The figure standing in front of Jamie and Patrick pulls back his hood. “Nic Cage?” Patrick exclaims. The figure looks contemplatively upon them. “Perhaps. I am and have always been. That is a name I have used to touch humanity. One of many.” He winks and pulls out a $5 bill. “Woah, you were also Abraham Lincoln?!” Jamie says in awe. Nic Cage shrugs his shoulders as if to say “Don’t worry about it.” He turns serious, “I have brought you here to tell you that the fate of the world is in your hands. A great tournament is upon us, one in which one of the realms of this world has the opportunity to conquer Earth. And let me tell you, that would not be very cool.” Jamie nods his head, “We can do it. I know we can win for you… for Earth.” Nic Cage steps back, “You misunderstand. That is not your fate. Rich and Poe. They are the true champions. You must find them.” Jamie and Patrick are totally confused. Rich and Poe? The titular police officers of their smash blockbuster hit? Are their own ninja skillz not enough, they wonder with concern, but Patrick gathers himself and nods. “We’ll do it. We will find these warriors and help them save the world.” Nic Cage smiles briefly before teleporting away. Jamie angrily turns to Patrick. “Bro, we can do this. We are the champions. Look at these muscles, bro.” Jamie flexes but Patrick waves him off. “There is more to this. I can feel it inside. We must find Rich and Poe… if they even exist.” Jamie scoffs, “So what do we know about Rich and Poe? They like Parkour and dogs.” Now it’s Patrick’s turn to scoff, “That describes literally everyone. We wrote them as cops right?”. Jamie turns to looks at the blasted landscape. “Well, I guess we better start walking if we hope to find the nearest police station.” That’s right! We are watching Beverly Hills Cop III. On the wikipedia page Murphy’s lack of effort, how boring the film is, and the fact that this marked the beginning of the end of Murphy’s career (debatable) are the reasons given for why it should be considered amongst the worst of all time. This was not enough because it was rejected. Let’s find out if we reject it as well. Let’s go!
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) – BMeTric: 49.7
(It might just make it back to 50 BMeTric. It is very unusual for a film to claw its way back from around 60, usually they kind of float around 50 and never quite make it. Seems like the rating has settles around 5.5 and it is just dependent on more votes coming in. It is very weird that people would watch this and be like 6/10 for sure. I don’t think it is supposed to be good at all.)
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Detroiter Murphy goes back to L.A., site of a theme park whose in-house security cops have hatched a counterfeiting ring – right under the nose of the sweet old gramps figure (Young) who’s nominally in charge. Fast pace and inspired setting can’t camouflage the bankruptcy of the concept. Gags are subordinate to action here – which, given the gags, may not have been such a bad idea. As usual, Landis features a number of prominent directors (including George Lucas, Joe Dante, Martha Coolidge, Arthur Hiller, Ray Harryhausen, Peter Medak, George Schaefer, Barbet Schroeder, and John Singleton) in cameo roles. Pinochet makes a welcome return from the original Cop movie as Serge.
(I might not have needed a full list of cameos. That sounds like a Zoolander 2 situation, but I haven’t heard much about that being the actual problem with the film elsewhere. He gave it a better review than the second one, which I’ve seen and thought was awful.)
(Oh shit that song though gets me amped. Like honestly … that’s a pretty good trailer. The amusement park setting seems fun, the action seems fun, Murphy seems fun. I can’t wait to see why this is a catastrophe.)
Directors – John Landis – (Known For: Coming to America; The Blues Brothers; Animal House; Trading Places; An American Werewolf in London; The Kentucky Fried Movie; Twilight Zone: The Movie; ¡Three Amigos!; Blues Brothers 2000; Amazon Women on the Moon; Schlock; Future BMT: The Stupids; Burke and Hare; Spies Like Us; Innocent Blood; Oscar; Into the Night; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for Beverly Hills Cop III; and in 1997 for The Stupids; Notes: His career was marred by the on-set deaths of Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh Le, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen in a special effects accident during filming of The Twilight Zone: The Movie. His son, Max Landis, is a screenwriter.)
Writers – Danilo Bach (character) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Someone to Watch Over Me; Future BMT: April Fool’s Day; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: Very little about him available. This is just a character credit, he just wrote the first film, and he’s definitely retired at this point.)
Daniel Petrie Jr. (character) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Turner & Hooch; The Big Easy; Deadly Pursuit; Future BMT: In the Army Now; Toy Soldiers; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: He father was a big time director in the 60s, and his brother Donald is a big time director now. Literally his whole family is in the biz.)
Steven E. de Souza (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; Die Hard 2; Commando; The Running Man; 48 Hrs.; Ricochet; The Return of Captain Invincible; Future BMT: Street Fighter; The Flintstones; Knock Off; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Bad Dreams; BMT: Judge Dredd; Beverly Hills Cop III; Hudson Hawk; Another 48 Hrs.; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Notes: Somewhat well known as the director of Street Fighter as well, which was his only major directorial effort.)
Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Mulan; Coming to America; Trading Places; Shrek; Shrek 2; Boomerang; Beverly Hills Cop; Shrek the Third; Shrek Forever After; The Nutty Professor; Dreamgirls; 48 Hrs.; Tower Heist; Life; Beverly Hills Cop II; Doctor Dolittle; Bowfinger; Imagine That; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; The Distinguished Gentleman; BMT: Norbit; Pluto Nash; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights in 1990; Winner for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit in 2008; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Nominee for Worst Director for Harlem Nights in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Norbit in 2008; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; in 2009 for Meet Dave; in 2010 for Imagine That; and in 2013 for A Thousand Words; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in 2009 for Meet Dave; Notes: Y’all know Eddie Murphy. Rumor is that the sequel to Coming to America is starting production soon for a 2020 release.)
