/Answers: What Video Game Should Become A Movie?

Every week in /Answers, we answer a new pop culture-related question. In this edition, we celebrate the release of Rampage by asking "What video game should become a movie?"

Vanessa Bogart: Wolfenstein

I have very little love to give when it comes to video game-based movies. I personally don't want my 50-plus hours of blood, sweat, and tears in a game reduced to two hours of "good, dumb, fun." However, when it comes to Wolfenstein, I would pay good money to see it on the big screen.

First Person Shooters are by far my go-to gaming genre, and if it has a super badass plot to go with it, even better. The draw of Wolfenstein is all plot and no mechanics. As an FPS game it fumbles, but my god, does this game have one of the greatest bat shit crazy amazing plots I have ever had the privilege of losing sleep over. You wake up from a coma to discover that the Axis Powers won World War II and now you have to go on a Nazi killing spree. Oh, and throw in the ever entrancing draw of science-fiction weaponry, mysterious ancient organizations, and a surprising amount of humanity.

So here in this 2018, post-Inglorious Bastards, politically unstable world, what could be more fun than some good 'ol fast-paced, science-fiction-fueled, Nazi killin'? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Jacob Hall: XCOM

For this answer, I was tempted to go with something like Red Dead Redemption or The Last of Us, video games that tell a cinematic story and are populated with fleshed-out characters you grow to care about as you play. But here's the problem. Every time Hollywood attempts to adapt a video game with a story that's worth a damn, they seem to inevitably screw it up. These games are masterpieces, their stories near-perfect, and maybe they should be just allowed to exist in their original forms.

So I'm throwing my support behind the XCOM series, a video game franchise whose story, whose drama, is often generated by chance. Let me explain. These games task you with stopping an alien invasion, charging you with building a base, managing resources, researching technology, and commanding the soldiers on the ground as they face extraterrestrial forces. While you issue commands and outfit your troops, you don't have direct control over them – you simply issue orders and hope you make the right call.

And often, you will not make the right call. You will make all kinds of wrong calls. Your soldiers will die heroically, tragically, and hilariously. You'll scream at your monitor and curse your poor decisions. Or your laugh triumphantly as a totally FUBAR'd situation suddenly turns around in your favor. The drama of XCOM is not scripted by the game developers (the storyline is barebones and not that thrilling on its own), but each game becomes increasingly personal as you invest in every moment, letting a story generate around you as you play. Rather than attempt to adapt a near-perfect video game story, a talented screenwriter should put 100-plus hours into XCOM, take notes on all of the outrageous, unexpected, amazing, and awful things that happen to their soldiers, and then write a movie around them. And it'll be a personal work – they were there for all of it and felt all of that emotional whiplash.

Chris Evangelista: SkiFree

Remember SkiFree? The classic Microsoft game where a pixelated skier attempted to outrun a Yeti? How has Hollywood not tapped into this yet? It's a goldmine waiting to happen. Picture this, if you will: a two-hour movie set entirely on the ski slopes – it's never really been done before. Unless you count Frozen. No, not the Disney one – the one where twenty-somethings get stuck on a ski lift and proceed to succumb to the elements. But even that isn't set on the slopes – it's set on the ski lift. Anyway, I'm getting off topic here.

The SkiFree movie would feature Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Mortimer SkiFree, the world's best skiing instructor. He's skied every mountain in the world successfully, except the one from the game SkiFree. I don't know what it's name is; I don't think it had a name in the game. Let's call it Mt. SkiFree. Yes, I know the character's name is SkiFree too; just go with it.

Mortimer SkiFree attempts to ski Mt. SkiFree, slalom, freestyle, and tree slalom-style. It won't be easy: he'll have to watch out for trees, stumps, dogs, and, of course, the Yeti. In order to please the fans, the Yeti in the movie will look exactly like it does in the game – a big white blob with stick-figure legs and arms.

I have no idea how this movie ends. Maybe Mortimer and the Yeti become friends? Anyway, let Werner Herzog direct and narrate the film, and you've got yourself a blockbuster. Boom – end of the video game movie curse.

