For an upcoming episode of The Spin-off Doctors, I had to watch Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. I’ve always liked the first one for the B-movie cheese it was but had dreaded the sequel, its reputation as a truly awful film preceding it.
I wish I’d watched it sooner, because Annihilation is easily the best bad film I’ve seen. I’m even including top-tier trash like The Room and Troll 2 in that list. No movie is as consistently fucked up, as relentlessly packed with nonsense, as Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
To prime you for our upcoming… assessment… and to try and convince you to ruin your Saturday night, here’s a pictorial tour through some of the movie’s “best” moments.
Almost immediately, Annihilation delights by deviating wildly from the ending of the original movie, deciding to add a load of ninjas and change Shao Kahn’s impressive entrance to something far more budget-minded.
Even better is when Shao starts bellowing. I’m not sure what the director told the actor, but he spends the whole movie sounding like he’s trying to either suppress a laugh or a cry. Probably both.
His voice wavers and seems ready to break at all times, yet remains deep and booming. It’s so strange, and it is but a taste of what this anarchy offers.
With only two original performers returning to reprise their MK roles, we all knew Christopher Lambert wasn’t coming back.
The honor of playing Raiden goes instead to James Remar, perhaps known best for playing Harry Morgan on Television’s The Dexter.
Here, Dexter’s dad is cosplaying a Pentecostal grandmother. He never stops being funny in this outfit.
Gotta love Sub-Zero’s entrance as he flies in like fucking Superman to shoot cartoon ice at Scorpion. Judging from his eyes, he’s just as shocked as I was by the utter nonsense on display.
So here is Stumbly Scorpion. In a very un-Scorpion like move, he picks up Sub-Zero and bodyslams him like a wrestler into the shit foam rock, which cracks and makes Scorpion lose his footing in an undignified little stumble.
I think the performer was told to act unsteady, but rather than do it in a cool or prepared way, he just trips a bit. I highly recommend watching the whole sequence in motion – it’s a treat!
The arrival of Cyrax is when I officially lost my mind.
In all his Power Rangers glory, he makes glass shatter around him and speaks with the worst Darth Vader voice in the world.
“Death is the only way out. Major Briggs, Sonya Blade. Shao Kahn will be pleased.”
Jax responds to that with “Shao what?”
In many ways, Jackson Briggs serves as the audience’s true window to the film – he spends much of the time acting just as bemused as the viewers.
In another case of an actor taking direction a bit too literally, Cyrax moves like a child pretending to be a robot.
This whole scene happened right after loads of other amusingly inane shit happened. When I say this movie’s relentless, I mean it. There’s almost never a dull moment.
This is what happened when Cyrax accidentally liquified one of his own accomplices while attacking Sonya and Jax.
This is what liquidation looks like, I promise you.
“Cool huh? It’s my Animality.”
That’s a real line of dialog.
Another real line of dialog is this one:
“Wait a minute, that tattoo, I’ve seen it before… on a robot and a woman. They both tried to kill me.”
Anyway, the actual image of Nightwolf speaks for itself. No further commentary needed on my part.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a real paradox. Technically, a film can only have one “best” character in it. To be the best is to be singularly better than everyone else.
Yet Annihilation has not one, not two, not even three but MANY best characters of the movie. I don’t know how that works, but it just does!
Between Shao Kahn, Sindel, Motaro, Cyrax, Nightwolf… fuck. They’re all the best. Any character that’s not explicitly boring like Sonya or Kang is the best part of the film.
Anyway, here’s Jax, who gets more than a cameo this time, as well as “metal” arms. They’re not really metal, they’re cloth sleeves with bits of crappy vinyl glued to them.
And, inexplicably, fingerless gloves and a sleeveless jacket to make him look at majestically fucking stupid as possible.
He’s the best character of the film, alongside half the cast.
My face when I watch Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Here’s an unfortunate closeup – and a fortunately timed screengrab – of Liu Kang “feeling his Animality” which is not a euphemism but something he literally does in the movie while Nightwolf repeatedly tells him to do it.
“Feel your Animality… your Animality… your Animality.”
All this is said while terrible CGI gives Liu Kang lopsided lizard eyes.
I fucking love this shitass film!
Oh, but the bad cartoon effects get better. SO much better.
One thing that’s hard to describe about Annihilation is how it always manages to top the last terrible thing it did. Every time I think I’ve seen it all, this amazing piece of majestic garbage has something fresh and ghastly to make me laugh out loud right up until the movie simply stops happening.
It doesn’t end, this film just stops being a film and then credits happen.
Look at how utterly stupid this monster is though. Look at its comic book eyes! Look at it and understand it’s far from the stupidest thing in the film.
Isn’t that just beautiful?
By the time James Remar changed his costume to “Dad reliving his Billy Idol years” I was a gibbering wreck, tears in my eyes, unable to cope with endless cavalcade of ludicrous feces this movie was tossing into my eyes and ears.
And yet STILL the movie had more bollocks for us. I had been warned Baraka was “glorious” beforehand, but I was not prepared for THIS!
So here’s a dude wearing what looks like a homemade pirate shirt with a rubber halloween mask. If you look carefully, you can see the actor’s real face through the mouth.
This is all a distraction, however, from the incredible arms. Baraka’s Popeye forearms look like latex lost a fight to duct tape, and the fact they simply shoved the actor’s ungloved hands through them is magnificent.
He makes a five-minute appearance at best, because the movie crammed in more characters than it knew what to do with. It helps contribute to the unflinching assault of the movie, since there’s no time for quiet boring stuff, not when more FLIP JUMPING has to happen!
This is a screenshot from Mass Effect: Andromeda. It is not Mortal Kombat: Annihilation but it belongs here.
This is literally an image from a professional movie with a significant budget.
Shao Kahn faces off against an animalized Liu Kang. The still image is funny – it’s appearance in the movie itself is even funnier.
Also, because this movie won’t let you catch your goddamn breath, the hilarity of the shitty dragon is immediately followed up by this hot mess of a visual.
Then this, as a phallic hydra and a Beast Wars character clip through each other, move as if they’re stop-motion puppets, and eventually fall off a cliff like bad JPEGs.
It comes out of nowhere and it’s just… just fucked.
At least the film has a moral story.
The moral is that Jax never needed metal arms to punch a rubber horse-man. After learning that the big cyber implants were holding him back for unexplained reasons, he gets the confidence needed to tear off the flimsy cloth stuck to his skin with sellotape and punches Motaro good!
You see the message?
He was metal arms this whole time!
(The Spin-off Doctors: Mortal Kombat Annihilation will air on Tuesday!)