There's been a lot written over the years about 1994's Street Fighter film and its tie-in video game, Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game, but Chris Plante's recently published retrospective at Polygon takes examining just what went wrong with the movie to new levels. While the story of how Capcom and Hollywood produced such a strange, toyetic take on the Street Fighter property is well known, this article is the first I've read that chronicles the optimism and gleeful naivete of director Stephen de Souza, the affair between stars Jean-Claude "Guile" Van Damme and Kylie "Cammy" Minogue, and the cocaine-fueled sex benders that some of the cast indulged in while filming in Thailand. Here's an excerpt:
Furthermore, the men in the cast — young, physically fit and flush with American cash in Thailand — had taken an interest in the local massage parlors. Hunger, rapid weight loss, heat exhaustion: none were a match for the enflamed libidos of twentysomething action stars.
"I come from poverty," says Chapa, "and here I was making more money than I ever made in my whole life, plus the place was so cheap you could get a massage for $10. We became massage addicts, getting a massage every hour. We were working hard and our bodies were pushed to the extreme."
"Let's just put it this way," says Mann, "there were a lot of hormonal guys on this film running amok in Thailand and Australia, so you do the math. We were like cavemen. We were like Vikings. We went there and conquered."
As, er, "satisfied" as the actors were on set, one would think the movie would be better! On the other hand, while the film is lacking, at least the performances are top notch. Raul Julia gleefully chews the scenery, Van Damme lumbers through the part with enthusiasm (powered by the cocaine, probably), and Ming Na brings a subdued energy to her role as Chun-Li. What really surprised me about this article is that the producers believed the production (which had gone overbudget and was behind schedule) could be saved in editing, but then did not allow for enough time to edit the film properly in order to add the visual effects needed to faithfully reproduce the iconic Street Fighter II special attacks in full detail. Hollywood really does follow its own twisted logic.