Matt Donato: CarnEvil

My dream video game adaptation? Streets Of Rage makes a case based on nostalgic childhood memories (the smell Ellio's pizza warming in the oven), but my horror obsession cannot be denied – GIVE ME A CARNEVIL FEATURE. So many quarters spent on this late '90s arcade rail shooter. Not familiar? Midway decided to produce their own House Of The Dead knockoff, except their undead blaster is set in a haunted carnival graveyard. Get those organs grinding and tickets punched, because this is one hell of an exploitation funhouse flick waiting to happen.

It all starts when an unknown figure abandons his ghost tour and places a single gold token into a slot above Ludwig von Tökkentäkker's tomb. From beneath quaking ground emerges the ringmaster's domain, "CarnEvil." There are three worlds: Haunted House, Rickety Town and Freak Show. A fourth realm, Big Top, awaits after all previous realms have been wiped of their carnie minions, where you face Tökkentäkker himself (atop his command blimp). Each area distinctly littered with sideshows and attractions meant to send patrons six feet under with a stretched-out smile.

There's so much variety in CarnEvil worth mining. It'd be impossible to fit every character into a feature-length adventure through the bowels of Bozo the Clown's dungeon, but it's well worth a try. Zombie-like fast food workers chuck chicken legs, evil elves man a Santa coaster, dinosaur-costumed mascots lumber around and try to eat you and that's just the beginning. Mini-bosses Evil Marie (a BDSM Marie Antoinette meets Molly Hatchet), Krampus (big jolly) and Junior (a gigantic deformed baby) would all serve as disciples of the insane with such bombastic genre exploitation. More creativity in one single stage of CarnEvil versus half a year's worth of mainstream horror fare.

So, why CarnEvil, aside from all the vivid source material that's waiting to be adapted by any creative team demented enough? What could be a more fantastical and extravagant delve into horror than amusement park terror. I know Uwe Boll's House Of The Dead scared people off adapting run-and-gun machines, but just picture survival horror that smells of popcorn butter and fried festival workers. It's the kind of absurd, midnight-only schlockiness my taste buds crave. I'd face one-hundred undead bearded ladies to see what the right kind of maniac could do with CarnEvil.

Ethan Anderton: Comix Zone

Hailing from the SEGA Genesis era of games, Comix Zone was one of my favorite games to play as a kid, and the premise lends itself perfectly to today's obsession and love of superhero movies.

The game follows a freelance rocker named Sketch Turner (cool name!) who is working on a new comic book that is called, you guessed it, Comix Zone. The comic tells the story of a New World Empire trying to defend Earth against an invasion of aliens, all inspired by Sketch's dreams (and also his nightmares).

Sketch's life is turned upside down when a lightning bolt strikes his comic during a thunderstorm, bringing the villain Mortus alive from the pages into the real world. Rather than taking over the real world, since his powers don't work in reality, Mortus somehow manages to send Sketch into the comic book and endlessly draws enemies to kill him.

If you take away the nonsensical villain subplot, having a comic creator or even a kid who is a fan of comics get sucked into the world they love so much would be cool. It would offer an opportunity to poke fun at the tropes of comics and comic book movies. Even cooler would be if the movie could somehow merge several comic book properties into one universe for the kid to play in, sort of like the Ready Player One or Last Action Hero of the comic book world.

Ben Pearson: Stranglehold

The video game curse has proven to be a tough nut to crack, but surely the easiest way to break it would be for Hong Kong cinema legend John Woo to reunite with actor Chow Yun-fat and adapt the 2007 game Stranglehold into a movie. For those who don't know, Stranglehold is a sequel to their seminal 1992 movie Hard Boiled, which many consider one of the greatest action films ever made. Chow Yun-fat returns as Inspector "Tequila" Yuen (a character who made chewing on an unlit match look like the coolest thing anyone could do), and Stranglehold essentially gives him another mystery to solve: missing girls, a murdered cop, globetrotting from Hong Kong to Chicago, the works.

The game itself is basically a multi-hour version of The Matrix's lobby shootout, with debris and bullets flying in equal measure, but it's often way more ridiculous. You can get a glimpse of one of my favorite aspects from the game in the trailer above: the moment when Tequila has to run up the spine of a huge dinosaur skeleton while firing his duel handguns. I expect John Woo (who worked on developing this game) would make things a bit more realistic if it ever became a movie, but man, I'd really love to see that scene come to life on the big screen.