Despite everything destructive about 2021, living in this time right about now has its perks. Mortal Kombat fever is running just as rampant as it did back when it hit in 1992 and maintaining a steady stream of enthusiasm throughout its twenty-year course in the gaming and entertainment business, with the very anticipated R-rated film to hit theaters and streaming here shortly. The first Mortal Kombat was really something, however, I like to think it was the release of the second game, introducing some new and secret characters that really got the fandom to grow to exponential levels. And well, with that kick-ass third installment AND the 1995 movie to boot later, well it was a certain flawless victory for gaming developer Ed Boon to say the very least and things couldn’t get much better.
Or could it? Enter the glorious country tour of Mortal Kombat the goddamn stage show! And hey, according to some kid, it’s way better than the Power Rangers live show. Take that Toasty uppercut Alpha-Five!
The 200 city US tour begat at the infamous New York Radio City Music Hall on September 14th, 1995 and mesmerized kids across the county with choregraphed fights by none other than Shang Tsung himself, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. At a cost that ranged from $14 to $25 a ticket, the 90-minute spectacle of marital artists dressed as our favorite playable characters kicking the crap out of each other to techno music, was the most 90s’ thing ever.
The stage surrounded by giant screens serving as a closer look for those of us with nosebleed seats in the back, was pretty helpful for those bigger venues. However, those green amulets that were sold at concession stands and served as part of the show for those who suckered their parents into buying them, could be seen from planet fucking Pluto with the amount of neon green lights that illuminated from that damn thing. Among the blinding lights, other souvenirs from the tour included collectable tour books complete with cheat game codes and even a space for autographs from the stage cast if you got lucky. But, the gold mine of those concession money grabbers, were of course the KOMBAT KAPS! Or just simply, the beloved and forgotten POGS of our generation.
While no full footage of the actual stage show exists on the internet at this time, (I know weird right?) the closest thing we can to relive this 90s’ mash of laser lights and karate chops, is this video uploaded by NeoGamer that flashes some highlights from the actual show and a promo with the cast on a local news station showcasing some of the moves that got us detention by trying to mimic them on the playground and accidently busting a kid in the lip with a Liu Kang high kick. Featuring a very special PSA from Shang Tsung about the differences between real martial arts and violence and the one and only REAL Sonya Blade Kerri Hoskins doing her Sonya thing, enjoy and relive what a wild and wonderful time we once lived in where this was an actual thing.