Judge Reinhold – (Known For: Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Gremlins; Beverly Hills Cop; Stripes; Beverly Hills Cop II; Ruthless People; The Santa Clause; The Santa Clause 2; Vice Versa; Homegrown; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Rosalie Goes Shopping; Checking Out; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Zandalee; Swing Vote; Head Office; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: His birthname is Edward, he was nicknamed Judge by his father as a baby.)
Hector Elizondo – (Known For: Pretty Woman; The Lego Batman Movie; The Princess Diaries; Overboard; The Book of Life; Runaway Bride; American Gigolo; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Frankie and Johnny; Nothing in Common; The Flamingo Kid; Go for Sisters; Cuba; Being Human; The Landlord; Tortilla Soup; The Fan; Entropy; Pocket Money; Frankie and Johnny Are Married; Future BMT: Exit to Eden; Turbulence; Getting Even with Dad; The Princess Diaries 2; Private Resort; The Celestine Prophecy; Leviathan; Raising Helen; Dear God; Young Doctors in Love; How High; Necessary Roughness; Love in the Time of Cholera; The Other Sister; Filofax; Born to Win; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Mother’s Day; Georgia Rule; Notes: His star-turning role in Pretty Women was only available because Al Pacino turned it down.)
Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $42,614,912 (Worldwide: $119,208,989)
(That … is fine actually. A little surprising. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but the film is supposed to be so bad I had figured it had stopped the franchise in its tracks.)
(Really really bad for a beloved franchise. I’ll try and make a consensus: A joyless, cynical, simply awful final outing for a beloved franchise.Reviewer Highlight: It’s one of the most cynically engineered sequels ever. – Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times)
(This is of course the logical conclusion to a trilogy of posters. By the end it’s just the star looking at you saying “come watch me be whatever this poster tells you I am.” I could have done without the weird rollercoaster and it feels a little amateurish given it’s a massively popular franchise. But kept the font and not a total disaster.)
Tagline(s) – In for the ride of his life! (B+)
(Is this really about an amusement park or something? Why would they make this? This sounds awful. I guess this tagline performs its task… it is short, plays off the rollercoaster aspect of the plot, and is somewhat clever. But it is giving me anxiety thinking of all the people who were working on a Beverly Hills Cop film set in an amusement park and making posters and taglines related to amusement parks when that’s a terrible idea.)
Keyword(s) – woman with a gun; Top Ten by BMeTric: 69.5 Postal (2007); 60.8 Legion (2010); 60.7 Ishtar (1987); 56.5 Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986); 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012); 53.7 Killers (2010); 53.6 Pandemic (2016); 53.0 Spy Hard (1996); 52.8 Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010); 49.7 Beverly Hills Cop III (1994);
(Ugh Nude Nuns with Big Guns. Gross.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eddie Murphy is No. 1 billed in Beverly Hills Cop III and No. 1 billed in Harlem Nights, which also stars Richard Pryor (No. 2 billed) who is in Superman III (No. 2 billed), which also stars Annette O’Toole (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 7 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 7 = 18. If we were to watch Showtime, and Killer Elite we can get the HoE Number down to 15.
Notes – As Axel Foley jumps onto the Spider ride at Wonder World, the man that he jumps in front of was George Lucas. (Coooooool)
Production was temporarily shut down to allow the Paramount top brass the chance to get to grips with the film’s spiraling budget. Originally estimated at fifty-five million dollars, it was soon in excess of seventy million dollars. Of that budget, fifteen million dollars was Eddie Murphy’s paycheck. (Oof, so yeah … not really a financial success then.)
Initially, the plot for this film would’ve concerned Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart (John Ashton) going to London to rescue Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox), who was being held hostage by terrorists during a International Police Convention. However, numerous problems, such as scripting issues and the budget, caused pre-production to drag out to the point that John Aston and Ronny Cox had to drop out, due to obligations to other pending film projects. (Awww international sequels are the worst, and thus that would have been the best)
The Alien Attack ride that Janice (Theresa Randle) demonstrates to Axel when he first comes to Wonder World, is actually the Earthquake section of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The alien robots are the Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica (1978)) from a section of the old Universal Tour “Battle Of Galactica”. (WHAT)
In an interview with The A.V. Club in 2009, Bronson Pinchot claimed that Eddie Murphy “was really depressed” at the time the movie was being filmed, claiming that Murphy was low-spirited and had a low energy level. He was depressed that most of his most recent star vehicles had either underperformed or bombed. (Yeah, this is a year before Vampire in Brooklyn which really tanked his career. Ebert says on his program that at that point he should have done a few small parts with a great director … instead he bounced back with The Nutty Professor which sent his career in a whole other direction before cratering)
In a 2005 interview, John Landis claimed that Eddie Murphy worked against the comedy of the film by deliberately not being funny. Landis said that the film “was a very strange experience”.
The Annihilator 2000 shown off by Serge at the security convention is actually a dressed up 5.56mm Colt M16, with extras. (Gun facts)
Among the rejected ideas for “Beverly Hills Cop III” included a Robert Towne screenplay idea (one in which Axel Foley has to deal with his celebrity cop status), a scenario teaming Eddie Murphy with Sir Sean Connery as a Scotland Yard detective, and another Axel Foley-in-London idea, where his Scotland Yard counterpart would have been played by John Cleese. The last story would have involved a British gangster loosely based on the real-life Kray brothers, who was captured in Detroit and transported to London by Paul Reiser’s Jeffrey, and Axel would have gone overseas after the gangster’s henchmen broke him out of custody and murdered Jeffrey. This concept was scrapped, because producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer decided it was too close to the storyline of Black Rain (1989). (All sound terrible to be honest, although Connery would have been bonkers)
Disney Composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who wrote the Wonder World song for the movie, both filmed cameos. Robert was among the old men discussing the murder at the bar, but Richard’s cameo as the Grand Marshal of the Wonder World parade was cut out.
