16 Behind-The Scenes Stories From The Trainwreck 'Street Fighter' Movie

16 Behind-The Scenes Stories From The Trainwreck 'Street Fighter' Movie

Street Fighter was huge in the early ‘90s. It's one of the highest-grossing game franchises of all-time, so when a movie was announced, expectations were high. And those expectations were swiftly, painfully KO’d when the film came out. Ugh, the thing stunk worse than an 80's mall arcade, and those stunk like the worst BO and feet. 

There was real talent behind the production. Golden Globe-nominated actor Raul Julia was in the thing for heaven's sake. You do not put Raul Julia in a film as “Mr. Bison” and expect it to fail. Jean-Claude Van Damme had a beret and a full bevy of hard-hitting Bloodsport-tested JCVD moves. There was no reason for Street Fighter to be… well, what it was. What happened? As it turned out, many things happened to turn it into a mess, some say a glorious mess, but a mess nonetheless -- these things happened, for example…

Newbie Director

Everyone kept walking all over the director. Steven de Souza had a proven track record as a writer, with movies like Die Hard and Commando - but Street Fighter was his first time in the director's chair. A lot of people (executives, senior crew members, and others) took that as a permission to tell him what to do, and he often couldn't stand his ground.

Source: Polygon

Raul Julia's Cancer

Raul Julia was so sick, the shooting schedule had to be changed. Julia was positively emaciated due to his stomach cancer, and his scenes had to be postponed until he gained some weight. So action scenes were shot first - with no time to properly prepare or rehearse.

Source: Looper

Vam Damme Was High On Coke

Jean-Claude Van Damme kept partying and doing blow.Van Damme was recently divorced, and coped with it by partying as hard as humanly possible (and romancing Kylie Minogue). Не had a wrangler with the job to keep him out of trouble - but the guy went partying with him instead.

Sources: The Guardian

Tight Deadline

The movie had a very tight schedule. Capcom partnered with Hasbro, so Street Fighter was to be heavily toy-oriented - which required the movie to come out just in time for Christmas, 1994. The inflexible deadline compounded the movie's many issues.

Source: Polygon

Captain Sawada

Capcom wanted to cast Ryu themselves. Capcom wanted Japanese actor Kenya Sawada as Ryu - but Sawada wasn't right for the role as it was written (and also, his English wasn't very good). De Souza added a completely new character for Sawada, just to make Capcom happy.

Source: CBR

Sword Trouble

Ryu's actor had to learn the sword himself at the last minute. For the Ryu/Vega cage match, there was no one who could show Ryu's Byron Mann how to perform his sword flourish. Mann had to pick it up from a random extra just as the scene was about to be shot.

Source: Polygon

Food Issues

Everyone was hungry all the time. Unused to Thailand's food, all the actors lost weight during the shooting - and you can tell, if you pay attention. The hot, humid climate didn't do anyone any favors, either.

Source: Polygon

Special Moves

The stunt coordinator refused to use the characters' moves. STREET FIGHTER Stunt coordinator Charlie Picerni, who was tasked with shooting fight scenes, thought that signature moves from the game weren't real enough, and just decided not to use them - without telling the director. De Souza had to reshoot several fights himself.

Source: Polygon


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