Dead Island to Become Feature Film…and It’s Going to Suck

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Dead Island: The Movie

Artist's conception of a movie poster or an unhinged writer's cry for help?

It’s A Dead Man’s Party…Who Could Ask for More?

Mr. Bean looking shocked

Serious critics like this one agree, the Dead Island trailer was awesome?...Game, what game?

So, we at Bits ‘n’ Bytes Gaming received a press release saying that Dead Ri– I mean Left 4– …Dead Island – that’s the one – is apparently being turned into a movie by Lionsgate Entertainment. Lionsgate is of course known for distributing such cinematic classics as Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark, Bratz: The Movie and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. So it’s entirely understandable that they’re going to treat a game that has sold primarily on the strength of its overwrought and emotionally manipulative trailer with tender love and care. After all, zombie films still have a high level of credibility in our day and age, right?

The release describes Dead Island as a “global brand” (that was fast) introduced through its “non-linear” and “wrenching” trailer which received unanimous critical praise (guess they didn’t read my article), while labeling it “haunting” and “artful”. You know, I went to art school for a semester and I can safely say if someone says their painting of smeared feces is art, you damn well better believe them. According to the article, Wired, College Humor and G4TV called it the best videogame trailer of all time. In fact, the press release goes on to mention G4TV calling it “The best video game trailer.  The best movie trailer. The best anything trailer.” Hmm. G4TV covering videogames in between episodes of COPS and Cheaters? This could be a bold new direction for the channel.

Seriously, did Will Ferrell’s parody of James Lipton write this press release? I’m surprised it doesn’t say “when the Dead Island trailer debuted, the gaming media had its sore lumbar massaged by flights of seraphim whilst their nipples were tweaked playfully by the muses.”

First zombie you meet in Resident Evil

Capcom turned zombies into clowns. Clowns with a spot in their head that when shot will cause it to "blow up".

Zombies were used by George Romero to lampoon and critique American consumer culture. Now they have become a cottage industry that’s consumed by people who fantastically miss the point of the sociological zombie film, and are probably just in it for the gore. Yes, congratulations to Max Brooks, Zack Snyder and Capcom: you are all guilty of this dilution of the zombie into a product. A critique of conspicuous consumption becoming a profitable industry? Hold your horses, stagecoach of irony!

Now to be fair, zombies have been a – pardon the pun – dead genre since Edgar Wright’s stellar parody, Shaun of the Dead. Since then, zombies have become increasingly popular, probably to the detriment of society as a whole. We’ve had vapid zombie-killing movies, entire message boards dedicated to preparing for a zombie apocalypse (leaving us all horribly vulnerable to the real threat of rogue artificial intelligences and Sectoid invasions). Honestly, I really doubt a Dead Island flick will do anything new or interesting for the genre. It will just be another crappy videogame movie.

Count Floyd speech bubble

Don't make promises you can't keep, Floyd.

Now, I can actually understand why you would want to see some videogames turned into movies: they would just never stand a chance of being good. Let me bring up the Doom movie again. Doom has a simple concept and a miniscule amount of storyline. Basically, scientists open a porthole to Hell and demons come streaming through; one tough SOB has to kill ’em all. Hollywood managed to turn that simple premise into two hours and maybe four ammo clips empty, not to mention they dropped the whole “demons from Hell” angle and just turned it into another virus. Yeah, don’t want to be too edgy and scare away the Shrek crowd with your hard-R rated action-horror flick, Universal.

I see a Dead Island movie as the same thing. Perhaps even more so. After all, what was the original Dead Island trailer but a cynical, manipulative marketing ploy intended to get people interested in a middling-to-merely OK product? And I have a feeling this is exactly the kind of crap Lionsgate is going to pull. It’s a cynical ploy to make a fast buck on a recognizable title. Well, an emerging recognizable title. Let’s see if anyone can still remember Dead Island existed by this time next year. Heck, most of us have already forgotten about Duke Nukem Forever. Thankfully.

