Exactly 20 years ago this week, New Line Cinema, Threshold Entertainment, and director Paul W.S. Anderson adapted one of the most popular AND controversial video games into film - a game conceptualized by Ed Boon and John Tobias and produced then by video game company Midway Games.
The end result was Mortal Kombat - a 1995 movie that pretty much was everything that a video game movie should be and then some - over-the-top action with lots of violence and gore that saw a handful of warriors engaging in a tournament that determined the fate of the world.
If that formula sounds cheesy or ambitious, it certainly was for its time... But this film adaptation had all the elements that made the game it was based on extremely popular to those who enjoyed fighting games and finishing off their opponents in gruesome fashion. Not only that, it featured a trained cast that pretty much embraced their roles well and gave life to "Klassic Kharacters" that were essential to the plot of the games and movie in Robin Shou as Liu Kang, Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage, Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung (YOUR SOUL IS MINE~!), and Christopher "Highlander" Lambert as Rayden.
As one of the earliest and highest grossing movies based on a video game, Mortal Kombat succeeded in becoming #1 in the box office and inspiring a franchise of live-action adaptations based on the series. It's follow-up, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, was more of a forgettable sequel than anything else and failed to live-up to expectations. Fortunately in 2011, a reboot of the live-action series was realized after the release of the short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, which inspired the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy that ran for two seasons. The reinvigoration of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise under Ed Boon and NetherRealm Studios also helped to renew interest in the series, with a new Mortal Kombat film is now currently in development with James Wan signing in to produce it.
So let's end this Throwback Thursday journey with the Music Video that'll get everyone dancing... The theme song to "Mortal Kombat" as done by The Immortals.
Mortal Kombat was released in theaters in August 18, 1995.