Eddie Murphy said he thought “Beverly Hills Cop III was infinitely better than Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).” He then later claimed during an interview in 2006 on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) that he felt the third film was “atrocious” and such a disgrace that “the character was kind of banished for a while (from Hollywood).” He said he felt the third film did not reveal enough of the “edginess” of Axel that was present in the first two films. He also said he hopes to return the edgy qualities to the character when he reprises the role next time, and is going to pay more attention to the development of the project, and its quality. (Hmmmm actually makes me more interested in a Beverly Hills Cop IV)
One idea for the film came from Brandon Tartikoff who suggested a crossover film, with Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee, but the idea was rejected by Eddie Murphy. (WHAT)
The Land of the Dinosaurs ride is the closed ride called Kingdom of the Dinosaurs from Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.
The location of Wonder World according to Rosewood’s map is in Encino, California. (Got to keep an eye out for that)
Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (Robert Rehme, Mace Neufeld, 1995)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Landis, 1995)
Mortal Kombat is back, Jack! The Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, decides that Mortal Kombat is dumb and decides to merge Outworld and Earthrealm together anyway. Our heroes are like “but rulez=coolz, bro” and fight against this bullshit. Can they stop Shao and save Earth before it’s too late? Find out in… Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
How?! After returning victorious from the last film our heroes Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Raiden, and Kitana are high fiving a whole bunch and having a pretty rad time. Suddenly the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, is like “whatever, I’m not a loser, you guys are losers,” and starts to merge Outworld and Earthrealm together anyway. Everyone is like, “WTF, mate. What about the roolz?” and Shao Kahn flips all over the place and kills Johnny Cage and everyone has to flee. Raiden splits everyone up so that they can figure out how to stop the realms from merging. Sonya heads off to get her friend Jax, who turns out to have gotten metal arms because of confidence issues (?). Together they fight and defeat Cyrax and Mileena (obviously) and some truly dire CGI monsters. Meanwhile Liu and Kitana are sent to find Nightwolf and learn his secrets. On the way Kitana is captured by Scorpion and taken prisoner. Knowing that Nightwolf is a major character that will play a major role in the film Liu continues on and learns from him that he needs to tap into his inner Animality. While trying to pass a series of ill-defined tests in order to do so he meets Jade who seems like a bad guy but is apparently a good guy (wink). Finally, Raiden meets up with the Elder Gods and is like “rules?” and they are like “whatever. Deal with it.” All back together at the Elder God temple they get attacked by Kitana’s mom and jump over to Outworld. Believing that they have to bring Kitana and her mom back together Liu goes off and rescues her while the rest subdue Kitana. This turns out to be a trick as it’s revealed that Jade is a bad guy (what a twist!) and this plan was doomed to failure. They decide to just finish it and head off to battle Shao Kahn and his toadies. Once there they square off and show that they really believe in themselves and can tap into their Animality and don’t need metal arms and shit. Victorious they return to Earth and smooch each other. God this was dumb. THE END.
Why?! It’s funny because as Patrick mentions this very much fits the definition of a MacGuffin plot… just without the MacGuffin itself. Like they have to stop Outworld from merging with Earthrealm, it is the crux and motivation for the entire plot, and they proceed to start trying to do that by… something, something, something don’t worry about it. I should also mention that this is a nice classic Dumbo’s Feather as the key to Jax winning his fight in the film is to just believe in himself, bro. Just go get it.
Who?! Always like a very minor athlete-turned-actor as Lynn “Red” Williams, who played Jax in this film, was also a star running back for Kansas in the mid-80’s and drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft. He never was able to make it though and retired after breaking his back in the offseason and nearly getting paralyzed. He then answered an open casting call for American Gladiators and was Sabre on that for a number of seasons.
What?! I’m really disappointed in this franchise for the lack of any and all Coke products. I want them slamming Mountain Dew and getting X-treme on some Outworld ass. Not just being a product placement in and of itself. Sigh. I guess I’ll just point out that you at one point could buy a Mortal Kombat: Annihilation crew denim jacket in an online auction. Final bid? 30 pounds. A steal and quite the missed opportunity. Sigh.
Where?! Technically this takes place in a whole bunch of places since Outworld and Earthrealm are merging so the final climactic fight takes place near the Eiffel Tower. Is this then set in France. No way. Just Outworld for a large portion and then China, Hawaii, Jordan, etc. for the rest. Gotta once again go with a N/A for the fictional location that dominated the setting.
When?! Thank Elder Gods I did the heavy lifting in the original Mortal Kombat. In that film I came to the conclusion that it was likely set in August, 1994 sometime (I think). Since this film immediately follows that film then this is obviously a period piece set in the far past of 1994. I would of course have to confirm this, but choose to believe it for the moment. D- as it’s not at all clear from the film itself.
My god… what hath thou wrought? This somehow looks even worse than the previous film minus the humor and 5000x times harder to follow. Straight up convoluted mess. I stopped really knowing why things were happening halfway through because they just were and I just was… watching a movie that was a giant pile of dog poo. As happens quite often in BMT a film that is generally regarded as one of the worst of all time (or near enough to get rejected from that list) turns out to be quite bad. What a twist! Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! This week I actually got terribly ill and couldn’t watch the film for BMT. During my fever I feel like I hallucinated some nonsense with James Remar and the guy who played Night Slasher in Cobra … wait, that was the actual movie?! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – As brought to you by a director who has exclusively directed terrible films (Annabelle and Butterfly Effect 2 are his two others), and about 17 writers, two of which were involved with the catastrophic venture of Foodfight! These are the guys who are supposed to take over your martial arts video game film? Cool cool cool cool cool. This was destined to be a catastrophe, like Super Mario Bros. before it.
