It’s game on at Kongs of King Street as we show one of the most infamous computer game film adaptations ever made!
It’s common knowledge that there has never been a good cinematic version of a computer game. Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat, Max Payne, Double Dragon, Tomb Raider – all rubbish.
However, there is one that stands heads and shoulders above them all, not just because it’s bad, but because of the talent involved both in front and behind the camera as well as its tumultuous and eyebrow-raising production shoot.
Now, you might think ‘how can you possibly mess up a film which is simply about characters beating each other up?’. Well, director Steven E De Souza (who wrote Die Hard, The Running Man and Commando) didn’t want to make a standard ‘beat ’em up’ film and instead wanted to do a movie that was “a cross between Star Wars, James Bond and a war film”, hence why there are no supernatural elements such as fireballs.
Capcom, the company behind the popular computer game and who were overseeing the whole production, were fine with this, but they had a couple of conditions – it had to be a PG-13 film so that kids would be able to see it and Jean-Claude Van Damme had to be in it!
Capcom wanted The Muscles From Brussels as all-American hero Colonel Guile, but he was also being courted for the Mortal Kombal movie. Eventually, JCVD opted for Street Fighter – mainly because he would be paid $8 million for appearing in it. The film’s budget was only $35 million.
Production was held in Thailand and Australia and as a result, De Souza had to cast an Australian actor. Legend has it he picked Kylie Minouge simply because he was on a plane at the time and saw her on the cover of the”World’s 30 Most Beautiful People” edition of Who magazine.
Also cast was Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Chun-Li, Wes Studi (Last of the Mohicans) as Sagat and Roshan Seth (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) as Dhalsim. Keep an eye out for famed kickboxer Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez as one of Sagat’s henchman – he was also hired as the film’s fight coordinator.
Rounding out the cast as the villainous M. Bison was Raul Julia, who at the time was suffering from stomach cancer, but took the role at the request of his two children. You have to give it to him – for what ended up being his final performance (Julia died two months before the film was released and is dedicated to his memory), he embraces the role with relish and dials the ham up to 11.
For more details on the film’s troubled shoot which included many of the male cast members hitting the Thai massage parlours and Jean-Claude Van Damme alledgedly having an affair with Kylie Minogue, read this fascinating article on The Polygon.
When: 8.00pm, Sunday 22nd March 2015
Location: Kongs of King Street, 13-15 King Street, Bristol, BS1
£5 (in advance)/£6 (on the night) (all profits to Travelling Light Theatre Company)
This live action spin-off from the beat-’em-up computer game features Jean-Claude Van Damme as Colonel William F Guile, the man in charge of an attempt to rescue a group of hostages held by the evil warlord General M Bison (Raul Julia, in his last screen role). Guile’s sidekicks include Officer Cammy (Kylie Minogue), snooping TV journalist Chun-Li-Zang and a host of characters familiar from the game.
Special guest speaker: Peter Walsh, cinema researcher and JCVD enthusiast
ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD OUT
“In its noisy, pointless way, Street Fighter does come close to the frenetic meandering of a video game scenario — which is precisely the problem.” TV Guide’s Movie Guide
“Bizarre, surreal, and ultimately less engaging than playing Pong with a blind man…” Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
“Even at eleven years old I couldn’t understand why this was so bad while the games were so incredible.” Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed