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Title: Mortal Kombat Conquest: The Complete Series

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :3.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:61

Some things just aren’t ever expected to hit home video. Especially after so much time has passed as it has with “Mortal Kombat Conquest”. After 15 years with nary a peep about the show, “Conquest” shows up on DVD for the first time since its original Television broadcast days. Shot from 1998 – 1999, “Conquest” is a bit less gory and brutal than the video games were/are. It was created in a day when the world of “Game of Thrones” and other bloody action series didn’t have the public pull that they did now, and TV shows had to conform to your standard broadcast sensibilities and was definitely on the softer end of the spectrum, even by 1990’s standards. The show was a bit cheesy, a bit poorly written, but for a high school kid it was just plain awesome fun. Staying up and watching the show every week was a childhood memory that I still remember vividly, as I stayed up way too late on a school night and still remembered it as being one of those shows that thrives on Velveeta levels of cheese.

The show serves as a sort of prequel to the 90’s Mortal Kombat movies of the same name as it follows the tale of Kung Lao (Paolo Montalban) after he has won the famed tournament. With Shang Tsung defeated the world is safe for a time, but Kung Lao is determined to not let the evil sorcerer gain a foothold on Earth again, so he fights to train new champions for the tournament. Teaming up with Taja (Kristanna Loken), a beautiful thief, and Siro (Daniel Berhnardt), a reluctant warrior with an arrogance problem. Together they have to fend off Shang Tsung’s advances, as he pits his supernatural warriors against the humans in an effort to impede their progress. Along the way they have to fight all of the major Mortal Kombat roster, from Noob Saibot to the famed Scorpion and Sub Zero.


“Conquest” was a cheesy little show back during the turn of the century and after 15 years it hasn’t aged any better. It’s poorly written, full of clichés and cheap martial arts choreography. The saving grace of the show is that it’s pretty much filled with talented stunt men to do the fights and the cheese is so thick that it’s actually rather tasty. I re-watched all 22 episodes with this big sloppy grin on my face and couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. It’s awful, just plain awful, but as a Mortal Kombat Kompletionist I was having a blast as Daniel Bernhardt and Kristanna Loken just chewed up the scenery. Kristanna Loken has never been known for her acting ability, and here she is just starting out, so the level of bad is amped up to the nth degree.

What’s actually really neat about the show is how in depth the series gets with the villains. They’re poorly written and cheesily acted, but the show gave us a LOT more classic Kombatants than the movies ever did. We have Noob Saibot, Scorpion, Sub Zero, Reptile, Sian, Kiri, Vorpax, Quan Chi, the list just goes on and on. Amusingly enough some people who would become much bigger like Eva Mendes and Jamie Presley even grace the screen as guest characters. I have to admit that even with the limited budget (with sets that would make “Hercules” with Kevin Sorbo look expensive) and cruddy dialog the show is a lot of stupid fun. A trip down memory and cultural lane, when Mortal Kombat didn’t have the in depth games sequels that came later and the blood and gore that made them so popular (and reviled by parents everywhere).

Episode Rundown

1. Warrior Eternal, Part 1
2. Warrior Eternal, Part 2
3. Cold Reality
4. Immortal Kombat
5. The Essence
6. Noob Sailbot
7. Debt of the Dragon
8. Undying Dream
9. Quan Chi
10. Unholy Alliance
11. Thicker Than Blood
12. Shadow of a Doubt
13. Twisted Truths
14. Festival of Death
15. The Serpent & The Ice
16. Kreeya
17. The Master
18. In Kold Blood
19. Flawed Victory
20. Balance of Power
21. Stolen Lies
22. Vengeance


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video :3.5stars:
“Mortal Kombat Conquest: The Complete Series” comes to DVD with a satisfactory MPEG2 encode that replicates the broadcast show quite nicely. The re-runs of the show on TV and cable have looked REALLY bad, so much so that I actually was really worried about this boxset. While the DVDs don’t look like it’s gone through an intensive remaster, the discs alleviated many of my fears. The episodes show some digital compression and dim colors don’t really lend themselves to a stellar presentation, but the detail is satisfactory and the black levels tend to stay within reasonable limits. There’s some crush and some blurring here and, but the contrast levels and skin tones look pleasing (albeit a bit warm at times).

Audio :3.5stars:
Much like the video, the 2.0 Dolby Digital track is quite satisfactory and gets the job done quite well. The show was originally a 2.0 stereo presentation and there’s really not a whole lot you can do with that. The mains are really the only two speakers engaged and the LFE is non-existant, even baked in the front 2 channels. Surrounds aren’t utilized and thusly we are left with the dialog and the front sound stage as bearing all the weight. There’s some mild directional usage and some panning effects, especially with the fight scenes, but it’s a fairly bland track that handles the dialog and techno music to the best of its ability.


Overall: :3stars:

I laughed, quite a few times actually, both AT the show and WITH the show during this 22 episode trip down memory lane and I can’t make up my mind whether is one of the best worst shows ever, or one of the worst best shows ever. The cheese is laid on thicker than a blanket and the acting (if you can call it that) is shaky at best. Still I ate up every mouthful of said cheese and begged for more. Casual fans may find that the series isn’t that great, but for those of us who grew up with black and white game boys and this TV show on late nights it’s definitely worth checking into.

Additional Information:

Starring: Daniel Bernhardt, Paolo Montalban, Kristanna Loken
Created by: Matthew Weiner
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: NR
Runtime: 970 Minutes
Own it on DVD March 31st

Buy Mortal Kombat Conquest: The Complete Series On DVD at Amazon

Recommendation: Rental

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