For Those Who Love or Hate Uwe Boll

So, it seems like world wide Street Fighter 2 mania really hit its nadir when enterprising film makers decided to adapt it into live action motion picture entertainment. It was for the tremendously awful 1994 film by Steven E. De Souza that Raul Julia gave his final performance before his untimely death, though the two unfortunate happenings were purportedly unrelated. It's arguable that the success of Paul W.S. Anderson's Mortal Kombat film might have been unrelated to Street Fighter's failure as well, though it hardly matters now.
One wonders what became of the actors for this... thing. I like to think one or two of them died of embarrassment. Though not quite as outrageous as it looks from the clip above, the Korean Street Fighter 2 television series deserves its minute infamy. From the opening it's clear that the production value and technical proficiency are on a level just below that of a bottom tier Mexican telenovela. I watched part of an episode with RockmanXZ24, who laughed hardest at the game footage in the opening, which looks to have been taken with a vhs camera pointed at an arcade cabinet monitor. The interlacing is rather noticeable.
Having seen a full episode, I've got to say that I wasn't expecting so many faceless ninjas to get pummeled. Neither was I expecting for Ken and Ryu's master (God help me for knowing this: in the Street Fighter canon, he's known as Gouken, but I don't know Korean and doubt that they're using that name) to play such a large role, or to relate, in flashback, how he once fought M. Bison so hard that the collision of their chi set off a nuclear explosion, which looks quite like that stock footage that shows up in other low budget movies which need shots of huge explosions.

What can not really be seen in the opening is how skilled the actors actually are as martial artists. In the episode I watched, most of the fight scenes involved Ryu, and the actor who plays him is fantastic to watch. The same goes for the actors who play Bison and Ryu's Master. It's a shame that the choreography is dated, looking much like what can be seen in low-level, mid-seventies Hong Kong kung fu movies. The special effects, when they appear, are hilarious. Keep in mind that when this series aired in Korea, Hong Kong produced wild films like Kung Fu Cult Master, which pushed the limits of non-digital effects like wire work. Korean Street Fighter tries to do this as well, with hilarious results, particularly for Ryu and Ken's trademark Shoryukens and Hurricane Kicks. The "hadoken" is created with theatrical smoke, which is funnier than it sounds, but somehow, not as funny as the amateurish wire stunts.
Also notable: the actor who plays E. Honda, while not big enough to be a convincing Yokozuna, seems to really like jiggling his man-boobs.

The emergence of a short film produced as a bid to reboot Mortal Kombat as a film franchise set the nerds abuzz all over the internet recently, many of them upset or at least mystified over the attempted "real-ized" take on what might be the most insanely convoluted and silly story in service of a game where story could not possibly matter any less. At the very least, it doesn't attempt to present Mortal Kombat as faithfully as this series does Street Fighter 2.

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