In 1995 a movie of epically good/bad proportions was released. Mortal Kombat had become a sensation in the gaming world just a few years before, instantly capturing the hearts of young fans while repulsing their parents. If you were like me, you fell in love with the grotesque nature of the game in its twisted and opposite take on violence in comparison to platform games like Super Mario Bros.
With such a huge following in a short amount of time, the game garnered the attention of the film industry desperate to make a few dollars off of its success. And on an $18 million budget, they raked in over $120 million worldwide in box office sales. This movie made bank.
And no, it wasn’t a good script with great acting. It was a bad script with cheesy acting that took multiple liberties with a source material that itself made little sense. So why did it do so well, and why am I even referencing it? Because it knew what it was and it went all in. The actors, the director, the writers, everyone involved just said “Fuck it” and committed. How else could you pull off a scene where one of your leading actors drops into a split and punches a ten-foot-tall, four-armed monster in the crotch?
This all-in commitment is necessary to make a bad movie feel good, and a trail run worth running.
If you were to take the trail description for a race, map out your emotions per mile from the cloud scraping highs and inconceivable lows, and place every word from your inner consciousness into a script, it would read like a cheesy movie. And the only way it works, the only way you get to the finish line, is if you commit.
Half-hearted thinking will break down your spirit when the newness of a race wears off and the pain begins. Build a character for yourself to play. Deify the finish line and place the trail in your way as a monster to conquer. Commit to yourself and your script.
If ever you need encouragement before a race, do what I do. Find your dusty copy of the greatest bad movie of your childhood (rent it if you somehow don’t own it), push play, and watch what crazy commitment to a blatantly bad idea looks like. And when you get to the finish and the credits begin to roll on your race, you’ll know within your spirit that you are the chosen one. You will face your destiny and cross that finish line. Or, DNF like Sub Zero did while giving it your all (personal heroes don’t always win).
Either way, the memories will at least be worth rewatching over and over for years to come, cheesiness and all.