B-Movie Heroes: Paul W S Anderson

His name strikes terror into the heart of some critics and many see him as merely the king of cheesy video-game adaptations, but we think Paul W S Anderson is a legend.

Hit the jump below and find out why:


Anderson started off with a bang, the youngest ever BA Film and Literature graduate from Warwick University. His d├ębut feature, Shopping, raised eyebrows both for its quality and its unjudgemental portrayal of ram raiding. From here, he progressed to making video-game adaptations and sequels/reboots to existing properties like Bladerunner, which earned him the reputation of schlock merchant. Still, he's hugely successful and married to Resident Evil-star Milla Jovovich. We call that a win for him. 

B-Movie Highlights

Mortal Kombat

Following Shopping, more successful in the US than UK, Anderson headed to America to make what remains among the best video-game adaptations. Mortal Kombat faithfully recreates the characters from the game, enhances the existing plot and fills the movie with nods to the gameplay, but also manages to make these elements into a cohesive whole. Those who look down on our kind of movies revile this film as B-grade rubbish, but Mortal Kombat only attracts their derision as it is that rare thing: an well-crafted B-movie that works as an adaptation and a movie in its own right.

Event Horizon

Other than Shopping, Event Horizon is Anderson's only original cinematic release and, as you might thusly predict, it is derivative. Essentially, this is Alien meets The Shining, but that is such a nice idea, done so well, that originality isn't necessary. The film is beautifully shot with great effects, a great cast and even a good script. Anderson fills the movie with great characters with individual motivations, solid science fiction, stomach-wrenching horror concepts and gruesome gore. A masterpiece.


Ever since they put an Alien skull on the wall of the Predator's ship in the second outing for the titular space hunter, fans had been drooling over the idea of a confrontation. Given the chance to put that on screen, Anderson took his cues from the Dark Horse comic adaptation; featuring a tough female human taking on a Machiavellian Alien Queen with the help of a lone Predator, but transplanted the action from the future of Alien, to the present day of Predator, making it more commercially appealing. Of course, the fans resented the commercialisation of the property and a dodgy, low-budget (but still fun) sequel put the nails in the coffin of this burgeoning franchise. Still, like all Anderson's films, this is beautifully shot, with filled-out characters, nice ideas and a good wallop of action. Mr Anderson, we salute you.

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