn second of it! But we all know that grandparents don’t play videogames, which is a good thing because you wouldn’t want your grandma talking smack to you over XBOX live. The last thing you need is another way for her to contact you since you’re already getting like a million emails and missed calls from her (go call her you jerk!). Videogames aren’t for old people, so videogames that would only appeal to old people are just not going to be very fun. Duh.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Allow the user to choose from a variety of quilt nationalities — don’t limit them to just American.
The Shawshank Redemption
A banker is put in jail after being convicted for murdering his wife and her lover. While there, he befriends many of the inmates and guards with his easy-going personality and free financial advice. As a reward for being such a nice guy, he is put in charge of caring for the prison library, and given a small rock pick which he uses to fashion a chess set out of rocks. Over the course of his many years there, he secretly chips through his prison wall with the rock pick, hiding the escape hole behind a series of posters of old-timey movie starlets.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Hmm, you get to control a character who collects rocks, is a librarian AND tediously chips through hundreds of feet of rock over the course of many, many years? That almost sounds like TOO much fun. Oh, but wait, the game is also based on a movie that every boring and horrible person you’ve ever met cites as their favorite movie of all time because they are easily manipulated by storylines that feign some sort of emotional gravitas through shots of Tim Robbins standing majestically in the rain and the rampant abuse of Morgan Freeman’s reserved yet authoritative speaking voice? This game doesn’t even exist and it already deserves multiple life sentences.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Just make the game about Morgan Freeman’s voice reading whatever raunchy sentences you feel like typing in.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Jefferson Smith, the head of the fictional Boys Rangers, is somehow elected to the government to replace a recently deceased senator. His main act of legislation is to set aside land in his home state to institute a national boys’ camp, but unfortunately some corrupt senators are already planning to use the land for a nefarious dam-building scheme — whatever that could possibly be. Political schemes in the 1930s obviously often involved dams and other public works projects because that is the perfect crime.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: The movie’s climactic scene involves Mr. Smith launching a filibuster on the Senate floor for a VERY long time. Presumably, this would be where most of the game’s action would reside: read names out of a phone book, make emotional speeches about the importance of setting up secluded camps for young boys deep in the heart of the woods in some unnamed rural state, TRY to stay on your feet for as long as you can because once you relinquish that floor it is GAME OVER!
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Integrate it with the Wii balance pad for that authentic filibustering experience!
An Inconvenient Truth
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Al Gore schools you on the environment, and argues for the adoption of a number of seemingly sensible and scientifically-backed proposals on how we can ALL do our part to help mitigate an eco-disaster of epic proportions.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: You play as Al Gore. Also, your objective is to design effective PowerPoint presentations. This game seems a lot like what you probably spent all Tuesday at the office doing except more boring because you have to be Al Gore.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: The option to take occasional breaks from designing slides to engage in clandestine sexual rendezvous with Larry David’s ex-wife. Actually, who would honestly want Larry David’s leftovers? Maybe there is the option to just leave your house lights on all night and drive an Escalade to and from your presentations on “Hard Mode.” Good luck explaining that in a slide, jerk!
A classic tale of boy-meets-dog, boy-loves-dog, dog-gets-rabies, boy-shoots-dog, boy-becomes-man. The first step towards manhood is killing beloved childhood pets. We can all relate to this story and that is what has maintained its status as an enduring staple of children’s cinema.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Murdering animals has been a beloved videogame genre staple since who knows when? From Duck Hunt to Buck Hunter, gamers have delighted in massacring all sorts of wily prey that dare to flit or prance across their television screen. But it is hard to develop an emotional attachment to a buck — let alone a mere duck — which is why these games simultaneously satisfy your itchy trigger finger while leaving you feeling morally absolved of any wrong doing. Animals without personalities are FUN to kill, right? It’s not like you think twice about crushing that hairy spider that has somehow managed to creep his way into your bathroom and construct some vile web between your shower-head and loofah holster. But dogs do not often spin webs, and are generally very personable and loyal companions. It is not fun to shoot dogs you don’t even know, let alone one that you grew up with. Nobody ever green-light this game. Ever.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Modify the plot to insinuate that Old Yeller had ties to the Nazi Party all along, and ultimately deserved his fate. Justice is served, bitch (make Old Yeller a girl — that is what you call girl dogs).
You’ve Got Mail
Two annoying Manhattanites (ugh) exchange romantic emails and fall in cyber-love. But get this: they can’t stand each other in real life because one of them owns a quaint independent bookstore and the other is a higher-up for a book-chain that is threatening to put it out of business! How do you resolve such a compelling romantic quandary? Nobody knows because there is not a single person on Earth who has ever finished watching this stupid movie.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: A dating game comprised of sending non-erotic emails to Meg Ryan could only possibly be worse if the gameplay was comprised of sending erotic emails to Meg Ryan. If you’re a lady, just replace “Meg Ryan” with “Tom Hanks” in that last sentence and you will understand.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Replace Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks with your grandmother/grandfather because c’mon, stop ignoring them — they would really love an email from you!
Matt Damon and Casey Affleck both play characters name Gerry who set off in search of a nameless site in the desert, get lost, and argue a lot. Eventually Matt Damon strangles Casey Affleck but it would have been a lot cooler if he had strangled the director before this incredibly tedious movie was ever allowed to see the light of day.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Deserts are important in videogames because most developers are from Japan and don’t know what they are. They seem like exotic and exciting places full of crazy botanical wonders and lots of sand that is not located near a shoreline. This is definitely exciting stuff, but generally developers have the good sense to include it as just a minor episode during the course of the game. Preferably, this game will be some sort of RPG, and you will have woken up as the main character only to find that your entire part has been lost. Setting an entire game in the desert is not a lot of fun though because sand is coarse, irritating and it gets everywhere.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Change the setting from some nameless desert to Manhattan and have the final boss battle be strangling Andre.
Scenes From a Marriage
A seemingly happy account of a functional Swedish marriage that quickly descends into a series of chapters chronicling the decline of the union. Each scene is frighteningly relatable and harrowing in its depiction of two people that alternately love and despite each other over the course of many years.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Most true gamers do not have time to deal with relationships, so the difficulty level involved in this game would be incredibly steep. How do you navigate the pain of infidelity, romantic longing and emotional reconcilement when the most tragic love affair of your life involved Final Fantasy VII? Difficult games can be fun, but the learning curve involved here just seems unfair. This is like Ghosts N’ Goblins meets your vain attempts to reconcile your parents broken marriage, and that is not a very fun combination!
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Buy it for your annoying roommate as a birthday present.
The Crying Game
The less said about this one the better.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Nobody likes crying, even if it is for a game.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Re-tool it as The Laughing Game.
A holocaust survivor, Sophie is forced during the war to choose between two children: which will live and which will die. The unbearable guilt she carries over the course of the years after eventually leads to her taking a cyanide capsule in order to commit suicide.
Why It Would Make A Terrible Videogame: Although the simplistic control scheme might appeal to novice gamers (press X to choose baby girl, press O for baby boy), the subject matter would likely turn most off videogames forever. A low replay factor also hurts Sophie’s Choice, given that there are only two endings, neither of which provides a “feel good” conclusion to the Sophie storyline. Given the depressing subject matter, the short play-length and the devastatingly depressingø storyline, Sophie’s Choice would unquestionably make the worst movie-to-videogame adaptation ever.
How You Could Make It Slightly Bearable: Make Sophie an Octomom to increase re-playability.