Times are tough, but word on the street is that video games could be recession proof. That’s why we predict purveyors of the medium will sign off on even more dubious game adaptations of movies. After scratching our heads over the troubling Watchmen: The End Is Nigh game, a bald effort to cash in on the March movie, we decided to do the Hollywood gaming industry a solid by providing this handy guide to key flicks best left unmolested. Read up, little pimps! The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman) Amid a stark, doomsday landscape, a Scandinavian knight barters for his life with an attendant Grim Reaper by instigating the slowest chess match ever. Game gurus, if you must adapt this, at least have mercy on our souls by imagining the late, kerrazy Bobby Fisher squaring off against Death from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in a heated bout of Battleship. Groundhog Day (dir. Harold Ramis) Imagine a game that never really advances, no matter how many levels you pass. Even Bill Murray’s delightfully smug mug can’t get you through that existential crisis.
Apocalypse Now (dir. Francis Ford Coppola) The director already adapted his Godfather to the medium, so why milk one of his other great masterpieces? Because hearing lines about napalm and horrors and Disneyland isn’t nearly as fun as deploying pretend napalm, instigating imaginary horrors, and braving a fake Disneyland—in what would essentially be a hide-and-go-seek search for a kooky, melodramatic chubby dude with a God complex. The Incredible Shrinking Woman (dir. Joel Schumacher) An ennui-afflicted housewife begins to physically downsize after huffing a strange brew of chemicals. While looking for a cure, she assumes an infinitesimal size. As novel as it’d be to helm a game starring Lily Tomlin circa 1980, we’d rather tango with The Atom.
Zapped! (dir. Robert J. Rosenthal) Show of hands: Who wants to recreate the pubescent shenanigans of the sexed-starved, telekinetic Chachi and/or Buddy Lembeck? Cocoon (dir. Ron Howard) Old folks carouse in a fountain of youth/swimming pool that’s fuelled by alien pods. Cute! That is, until your inept controller skills cause a geriatric to take a laser beam to the brain (hey, peaceful aliens don’t make for a compelling game). And that’s only one step worse than killing a defenseless baby, you bastard.
Zardoz (dir. John Boorman) Now, don’t mistake us: battling foes whilst wearing a crimson linen bondage/sumo get-up totally sounds like a good time. The fact that most of those foes are complacent? Sort of a bummer. (Props to io9 compadre Graeme McMillan for this suggestion.) Naked Lunch (dir. David Cronenberg) I was going to single out Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on this list, but apparently the Powers That Be adapted the David Lynch TV show into a game a while back. (Truth be told, the riddling Log Lady as narrator or interstitial jigs from that midget dude could be nothing short of awesome.) So I instead turn to Naked Lunch, William Burroughs’ junkie musing about folks who get high off insecticide and start seeing giant bugs and stuff. How to play a mind-numbing game that revels in sensory overload but doesn’t make a lick of sense?
Plan 9 From Outer Space (dir. Ed Wood) Yes, Konami made a Plan 9 game in ’92. But since hi-fi technology clearly has no place in the Ed Wood oeuvre, let’s learn from foolishness past. Encino Man (dir. Les Mayfield) Pauly Shore and Sean Astin find and defrost a frozen caveman! Then he gets a makeover. Aaaaaaand that’s pretty much it.