Mortal Kombat’s Kung Lao Fatality Was Filmed Using Mostly Practical Effects

Mortal Kombat

Warner Bros.’ latest attempt at resurrecting Mortal Kombat on the big screen might not be the home run that director Simon McQuoid and the rest of the film’s crew had hoped for, but it’s not irredeemable by any means.

As is the case for most video game adaptations, fans with previous knowledge of the source material will naturally get the biggest bang for their buck while along for the ride, but there are certain elements that lovers of the genre are able to enjoy, too. Offer a good or even sensical story this sequel-baiting movie does not, but what it lacks in narrative oomph, Mortal Kombat certainly makes up for with buckets of the red stuff.

One scene – which sees Kung Lao matched against Outworld native and servant of Shang Tsung, Nitara – has attracted particular attention from audiences for its visceral content, most notably when the former emerges the victor by slicing his foe in half with the use of his trademark razor-sharp hat. An almost shot-for-shot recreation of the character’s iconic Fatality, actor Max Huang, who plays the friend and cousin of Liu Kang, revealed in an interview with CinemaBlend that the segment was filmed using largely practical effects, rather than CGI.

“It was a blend of both,” he recalls, adding: “But it was actually more practical than CGI, I have to say because all the blood you see that is all real. I can’t give away too much, but when we shot that fatality, it was coming at me and it was a mess.”

Huang adds that additional visual flourishes were added in post-production to create the final product, concluding with his belief that the gratuitous nature of the sequence left much of the team feeling nauseous.

Did you leave the theater impressed with Mortal Kombat, though, or do you still consider Paul W. S. Anderson’s 1995 take to be superior? Sound off in the usual place below and if it’s the former, be sure to let us know what you’d like to see in a sequel.