So Bloody Disgusting recently broke the news that Kevin Tancharoen's 2010 fan short, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, put some new life back into the Mortal Kombat franchise: the director recently got the greenlight to film a 10-episode web series to be shot in Vancouver that will offer a fresh spin on the kickass game series. A lot of people approve of this move, and I have to admit the fan film is very well done, has great action sequences and, overall, is fun to watch. Since it was uploaded in June of 2010 it's garnered over 1.5 million views and counting.
The new Mortal Kombat webisodes will feature a more realistic take on MK character origins, namely by making them humans who have become crazed psychopaths and serial killers rather than supernatural warriors who represent the most lethal fighters from worlds parallel to our own.
While Rebirth is a fantastic fan film (I've embedded the 8-minute video below), I have to say I give this new Mortal Kombat direction two thumbs down. I love that Internet fan films are becoming a stronger and more versatile force in a more traditional, mainstream film production environment, but I feel like the webisodes will detract from the fantastical lore that makes Mortal Kombat so unique and over the top. Mortal Kombat is about otherworldly fighters competing in an otherworldly, fight-to-the-death tournament. It's about outlandish fatalities and demigods controlling lightning. It's about nonhumans and demons sporting unique powers that come out of their hands rather than from hokey mechanical contraptions. IT'S ABOUT UPPER CUTS INTO SPIKED PITS AND RIPPING PEOPLE IN HALF WHILE INVISIBLE. IT'S ABOUT MORPHING INTO ANIMALS FOR FATALITIES AND FIGHTING FOUR-ARMED, UGLY ASS PRINCES TO A BOMPIN' TECHNO BEAT!
Okay so maybe my knowledge of the Mortal Kombat lore really only extends to the second game, but dammnit the first live-action movie was actually pretty good. That's right I said it, the first Mortal Kombat movie was a shit-ton of fun and anyone who says otherwise doesn't appreciate the simple joy of a well-executed, niche game-to-film adaptation with good effects and great martial arts set pieces.
Will I watch Tancharoen's webisodes? Of course. Am I glad Warner Brothers didn't take this direction with the original film? Absolutely. You be the judge.