The Good – Uh. I like the guy who played Night Slasher in Cobra in general? Some of the set pieces, while looking like garbage, were kind of fun, the collapsing ice bridge comes to mind.
The Bad – Literally everything. I know I sometimes say that about movies … but in this case there is no hyperbole. The film is incomprehensible. Completely impossible to understand. The martial arts action looks like crap, the CGI looks like crap, and top to bottom the acting is crap. The film is, quite literally, one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It is genuinely stunning that it was released to theaters. This should have been shoved directly to video so hard that Blockbuster’s quarterly profits would be 95% people mistakenly renting Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. This film is crazy. It makes you go crazy.
The BMT – And obvious emphatic yes! This, I think, has one of the strongest cases for not only most BMT film of the year this year, but also possibly for a Hall of Fame spot in years. The fact that we’ve now watched Universal Soldier: The Return, Highlander: The Final Dimension, Escape Plan 2: Hades, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (that’s a whole lotta colons!) four weeks in a row … it is a testament to any sequel/franchise cycle I think. We should have done this ages ago! Looking forward to our planned cycles of the year I’m not joking when I say this could be the best year in BMT history, just from a classic bad movie perspective.
Roast-radamus – Looking ahead to the Smaddies Baddies it is interesting that the film doesn’t really have any of the things we award in the 6Ws. Maybe you could argue it is a kind of MacGuffin (Why?) because there is this very vague idea of trying to combine Kitana with her mother (whatever that means) to close the portals. But it is a stretch. It certainly will have a very strong case for The BMT award, which I suppose it good enough for me.
StreetCreditReport.com – The lists are somewhat hard to come by, but The Rifftrax guys did a list a while back which put it at 13th worst of the 90s. This video games list has a bit too much recency bias, but still manages 8th worst there which is impressive. I think it should be higher up, but for whatever reason the credible lists all got lost to time in the mid-90s.
You Just Got Schooled – Back in 2010 a short film came out called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Produced by Kevin Tancharoen it was meant as a launchpad for a movie reboot. But Midway Games wasn’t having it. Instead it became a web series. As an adaption the short film is problematic. It completely dumps the Outworld angle, makes most mystical things practical, and kills Johnny Cage. In other words it is exactly the type of gritty reboot the world was looking for a year after The Dark Knight. Tancharoen is mostly a choreographer, and that was what seemed to be on offer: solid fight scenes so darkly lit that you could produce them for basically nothing. I remember being intrigued at the time, but not surprised producers didn’t go for it because it diverged from the story too much. F as an adaptation, but a solid B+ for execution and as a short film. Funny enough I watched the Scorpion / Sub-Zero episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy and lo and behold, all of the Netherworld / Outworld mysticism is back and so is the tournament … maybe that should have been in Rebirth then. The web series does seem cool though.
Phew. There you have it. Straight up amazing garbage. Cheerios,
MORTAL KOMBAT! Our heroes, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage hold the key to Earthrealm’s victory over Outworld in the ultimate tournament of champions. Can they beat Outworld and prevent the conquering of Earth (and maybe get a girl), before it’s too late? Find out in… Mortal Kombat.
How?! Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage all have reasons to fight. These reasons are exploited to get them embroiled in a fighting tournament that will decide the fate of Earth. That’s because Shang Tsung and his Outworld warriors have assembled in an attempt to beat Earthrealm for the 10th time in a row. If they succeed then Earth will be taken over by Outworld and let me tell you… it won’t be pretty. At the tournament Raiden, the God of Thunder and protector of Earth, tries to teach our crew the necessary lessons that will help them succeed. Unfortunately Sonya is too hell bent on revenge, Johnny too obsessed with proving himself, and Liu Kang too focused on fighting Shang Tsung himself that it all seems lost. It’s only when they realize the true reason to fight (the fate of Earth and that’s some pretty serious stuff) that they can live up to their destiny. Johnny challenges Goro, a monster fighter with all kinds of muscles and arms and shit, and is able to beat him, but Shang Tsung seizes on the agreement on the fight to challenge Sonya and take her to Outworld as his captive. Hoping to have her forfeit the fight and thus lose the tournament he is sorely disappointed when our boy Liu shows up and is like “I challenge you, man” and they karate chop each other a whole bunch until Shang is thrown onto some spikes. Our best friends return to Earth victors and are like “nothing bad will happen now.” But then the sky opens up and a terrible voice is heard declaring the premise for a sequel, which is that the entire movie you watched didn’t matter at all. THE END.
Why?! Very clear motivations all around here. Shang Tsung wants to take over Earth because it’s got all this vibrant life and he wants to squeeze it dry. Raiden just wants to help Earth defend itself. Liu Kang wants revenge for his brother, Sonya Blade wants revenge for her dead partner, and Johnny Cage wants to prove to everyone that he ain’t no showbiz fake but a true martial arts master.
Who?! Surprisingly boring in this regard. Not a whole bunch of the typical tropes we look for in this category are found in this film. The best we got was a cameo by video game creator Ed Boon who got a credit as the voice of Scorpion in the film (as he is also credited in the video games). Technically speaking he is the longest running voice artist in video game history having voiced Scorpion in every iteration of the game.
What?! All kinds of gobbledegook in this film from Earthrealm to Outworld to the Shokan prince Goro. Unfortunately they are aren’t fighting for the Staff of Taijin or something, just the fate of the world. Boring. It is more or less a product in and of itself, since it’s an adaptation of a video game (and one of the most successful product placement films of all time).
Where?! We get a few scenes in Hong Kong and in China (presumably, given that Liu Kang is from a Shaolin Monastery). The film is primarily set in Shang Tsung’s island, though. Found between Earthrealm and Outworld, the island falls staunchly in the “other” category of settings. While specific, I have to give it a N/A as it is fake.
