Movie Tunes: Mortal Kombat (Part 1 of 3)

Christine’s been having so much fun writing these soundtrack reviews, so I thought that I should get in on all the excitement, too! Have I picked a good one (or three in this case)!

Mortal Kombat is just a phenomenon in itself. Let’s break it down. A gargantuan number of extremely successful video games; two feature films (with a rumored third still in the “production stage”); and a couple of television shows. With MK having such longevity thus far, I don’t think it’s ever going to fade away!

Now there are quite a few commercial soundtracks to both the film and games themselves. Since we’re focusing on the CDs for the films, I will have 3 to talk about, which will each be presented to you in the upcoming weeks.

Personally, I got into quite a number of genres and particular bands because of these soundtracks. If you’re an eclectic music fan, like I am, you will certainly find something to your liking on all of them. The bands? Only the best and brightest, as well as some up-and-comers, in the world of electronic dance, metal, and industrial.

If you are even remotely aware of how highly energetic someone gets by playing the game, the movie’s music is up there with it!

So, let’s take you all the way back to 1995 with Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack!

The opening track is brief but sets a nice tone: “A Taste of Things to Come” is an instrumental, percussion-based track that refers to the little demonstration of what and whom the combatants can expect to encounter at the fight-to-the death tournament. With plenty of gongs, it provides a lovely Asian vibe that is prevalent throughout the film. About 47 seconds later, it’s onto “Goodbye” by Gravity Kills. In my opinion, this track is pretty light, but it grows on you after a while, once the lyrics hit you.

Then it’s the industrial juggernaut KMFDM’s “Juke Joint Jezebel (Giorgio Moroder Metropolis Mix)”. This was when I was first introduced to this phenomenal band, even though I didn’t really get into them until I went off to college. This track comes in during Sonya’s solo fight scene with Kano in the “sand pit”. He takes quite a licking, so this track fits perfectly! However, I do prefer the original version of this track, and you can hear it in all its glory on the band’s NIHIL album.

The fourth track, “Unlearn” by Psykosonik, is a mellow, but “bass-y” dance track that brings you down slightly from your boiling point, but when you get to #5, the energy skyrockets again, thanks to Traci Lords and “Control (Juno Reactor Instrumental)” ! Traci Lords, you ask? Yep! The former adult film star turned mainstream actress dabbled in music for a while, too! This instrumental version of the track is one to definitely jack up in your car.

Orbital’s “Halcyon +On+On” has an ethereal quality you don’t quite expect from electronic dance music. It’s a nice way to calm yourself down after a rough day. That’s doesn’t last long, though…

In the first of two pulsating techno themes to the movie, there’s “Utah Saints Take On The Theme From Mortal Kombat”, where Utah Saints have cooked up a lighter version of the song’s predecessor (which I discuss in a little bit).

All you metalheads will be so stoked once you get to #8, “The Invisible” by G//Z/R. Not a bad song, may I say. It’s not terribly memorable, but if you get a little antsy for something that isn’t dance music, it’s a good start.

Fear Factory (another band that I got into based on the power and strength of this song), clocks in at # 9 with “Zero Signal.” It’s classic, bang-your-head metal. You instantly think of Johnny Cage’s big “inter-realm” fight sequence with Scorpion.

Sister Machine Gun’s “Burn” is undoubtedly a surprising song on this whole soundtrack. While a number of the industrial and metal songs are “in your face” and get you all pumped up, this definitely changes the mood. By far, the sexiest song on the soundtrack!

“Blood and Fire” by Type O Negative is other amazing metal track! Listen for the spoken portion of the song. It’s chilling, but erotic at the same time. With strong guitar licks, massive drums, and a screaming lead singer, the one-two punch of “I Reject” by Bile and “Twist the Knife (Slowly)” by Napalm Death barrels out of your speakers with such force, it would take a tank to stop it.

Mutha’s Day Out’s “What U See/We All Bleed Red” is not a particularly great song, with its repetitive lyrics, but it’s not horrible either. Then, the dance music comes back with # 15: “Techno Syndrome 7” Mix” by The Immortals. This is the quintessential MK theme song, created specifically for the original video game soundtrack. Naturally, it gets featured in the film quite a bit! With the beat and sound bites from the early versions of the game, it’s a classic.

The final two tracks, “Goro vs. Art” and “Demon Warriors” are from the film’s score, courtesy of George S. Clinton (with Buckethead on the former). Both fit into the film quite well, with lots of guitars and drums and a “survival of the fittest” vibe.

One soundtrack down, two more to go!

Tracks You Can’t Miss:

  • Track # 3: “Juke Joint Jezebel (Giorgio Moroder Metropolis Mix)” by KMFDM
  • Track # 5: “Control (Juno Reactor Instrumental)” by Traci Lords
  • Track #9: “Zero Signal” by Fear Factory
  • Track # 10: “Burn” by Sister Machine Gun
  • Track # 15: “Techno-Syndrome 7”Mix” by The Immortals

Come back next week for Part 2 of the Mortal Kombat soundtrack reviews.

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