9:00am PT by Aaron Couch
Funniest Video Game-to-Movie Translations
Videogame characters are coming to life in this weekend's Pixels, but translating 8- or 16-bit heroes and villains to the big screen wasn't always as easy as it is with today's CGI.
Mainstays like Mario Bros.' King Koopa were derided by audiences, while an animatronic Goro in Mortal Kombat was a hit with fans — but was also extremely expensive.
Read on to see how video game adaptations of the past handled some iconic characters.
King Koopa, from Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Super Mario Bros., one of the most reviled videogame adaptations of all time, portrayed King Koopa, aka Bowser (Dennis Hopper), as the dictator of an alternate Earth — one in which humanoids descended from dinosaurs. Koopa kidnaps Luigi's (John Leguizamo) love interest Daisy (Samantha Mathis), an NYU student who actually is the princess of Koopa's world. Koopa is obsessed with becoming the dictator of our world as well. Instead of breathing fire as he does in the games, Koopa is more into using his devolution guns, which devolve its victims to earlier life forms.
"It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband-and-wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn't talk before they made decisions," Hopper told The AV Club in 2008. "Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over-budget. But I bought a couple buildings down there in Wilmington, NC, and I started painting. I made an art studio out of one."
Abobo from Double Dragon (1994)
He may have looked cool in the video game, but steroid-using thug Abobo (Nils Allen Stewart) became one of the most derided parts of Double Dragon when an experiment turns him into a hulking beast (played by Henry Kingi). There wasn't enough brains to go with that prosthetic brawn.
Blanka from Street Fighter (1994)
In the games, Blanka is a human who is mutated after a plane crash into the green-skinned, electricity-loving character known to Street Fighter fans. In the movie, he is Carlos Blanka (Robert Mammone), a soldier whom the evil M. Bison (Raul Julia) experiments on — showing him nothing but images of hate and other bad stuff. The character was mocked by viewers of the film ... but what did they expect from a big, green beast?
Goro from Mortal Kombat (1995)
The four-armed behemoth is a member of the half-human, half-dragon Shokan race. He was brought to life with an expensive animatronic puppet, which took more than a dozen puppeteers to operate. The Goro puppet was so pricey that the producers had set designer Jonathan A. Carlson remove a series of pools from his design because they feared Goro would fall in and ruin the animatronics. (Look for more details on that next month when The Hollywood Reporter debuts an oral history of the Mortal Kombat movie.)
Sindel from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
The much-maligned Mortal Kombat sequel featured a number of new characters, including Sindel (Musetta Vander), the mother of Kitana (Talisa Soto). They got the gray streak and makeup down for Shao Kahn's queen, who eventually turns good. But she came off as more like a cheesy Power Rangers villain than a formidable force.
Zombie dog from Resident Evil (2002)
Even adorable pooches can be infected by the t-Virus. Luckily, Alice (Milla Jovovich) had no problem kicking some sense into one in Resident Evil.
Hell Knight from Doom (2005)
Hell Knight, introduced in the video games in Doom II, is not the most potent of bad guys — but in the movie it provided a memorable and disturbing death for Destroyer (Deobia Oparei).