When?! This was a hard one, but very important for the sake of the series. The second film picks up right where the first left off so if we could nail this down here then we are gold for that one too. It’s hard, though, since the series exists outside of space and time for the most part. The best clue we have is a “Johnny Cage A Fake” issue of the Examiner which seems to have been released in the first week of August, 1994. The person reading it implies that this is probably somewhat recent so it’s not bad guess. Hard to read though and a little shaky. C+.
I actually was surprised at how much I didn’t mind large parts of this film. One of those silly tournament films that basically write themselves, but it also has some humor and a gigantic animatronic Goro monster that is impressive and interesting to look at. However, the computer graphics are a complete mess and why I can’t really say this is not that bad. It took some balls to do, but they are objectively terrible and the scenes where they are used (and there are a lot of them) are actually hard to watch.
‘Ello everyone! Da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da da da da da! MORTAL KOMBAT! Video game films are universally terrible … welp, there it is. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – So I don’t think I saw this in theaters, but I certainly saw it when I was a young boy. I did not remember that Christopher Lambert was in it, and it is pretty crazy this was a very early Paul W. S. Anderson film. Other than that this was really about watching what was (kind of sadly) the best reviewed video game film until Angry Birds in 2016 …
The Good – The matte paintings, Goro’s animatronics, some of the fighting action all are exactly what you want from the film. It somehow is, as the critics said, appropriately cheesy in that regard. Our three main actors’ banter and companionship were believable and fun. Lambert is somewhat amusing as well. The tournament structure lends itself to a pretty interesting mystery story that is extremely easy to follow.
The Bad – The CGI. Woof. This is actually pretty close to A Sound of Thunder (except, you know … a decade earlier). Reptile and Scorpion’s hook/chain things look just awful. So awful in fact that it probably makes Goro look better in comparison. The ending is pretty rough as well, they should have let the story breathe with the happy ending instead of immediately jumping into Mortal Kombat II.
The BMT – No, this isn’t BMT. This should have, in reality, gotten maybe like a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, maybe a bit higher. I don’t think it is quite into “it’s not that bad” territory because of the CGI, but if they had skipped that I would have thought maybe. You kind of have to be a no-fun-having misanthrope to not at least understand why people think this film is genuinely good.
Roast-radamus – A new game! Here I’ll try and place the film we just saw into one of the Smaddies Baddies categories for end of the year awards. A truly self-fulfilling prophecy for Roast-radamus. For Mortal Kombat I think there are two options. First you could consider it for the Worst Twist (How?) Razzie for daring to make the end of the film just be the Emperor of Outworld deciding to invade Earth. More realistically this sneaks into The Good category for being a movie that wasn’t that bad. Hopefully we have better options than Mortal Kombat though.
StreetCreditReport.com – There isn’t much here as far as street credit, you’d probably be able to more easily find lists where this film is considered one of the best video game films, or an underrated action film. I did find this crazy thing. I agree kind of with their assessment, but Goro was also easily better than the terrible CGI, so they are wrong there. Since I won’t be using it in the sequel recap I’ll also point out that they are far far too kind to Annihilation (spoiler alert).
You Just Got Schooled – This week I watched the pilot episode for the 1998 live action Mortal Kombat television series, Mortal Kombat: Conquest. It premiered on October 3, 1998. The opening sequence in particular follows the game format so closely that is was, dare I say, interesting? After that though is kind of meaders about and the actions of and towards the female characters are problematic on multiple levels. The pilot is extremely long, the series looks like genuine shit, and the acting is an abomination, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, it is crap … but not a bad adaptation for brief moments. It was produced directly to syndication and eventually picked up by TNT to run after WCW Monday Nitro. It apparently was popular, but cost too much and only lasted a season. As an adaption I’ll give it a surprising B- mostly downgraded for lack of quality and Kombat, as a show maybe a D+, it was pretty brutal to get through but better than something like Highlander (narrowly).
Like a precog from Minority Report this film makes you feel like you took a bunch of drugs and can see into the future … and that future just might involved Smaddies Baddies awards and the Hall of Fame. Can you understand anything from this film?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Wait, I thought they won the tournament and saved Earth for a generation. What is the Bad Guy even talking about?
2) But how would the Elder Gods let this happen?!
3) After Johnny Cage get killed like an idiot our heroes, Raiden, Lui Kang, Sonya Blade, and Kitana decide they have to split up. Where do all of them go and why?
4) What is the lame ass reason the Elder Gods are letting this happen?
5) Oh God can you even piece together the good and bad guys’ plans at this point? My head hurts.
Are you ready for Mortal Pop Quiz Hot Shot! You best be, Fight!
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) There are three main fighters of concern fighting to save Earth from the Outworld Trashpeople (that’s their team name, I think I heard it one time), Johnny Cage, Lui Kang, and Sonya Blade. Why are they in the tournament?
2) There are six main baddies on the Trashpeople side, Goro, Shang Tsung, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, and Kane (Trashpeople are stacked!). Name their powahs!
3) What is the political structure of Outworld, from what you can glean from the movie at least?
4) Why does Shang Tsung want to kidnap Sonya?
5) Ultimately why does Kitana help our heroes defeat Shang Tsung and thus prevent Outworld from taking over Earth?
In the Z-universe’s most notorious prison, the Robotoronic Jail 3000, two prisoners blow a hole in the prison wall and walk to their freedom while sirens wail. They begin the long walk across the Wasted Land towards Ecumenopolis.
“Keep digging,” whispers Patrick as Jamie attacks the wall with a sharpened spoon. After three weeks they both know it’s time to blow this joint and they’re doing it the old fashioned way. No kung fu hacking or super powers. This is just lean muscle, a spoon, and a stone wall. Well guess what? You done lost, wall. Jamie breaks through into a large air vent and Patrick turns to their friend Kyle who was the muscle to their brains in this terrible place. “Kyle, you’ve been a true friend showing us the ropes and helping us navigate the prison world. I’ll always remember when you took a shiv for me. It’s a memory I’ll cherish.” Kyle nods. “Come with us. Help us figure out our destiny.” Just as Kyle is about to join them in the vent a large gust of winds blows the entrance closed and blows Jamie and Patrick deeper into an underground tunnel. Patrick looks up to where Kyle had been waiting, but Jamie puts a hand on his should. “He’s gone. I’m sure we’ll meet him again. We have to move forward.” Patrick grudgingly nods and looks around at where they’ve landed. It’s a fork in the road. A path to the left and a path to the right. Jamie hesitates, “We must go left, Patrick. Something seems off about the right.” But Patrick is already heading that way, drawn by some force within. Jamie follows, trying to pull him back but a steady wind starts pushing them forward until they are tumbling head over heels. They land in a world unlike Earth. The clouds overhead are gray and move unnaturally fast. A hooded figure stands in front of them. “The wind,” whispers Patrick. “It’s been trying to get us here this whole time,” responds Jamie. The hooded figure speaks. “Welcome to my world, Bad Movie Twins. Are you ready to defend Earth in the tournament of champions?” That’s right! We’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!
(Sub-4.0 is incredible obviously. And that BMeTric. It it the 28th highest BMeTric for any wide release ever! That is pretty impressive. Got to tick those boxes. There are only seven above it we haven’t watched: Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Son of Mask, Vampires Suck, House of the Dead, Street Fighter, and BloodRayne.)
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Mind-numbing sequel rehashes battle between good and evil for the fate of mankind (yawn). OK visual effects but endless fight scenes and dreadful acting stop film dead in its tracks. Of interest only to American Gladiator fanatics and vidkids with really low attention spans. Remar’ morph from David Carradine-style kung fu sensei to turbo warrior is unintentionally hilarious.
(Vidkids? “Low” attention spans? Some real shade here. Not that the film doesn’t deserve it, I’m like 99% sure it is complete hot garbage, and I can’t wait.)
(Redux edit eehhhhhhhh. Hey guys watch out for all of the ninjas. This film looks like complete and utter garbage. And wait, is that the Night Slasher from BMT Hall of Fame inductee Cobra! I think it is. As if I wasn’t amped already.)
Directors – John R. Leonetti – (Future BMT: Annabelle; Wish Upon; Wolves at the Door; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Prominent cinematographer who has intermittently delved into feature directing. He is probably best known for his collaboration with James Wan on the Conjuring universe of films.)
Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the creators and the game designer of the video game franchise. Also the voice of Scorpion.)
Lawrence Kasanoff (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: WTF. This is the Foodfight! guy. We have now completing his screenwriting filmography. But he thought making a new Pixar was easy, failed miserably, and made an extremely unpleasant animated film. Read the Alpha and Omega recap for more information.)
Joshua Wexler (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was 26 years old when we produced and got a story credit on this film! Also got a writing credit on Foodfight! Currently serves as the Chief Executive of Fun (CEF?) for Pure Imagination Studios (not joking))
John Tobias (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the two creators of the video game. Not sure why he got a “story” credit on this one and the other creator, Ed Boon, didn’t. He is credited with most of the character development for the first set of games.)
Brent V. Friedman (screenplay) – (Known For: Ticks; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Another writer on Foodfight! He and Bryce Zabel created a show Dark Skies following the success of X-Files and he’s been mostly in TV since then.)
Bryce Zabel (screenplay) – (Known For: Atlantis: The Lost Empire; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was once a correspondent for CNN before moving to mostly television writing. He was the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.)
Actors – Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Has a degree in Civil Engineering and actually worked for a couple years in the field before quitting and finding his way first into stunt work and then into acting.)
Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Spike of Bensonhurst; Piñero; Future BMT: Spy Hard; The Sunchaser; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Married to one of our BMT faves Benjamin Bratt of Catwoman fame.)
James Remar – (Known For: Django Unchained; The Warriors; The Girl Next Door; X: First Class; Ratatouille; What Lies Beneath; RED; Pineapple Express; February; 48 Hrs.; The Phantom; Cruising; The Long Riders; Drugstore Cowboy; The Cotton Club; White Fang; Boys on the Side; Miracle on 34th Street; The Dream Team; Fear X; Future BMT: Psycho; The Unborn; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Quest; Blade: Trinity; Duplex; Persecuted; Fatal Instinct; Rent-a-Cop; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Renaissance Man; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Horns; Band of the Hand; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Judge Dredd; 2 Fast 2 Furious; The Clan of the Cave Bear; Wild Bill; Notes: I know him from The Warriors and as Dexter’s dad on the television series Dexter and am shocked at how many BMT films we’ve seen him in. Interesting story is that he was originally cast as Hicks in Aliens but had to be replaced, but you can still see him in some scenes that were too expensive to reshoot.)
Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $35,927,406 (Worldwide: $51,376,861)
(And yeah, that is super duper terrible considering the performance of the original. A complete and utter rejection of this franchise just as it began.)
(Just a little below Universal Soldier there. A wonder Showtime didn’t pick it up for series after this (heyyoooooo). On the downswing of martial arts … literally right before Rush Hour and The Matrix blow it up again.)
