With the Resident Evil franchise and a warmly-received Monster Hunter film out now, filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson has come a long way since the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, which earned middling reviews from critics and audiences but has maintained a strong cult following in the years since its release. Looking back, Anderson jokes, it's almost impossible to believe that the movie is more than 25 years old; it's something that he says has always feels about ten years old. But with the trailer for a new Mortal Kombat dropping while Anderson was talking to the media about his latest video game adaptation, it's probably inevitable that he would feel a little nostalgic.
During our conversation with Anderson about Monster Hunter -- most of which will run tomorrow -- the filmmaker looked back on Mortal Kombat, telling us what he took away from the experience, and why he thinks the movie still resonates with so many fans. The movie earned $125 million on an $18 million budget, spawning a much-loathed 1997 sequel, an animated series and a syndicated TV spinoff.
"I genuinely love the source material and I've made sure that that love of the source material gets, gets kind of built into the fabric and the DNA of the movies I make," Anderson told ComicBook. "So hopefully, you know, the fans see that and they know it. And I going all the way back to Mortal Kombat, the fans knew that that movie had been made by somebody who played loved Mortal Kombat, because you could see it, it was in the essence of the film."
The attention to detail that goes into not just the world-building, but little Easter eggs on the set and the like, is something that Anderson learned from Mortal Kombat is very important when you're adapting content that comes from existing source material -- especially when that source material has a dedicated, obsessive fan base.
"I think the fact is people do appreciate it," Anderson said. "I know that from Mortal Kombat onwards. Back then, it was VHS, but people paused those VHS players, and they scrutinized. I found that even putting kind of small details of production design taken from source material into the movie, it got noticed. "
Monster Hunter is available to buy on digital platforms now. The movie is set to release for digital rental, as well as on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K on Tuesday, March 2.