mortal kombat 1995

Episode 42: Mortal Kombat

Morgan takes Tom through a history of the Mortal Kombat franchise, from the video games to the (mostly) dodgy movies to the forgotten cartoons.

We discuss the origins of ‘Toastie!’, its weird Dad’s Army connection, and the worst line of dialogue in cinema history.

Download the episode, stream in the player above, or subscribe for the latest episodes.

Developments since broadcast:

  • Mortal Kombat is now getting a rebooted film, set to come out in 2021. The reboot will focus on Lewis Tan as Cole Young, with other characters appearing including Liu Kang, Sub Zero, Raiden, Sonya Blade, Scorpion and Jax.

Mortal Kombat launched in 1992 as a video game by Midway Games, based on an idea that Ed Boon and John Tobias had of making a game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Sadly, that fell through, but a fantasy-themed fighting game was created instead, paying homage to the legendary action star with the character Johnny Cage, whose initials and style echo Van Damme’s.

The original game has since spawned many sequels and spin-offs. Film producer Lawrence Kasanoff licensed the rights to the game in the early 1990s, and produced the first hit film ever based on a video game. Let’s just forget about the second film, shall we?

There has also been an animated TV series, live-action TV series, a platinum-selling album and a live-action tour. Mortal Kombat is one of the most successful fighting franchises in the history of video games and one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Mortal Kombat is also known, of course, for its high levels of graphic violence, including its famous ‘Fatalities’, which led to the creation of the ESRB video game rating system.

Check out our previous episodes, including ones based on point and click adventure games and the Duke Nukem franchise.

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