(Just a little below Hitman which is somewhat surprising honestly. I would have imagined that at least some of the other halfway decent video game films would have done better than this. Then again … I did see this film in theaters, so literal morons did spent money on it.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/40): With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat – Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
(So close to being one of the worst every 0% films. It would have been top ten for sure. Reviewer Highlight: Never — at least not since the first Mortal Kombat — has tedium been so loud, so full of backward flips and flying fists to the kissers of centaurs from another realm. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)
(It is the exact same poster… weird. Still bad font, but short and sweet and with a little more pizzazz color-wise. It’s just slightly better than OK this time.)
Tagline(s) – Destroy all expectations. (Lol.)
(Holy shit. Is this a joke? This is a joke, right? I mean, yes. It certainly destroyed any and all expectations people had. Particularly any expectation of another sequel.)
Keyword(s) – warrior; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.8 Catwoman (2004); 94.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.0 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997);
(Come out and play. To think. Ten of the top 30 or so worst films by BMeTric have the keyword “warrior”. Useless.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 1 billed in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – A third Mortal Kombat film was going to be developed, called “Mortal Kombat: Devastation”. Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby, Adoni Maropis, Robin Shou, Chris Casamassa, Keith Cooke, and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams were hired to be in the cast as Lord Rayden, Johnny Cage, Quan Chi, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Jax, respectively. Talisa Soto and Sandra Hess were in talks to reprise their respective roles of Princess Kitana and Lt. Sonya Blade. However, plans for a third film fell through and the film rights went to Warner Bros., which is planning a Mortal Kombat reboot. (Wait … Lambert was going to come back? I don’t believe it)
Ray Park’s first film role was as Rayden’s fight double in this movie. (Darth Maul baby)
Michael Jai White was scheduled to play as Jax, but eventually he got the lead part in Spawn (1997) instead. He would eventually portray Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Amazing to think that you could say “taking that role in Spawn was a very good move”)
For years, a third Mortal Kombat movie was being developed by New Line Cinema to atone for the poor reception to “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” mink was hired to direct, and then Russell Mulcahy was hired to replace him. Sean Catherine Derek and Lawrence Kasanoff took turns writing the script, which would have had Johnny Cage resurrected to help the heroes against Quan Chi and a resurrected Shang Tsung. However, according to cast member Chris Casamassa, who would have reprised his role as Scorpion, production was halted when Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the sets and the film ultimately never happened. (WHAT)
In the film, Jax fitted his arms with “muscle enhancers”; essentially a sort of exoskeleton that quadrupled his muscle capacity. However in the storyline for Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) (One of the shared premises for this film) Jax had his actual arms removed and fitted himself with the bionic arms.
Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) are the only actors from the first film to reprise their roles. The other main characters are portrayed by different actors. The only other actor to return was Keith Cooke, but as a different character. In the first film, he was Reptile. Here, he portrays Sub-Zero.
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras was offered to reprise the role of Sonya Blade, but then turned it down for the role of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sister in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). (Oh yeah … slashers are always a good choice a think, if only for the miniscule chance of becoming a scream queen.)
Both Deron McBee (Motaro) and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams (Jax) are former American Gladiators (1989), and they have a fight scene in this film together. (People must have been going bananas at the time)
Chris Casamassa was to reprise his role as Scorpion, but he was committed to do stunt work in Batman & Robin (1997). (Somehow a movie with a higher BMeTric, what are the odds?)
Featured in Rob Hill’s The Bad Movie Bible. (Hmmm might need to check out, read, and hate this book at some point in the future.)
If you are looking for the Adventures of The Bad Movie Twins they continue on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation preview. That’s right! This week we’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!
Mortal Kombat (1995) – BMeTric: 40.0
(It’ll be above 6.0 on IMDb soon. The BMeTric is shocking high I think. I was honestly under the impression that Mortal Kombat was the first non-qualifying video game film ever. For some reason I thought it had managed near 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nope. Legitimately every single video game film ever qualified until Tomb Raider of last year! WTF. Watch out for May, because I have a feeling Detective Pikachu might be our first fresh video game film ever made.)
Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Shou, Ashby, and Wilson are among those kompeting in a martial arts tournament with nothing less than the fate of Earth in the balance. Elaborate special effects and impressive set design are helpless against a weak story, uneven akting, and komikally thin karakters. Mostly one fight after another, as you might expect from a movie based on a video game. Followed by a sequel.
(Boo, Leonard got to it first, how am I supposed to add superfluous k’s to things once the joke has been done? For a 1.5 star review it is actually pretty mild. At least, you can kind of see how it ended up getting kind of reasonable reviews: set design.)
(That set design though. For real though, Christopher Lambert, what you allowing them to do to your hair? And the CGI for real looks absolutely awful. The series of action shots with their names being whispered beneath them. MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! I’m in!)
Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; Event Horizon; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Notes: A BMT fave married to a likely future BMT fave Milla Jovovich… we just haven’t seen enough of her films I don’t think, but she has a lot.)
Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Is technically credited for having the record for the longest working video game voice role since he has voiced Scorpion in all the games and this film.)
John Tobias (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: The character Noob Saibot is an anagram of his and Ed Boon’s names.)
Kevin Droney (written by) – (BMT: Wing Commander; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Wrote on The Highlander TV series. He also wrote a book called Le Missionnaire in the 80’s but it was only released in France… so I guess we have to learn French now.)
Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Bel Canto; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Fortress; Subway; White Material; To Kill a Priest; Future BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Beowulf; Fortress 2; Southland Tales; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; The Sicilian; Loaded Weapon 1; Gunmen; Knight Moves; Resurrection; The Hunted; Electric Slide; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Who would have thought we’d watch two Lambert films so close together. Married to Diane Lane for several years.)
Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Apparently trained Milla Jovovich for her role in the Resident Evil franchise.)
Linden Ashby – (Known For: Iron Man Three; Wyatt Earp; The Joneses; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Future BMT: Prom Night; Resident Evil: Extinction; 8 Seconds; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Notes: Replaced Brandon Lee in Mortal Kombat after his sudden death in 1993.)
Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $70,454,098 (Worldwide: $122,195,920)
(Obviously a huge success. Literally just turn around and green light the sequel, definitely can’t be a total joke catastrophe after this success right?)
(Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3 are three of the top 4 on the list. But this is surprisingly good for a BMT film, only being beaten by The Last Airbender. Came as the genre was waning a bit in the 90s, right before Jackie Chan and The Matrix breathed new life into it.)
(This is our 15th BMT film I think. This was a true early days of the genre, prior to it struggling to land any kind of hit in the 2000s. Really has kicked up a notch since 2015 in both large theatrical releases and gross. Possibly bodes well for the future.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (12/32): Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.
(Appropriately cheesy? These is no such thing. The reviews are quite interesting. Most of the big print critics gave it tepidly good reviews. Reviewer Highlight: The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)
(This is basically as mediocre a poster as you can get. It’s short and sweet but clearly riding on the known property that is the symbol. A little weird they chose to move away from the video game font/color scheme and make both much more boring.)
Tagline(s) – Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This (C-)
(So I guess this is a play on the fact that it take place literally out of this world? I’m not in love with it. Long. Repeats the word this, which make it hard to think about. And only vaguely informative. Everything about the poster and tagline says “don’t ruin this for the video game fans out there… just do as little as possible.”)
Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997);86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.4 Far Cry (2008); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999);
(Getting there. Far Cry and BloodRayne don’t technically qualify, but I bet we could get one of them in via Bring a Friend fairly soon. Super Mario Bros. might very literally be one of the biggest bad movies we still haven’t watched for BMT. I’ve seen it in real life dozens of times, just not for BMT.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 2 billed in Mortal Kombat and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is also in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – Ed Boon, co-creator of the original video game Mortal Kombat (1992), starred as the voice of Scorpion.
Brandon Lee was said to have been originally cast as Johnny Cage, but died before production began. (Sad stuff)
Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage to do Street Fighter (1994). The character in the games was originally based on him. (I mean, fine choice. There probably should have been a terrible Street Fighter sequel as well)
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras performed all her own stunts (refusing to use a double), including the fight scenes. She dislocated her shoulder during one scene, but they were able to fix it on set, without any recurrence. (I love Wilson-Sampras fun facts)
The film’s soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.
At around 6 minutes, Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage’s first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the “director” character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this. (Ha!)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers’ first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.
Chris Casamassa was hired to work as a stunt ninja. At the audition the producers were so impressed that he got the part of Scorpion. (I mean … you have a character whose face is covered 100% of the time. Don’t you usually hire stunt men for that? It feels like a Darth Maul or Snake-Eyes situation)
At around 1 hour 12 minutes, when Reptile in his chameleon creature form takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say “Reptile”. This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).
Christopher Lambert also voiced Rayden in the French dubbed version of the film.
Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano’s history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard’s nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent. (What the hell is this fact?)
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras had read and auditioned for the part of Sonya Blade several times, but due to the long casting process, she chose to do Billy Madison (1995) instead. Christina Applegate was also considered for the role but Cameron Diaz was cast after the producers saw dailies of her from The Mask (1994). However, Diaz broke her wrist during training, just before filming. Fortunately, filming on Billy Madison had just wrapped, making Wilson available again. She happily took the role, even if it meant that she had to be flown to the set the next day, and had to train for the big fight scenes in between shooting the rest of the movie.
The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn’t have to make constant trips to and from the mainland. (That’s how you get those vistas baby!)
Robin Shou originally turned down the opportunity to audition for the movie, assuming that he’d be cast as a stereotypical Asian villain. He reconsidered at the advice of his agent. (And the rest is history I guess? Not that Shou became some mega star after I suppose)
The coined phrase “Flawless Victory” (a match where the victor sustains no attacks from their opponent) was used regarding four matches in the film. However only two of the matches meet the criteria: Sub-Zero’s first match against a henchmen and Johnny Cage’s match against Goro. (Nerd! You are such a nerd!)
Robin Shou said that in the original script he “was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don’t want to add romance to it. They cut it out.” (Smart move. Probably part of the reason it got reasonable reviews)
Steve James was to have played Jax but died a year before production on the film began. Gregory McKinney, who replaced James, died in 1998. Both actors died at the age of 41. (That’s nuts. Steve James died of pancreatic cancer, but I can’t find anything about McKinney surprisingly)
According to the film, the Outworld fighters have won nine straight victories of Mortal Kombat and only need one more in order to take over Earth. Given that the tenth tournament takes place in 1995, this means that the Earth-realm had been participating since 1725 (considering the battle taking place once a generation means every 30 years). (That’s a bad losing streak. I don’t necessarily hate Outworld, I just find it boring that they win all of the time you know?)
Gary Daniels, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were considered for the role of Johnny Cage. (Gary Daniels? Who told you that? Gary Daniels in a fake moustache?)
Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson (1995). He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Neither of those are real films though, you know?)
A music video was created for the KMFDM single “Juke Joint Jezebel” and featured clips of fight scenes from the movie, but it was pulled by MTV due to complaints about its violent content. (Oh you mean this thing?)
Quickly after the movie’s box office success, director Paul W.S. Anderson was asked by New Line Cinema to helm a sequel, but he had set his mind to doing something completely different, and accepted the offer to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson nicknamed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras “RoboBabe”. (That’s weird and offensive … I choose not to believe it for now)
Included in the movie novelization was a detailed opening scene of an unsuccessful joint mission of arresting Black Dragon members by the Special Forces and an international task force, which culminates in Kano killing the task force’s lieutenant who is designated therein as Sonya’s murdered partner. (I have a policy that the instant a novelization is mentioned I’m out)