#2. Dead or Alive Volleyball (Dead or Alive)
Dead or Alive is the greatest video game movie ever made, which in no way qualifies it as an even remotely good movie. The Dead or Alive fighting games were hardcore combat under softcore graphics, and the movie blends both with insanity. It gives fewer fucks than a gelded monk and is aimed at the exact opposite demographic.
Unless he worships the very concept of gratuitousness.
It follows the game plot so easily and casually you'd swear they were taking the piss out of every other game movie. They organize a bizarre tournament of fighters from around the world by organizing a bizarre tournament of fighters from around the world. And just in case someone took that seriously, they sent the invites by globe-spanning, computer-guided LCD-shurikens.
It goes without saying that she caught it in midair in her kimono-hang glider. Usually because viewers are too busy laughing and high-fiving the concept of cinema to say anything.
Which guys drinking Coke watch on computer monitors. A movie has NEVER been so true to its source material.
The bad guy's evil scheme involved cyber-shades that teach you karate, and the entire movie is gloriously committed to exactly that level of cool.
"I am so awesome."
Reveling in blatancy is the entire Dead or Alive franchise strategy, and this movie embraces it like a long-lost nymphomaniac in a cheerleader costume.
Source material for this movie and thousands of puberties.
"I don't care about your 'up' bullshit. She hits him from THIS angle now."
The rules of the tournament are being explained on the flight to the island, and the first rule is, "The plane isn't landing. Jump out now!" The three heroes get the "We hate each other but must work together" arc over within the first 10 minutes. Every character has a story arc, advances the plot, and technically but physically beats the shit out of the Bechdel test.
And everyone and everything else involved.
Fights fix everything. Even though they already have a tournament, fights are used to introduce characters, ninja-attack advances romantic subplots, and an emotional daughter-father "I'm an adult and can make my own choices" struggle is also a professional-wrestling-on-a-lake struggle.
Beats the hell out of Maury.
The final fight features Captain Karate Glasses as a compass of kickass, leaping from ladders suspended over a pit of death by defeated lady enemies to the north and south, pulling in two more from east and west just to kick them back out again.
The best bit of this incredible indulgence is a gloriously mocking moment of self-awareness. The fighters need to distract the creepy guy who watches all of their fights, and they do it by staging a blatantly voyeurish volleyball contest on the beach, because the Dead or Alive game series knows for a fact that that works. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball has made millions of dollars, and that's a game where you can unlock a stripper pole to watch computer models grind around it (despite their breasts having less relation to human body mechanics than a Dyson hypersphere).
Pneumatically bouncing through the fourth wall.
This movie takes the piss out of its own reason for existing with real human bodies.
"Thanks for buying this, suckers!"
Obviously it doesn't end well for him.
Moments before exploding, he realizes that his karate shades and nubile tropical female fighting tournament was just the greatest mid-life crisis of all time.
Oh, and they were distracting him so that someone could break into his tropical island's secret karate lab. I'm not going to lie, this is one of my favorite movies.
The rarely attempted Sextuple-jumping-out-of-explosion!
#1. Every Millisecond of Raul Julia (Street Fighter)
Street Fighter was the worst missed opportunity in cinema history. The game already had years of plot, and its very nature meant it didn't need any. Jean-Claude Van Damme could kick people, and Kylie Minogue had been hired to wear pigtails and a swimsuit. It is almost impossible to screw that up, and just this once the "one in a million chance to achieve the impossible" ruined the movie script instead of being its ending.
Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
It had to happen sometime, but the chances against it were, well, you know.
This is the movie that Dead or Alive was taking the piss out of. (And the sequel with Chun Li was even worse). The script is so determined to destroy both the game and logic, it turns a man who could beat people up and breathe fire through the power of yoga into a scientist, which is the exact opposite of both of those things.
The best bit of the movie is Raul Julia, because one of the best bits of the human race is Raul Julia.
He was known for playing physically slight, foppishly demented lunatics, and was absolutely the worst physical casting choice for psychic crimelord, brick shithouse M. Bison. And he was the only person who knew that.
"Come now, old man. You couldn't have thought I was serious as a flying punchmonger?"
He realized that his very presence meant the whole movie was a pantomime, and thought it was so staggeringly obvious he didn't bother telling his fellow cast.
Some of those people thought this was professional.
This is not the build of someone who could beat you up. Sure, he could annihilate you with stentorian bombast from clear across the room, and you wouldn't even realize that he'd just proclaimed himself Emperor of the Moon with nothing but a spectacular speech until you'd carried him halfway there on your shoulders. But he's about as physically intimidating as a wet Chihuahua. And even funnier.
More ham and cheese than every sandwich IN THE WORLD!
The only combos he'd ever known were in fast food menus. He was only doing this movie for his children, and he leapt into it with all the energy and glory of a man leaping on a grenade for the same reason. The sets were so cheap because they had to be replaced after he had eaten them in their entirety with every take. While the other actors were realizing that "Third Tree in Nativity Play Once" hadn't quite prepared them for the camera, he was flicking off immortal villain lines like he'd found them clinging to his evil dressing gown.
The silken dressing gown and mixed fruit drinks OF WORLD DOMINATION!
All this with less convincing combat moves than the chicken in the background on Chun-Li's stage in the game.
He looks more like he's escorting Mrs. Van Damme to visit unpleasant in-laws.
The absolute high point comes when Chun-Li breaks out her Inigo Montoya speech, describing how Bison terrorized her village and murdered her father, and he absolutely blanks on it.
"For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday." That's why Dhalsim can't breathe fire in this movie. They needed all the burn for that line.
He tries to pay an arms dealer in off-brand Monopoly money, uses his evil scheming room to expand the food court in Bisonopolis, and genuinely says the line, "Why do they still call me a warlord? And mad? All I want to do is create the perfect genetic soldier!" And you can tell that the character absolutely believes the question and that the actor absolutely adores that fact.
This is a man who knew he was dying and decided to make his own eulogy by levitating 2 meters off the ground and firing lightning into Jean-Claude Van Damme, just so that his kids could watch. He was such a brilliant beacon of intensity that he made a wish for children when he was the one who was dying, and the result still brightens the world today.
Luke's teaming up with Seanbaby, Jeremy Parish, and an all-star "Best Video Game Writers Ever" Super-Squad with The RETRO Video Game Magazine Kickstarter. Go. Now. Later come back and find out Why Misogyny Is Unmanly.