Sundays: a weekly call to plan out our dark deeds for the near future. I love my Sunday mornings spent with a delicious cup of fresh coffee, while I look into the future and make ready for the tasks soon at hand. Today’s cup is brewed using Sucker Punch beans by the masters over at Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago; it is low in acidity and full of face-slapping fruitiness. It’s Good Stuff.
This week brings us the latest in the long running Mortal Kombat franchise; It also brings us four new digital rereleases from King Crimson. If there has ever been a more congruous confluence of events, I am unable to recall it. This Tuesday is going to be rutilant indeed. I am wholeheartedly preparing to bathe in the hot, red sounds of the progenitors of progressive rock music as my screen gets soaked in the red glow of gruesome fatalities. If you are unfamiliar with these harbingers of prog, you should pay attention; the Crimson King does not ask for it, he makes it law. So, do yourself a favor.
But, that is neither here nor there. Here, is a videogame website; there, is the looming release of Ed Boon and company’s new game-de-video—One More Red Nightmare held in The Court of the Crimson King. I have high hopes. Hopefully Boon does not prove himself to be The Great Deceiver. I would find my plans for the week in a state of Fracture, if so. My tears would gush forth from The Devils Triangle. You would see the tide of their furor sweep in, even In the Wake of Poseidon.
Now, to the task at hand: what good is a delicious pour over without a solid ponder, after all. Today I find myself questioning how I am so apt to enjoy the outlandish violence of a Mortal Kombat game, while entirely unable to enjoy a modern slasher flick. They both dabble in the art of Ultraviolence but, for some paradoxical reason, I find myself capable of stomaching Mortal Kombat’s particular blend. Not that I am against violence in movies; I just watched John Wick last night and found myself thoroughly entertained. While Wick may not revel in the viscera, it does take pleasure in flashy depictions of human demise. I never liked the Saw movies; I can’t stand the Hostel films, but show me Goro jamming Johnny Cage’s head into his own stomach, then ripping it open to turn him into a makeshift Krang, and it’s hilarious. What hypocrisy is that?!
When I dig deep, I find a healthy dose of nostalgia. I’ve been playing Mortal Kombat games since the original came out (all the way back in 1992!). I still remember the small crowd of kids huddled around the grimy cabinet of that original release. It felt sordid and filthy: the exact kind of thing young boys left unattended in an arcade were looking for. It was love at first immolation.
The other answer is the humor; Mortal Kombat coats all its proceedings with the thick, heavy paint of black comedy. This would also explain why I did not enjoy the violence in the Manhunt games: it all felt so pornographic. So, let us don our Clockwork Orange Droog costumes one more time, and let the kombat of mortals give us a bit of that old Ultraviolence.