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The Street Fighter Movie Is A Glorious Disaster, And The Ultimate Ludicrous '90s Action Movie

Updated February 9, 2021 818.6k views19 items

The Street Fighter movie was crazy, and not like a fox; more like "What Does the Fox Say?" kind of crazy. First of all, the movie was based on a video game, so there was a 99% chance that it would suck. To make matters worse, it was Stephen de Souza's directorial debut, so the odds were really stacked against it. While action movies and action TV shows can be high quality, this was not the case here. 

In the movie, M. Bison (a role Raul Julia only took because of his kids), an East Asian warlord, kidnaps representatives of the Allied Nations (basically, the UN) and demands a Dr. Evil-style ransom of $20 billion for their return. Macho American and failed ESL student William Guile must lead a rescue mission with Kylie Minogue doing the locomotion at his side. The rest is not worth getting into.

As if the plot was bad enough - and it was, it really was - there are a ton of weird stories about the Street Fighter movie's production and development issues ranging from last minute casting, to cocaine and infidelity, to terminal cancer. Pretty much nothing went right for this movie and it showed. Here's everything wrong with Street Fighter the movie.

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  • One Of The Biggest Pyrotechnic Effects Got Out Of Hand

    Photo: Universal Pictures

    It seems like there wasn't a single aspect of the shoot that wasn't rushed or somehow botched. For example, when the temple blows up in the film, it wasn't originally supposed to be the entire building. 

    “The effects were only supposed to blow a quarter of it up but it got a bit out of hand. We had Jean-Claude, Kylie [Minogue] and a bunch of other actors right outside it as it blew – and the whole thing went up. There was $240,000 of scaffolding and it just melted. But the sequence looked great," said Keith Heygate, First AD to the second unit.

  • The Female Lead Was Cast Last Minute

    When director Steven de Souza was on the plane flying to Bangkok to start production, he was thinking about something that most people would have established a bit earlier: Who was to be his female lead? Since filming was going to move to Australia after Thailand, he thought she might as well be Australian. Fortunately, the plane had a copy of the Australian People's Magazine with a young Kylie Minogue on the cover and that was all it took.

  • The Stunt Choreography Was Rushed

    Charlie Picerni was the stunt coordinator of another movie Street Fighter director Steven de Souza had written, Die Hard, so he hired him on to perform the same role. Charlie Picerni was a no-nonsense type of guy. "I told [de Souza] to get good actors, physical actors. To get the cast immediately," said Picerni. Well, de Souza didn't exactly comply. First of all, de Souza didn't even have a female lead until arriving at the filming location. Then there was the fact that the role which would require the most stunt work (e.g., flying around on cables and such) was being played by a man weakened from his battle with cancer. The schedule for virtually all of the stunt work was flipped on its head.

  • The Martial Arts Expert Trained The Fighters In The Same Style

    Photo: Universal Pictures

    The film's martial arts trainer, Benny Urquidez, had no idea that each character had a different fighting style – an integral aspect of the video game.  

    "We had our trainer, Benny, but he didn’t know what video game fighting actually was – it was all new to him,” actor Bryon Mann said. “We only found out midway through the shoot that different characters have different styles. Somebody said: ‘Wait a minute, why is everyone fighting in the same way?"

    Like the stunt choreographer, Urquidez was also unable to train each actor in a timely manner. 

    "One day I was having lunch, and an assistant director came over to me and said: ‘Hey, are you ready for your knife fight?’ I said: ‘What are you talking about? I don’t know anything about it.’ I went to one of the Thai extras, a stunt guy, and asked him if he could help. On the spot, he taught me what he knew – and that’s what you see in the movie," Mann said.