But let’s face it, even crappy games can have movies based on them – the fact that Bloodrayne was just a vampire T&A-festival and Dungeon Siege was a bland Diablo clone made them ripe for Uwe “Ze Only Focking Geeniuz In Ze Businez” Boll to adapt into his only tangentially related films. Let’s face it. You don’t really have talented directors like Duncan Jones or Gullermo Del Toro lining up to make videogame flicks. You have two-bit hacks like Paul W.S. Anderson and Christoph Gans churning out this crap for an easy paycheck. The videogame movie isn’t really a medium for thoughtful artistic introspection or even competently shot action sequences. You could offer me another Resident Evil flick with more explosions and zombie killing than ever; I’d still rather watch Die Hard or Predator.

Predator looking badass

Why hire 100,000 zombies when one Predator can cause the same amount of mayhem?

 

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Comments
  1. Seriously says:

    What is the biggest crime of all? It is not a game developer deciding to outsource a theatrical trailer, for use in marketing, to peak it’s potential consumers’ interest (with a follow up statement released, fulling explaining that it is in no way related to actual in game mechanics). It’s not the ambitious directors that fall way short of the mark; It’s not the directors that try to turn a profit on a AAA game. It’s not even a genre, that still has a massive following, with plenty of room left for new ideas and new media to be created for it (media related to the armed forces are still accepted by the masses, yet there are countless games/books/movies existing for it for centuries).

    No, the biggest crime of all is a news/review site that posts an entire article which slams a movie that isn’t even out yet.

  2. Mog, I'm a Mog says:

    Can’t wait for your article about how over and done military shooters are right after they announce the COD movie.

  3. Chad M. says:

    Well, this was supposed to be tongue in cheek. I’m sure the Dead Island movie will be The Godfather of its time.

  4. Seriously says:

    You just forgot to put the tongue in the cheek; I see. It probably will not be the next The Godfather, as your sarcasm insinuates, but that is merely my own speculation and my own assumption that they are shooting more for entertainment value. I mean after all, it is based on a video game and not based on a novel with a deep and rich story line (The Godfather, yes I am looking at you!).

  5. Big Ratt says:

    You what would have made this article so much better, if you had just got over yourself.

    • Constructive!

      I don’t understand the dissenting opinion: a Dead Island movie is being made for all the wrong reasons – with the same pretentiousness that surrounded its announcement and marketing – by a studio with a track record of making absolutely dire films, all the while adding to a supersaturated genre that, really, everyone should be bored with. The game isn’t even *that* good and is chock full of this same carbon-copy genre unoriginality.

      As with most videogame movies, it begs the question: why?

      I think Chad is perfectly entitled to look at this announcement with a cynical eye.

      • Seriously says:

        I guess, if we are just trying to use big words to support our points of view, I should say that we have entered into the realm of cognitive dissonance. Dire would not be the word I would use to describe a studio with films that have been nominated for 47 Academy Awards (won 2), as well as picking up 10 Oscars (over that past 10 years). Now to discuss the game, Dead Island. Is it unoriginal that they put more focus on melee combat instead of the same old shooter style? Maybe it is the weapons customization that is more than just what type of scope you want, or what color you choose to put on that gun or it’s reticle. I know what it is: it’s the ability to not only break bones or chop off arms, but also to have those broken/missing limbs have an effect on your attacker. Yes, there are other games out there that do the same, but not as many as there should be. Does it have bugs? Sure, but name me a game that has launched recently without them. Techland is even delaying their first DLC to focus entirely on fixing the list of known bugs; I wish some of the other developers out there would do that.

        I will, however, agree with you that most video games should not be made into movies.

      • Chad M. says:

        Erm…aren’t the Academy Awards and the Oscars the same award? And do you really think a Dead Island movie would be Oscar-worthy? Just because Universal puts out the occasional Scorcese flick doesn’t mean they didn’t make some dire rom-coms too.

        In any case, Hexen II, Deus Ex, and Bushido Blade/Soldier of Fortune all did those things you mentioned long before Dead Island was a twinkle in Deep Silver’s bank accounts. So yes, but unoriginality of gameplay isn’t what I’m accusing it of, so much as unoriginality of story, concept or content.

        I do apologize for forgetting that video game movies are SERIOUS BUSINESS.

  6. Chad M. says:

    By the way, what do you all think of the top hat?

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