Monday, June 1, 2015

Kung Fury

I know I recently said I had posted the last of the short films I had in the queue, but... well, I lied. Sue me. Because here's one more, and it is perhaps the mother of all Internet Short Films...







I'm a little late to the party with this one...

Crowdfunded, and made in Sweden, Kung Fury was born of a deep 80's VHS cheap action movie love. It's a parody, obviously, and a funny one too, but it's also a loving one. Written and Directed by, not to mention Starring, David Sandberg, this is basically his first project. 

In his words, or at least, from the website: KUNG FURY is an over-the-top action comedy written and directed by David Sandberg. The movie features: arcade-robots, dinosaurs, Nazis, Vikings, Norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, all wrapped up in an 80s style action packed adventure.


Kung Fury takes place in a variety of exotic locations; 1980s Miami, Asgard and Germany in the 1940s, to name a few. With a limited budget to work with, we had to solve this by shooting most of the scenes against a green-screen backdrop.



Kung Fury was funded mainly through a Kickstarter campaign, where people from all around the world showed their support for this crazy project. David worked on the film for a more than a year with almost no budget but a strong vision, with the help of friends and family. Most of the film has already been shot, but additional filming and lots of visual effects remain to be done.


The film will be around 30 minutes long and released for free on the Internet.

And they were true to their word...


Okay, I know. I know, all right? You've seen all of these pics, shots of Kung Fury in action, shots of him and his many allies on his Badass Quest for Justice, shots of Adolph Hitler, the Kung Fuhrer, the worst criminal in history, and his Army of Death--and I didn't even include any of the Tyrannosaurus Rex--it's just a blitz of crazy-town banana-pants, right? It's too much wacky at once to process. I realize this. I'm sure you're out there wondering...

What the hell is this thing about?

Here's the official synopsis: Miami Police Department detective and martial artist Kung Fury time travels from the 1980s to World War II to kill Adolf Hitler, a.k.a. "Kung F├╝hrer", and revenge his friend's death at the hands of the Nazi leader. An error in the time machine sends him further back to the Viking Age.

I don't know about you guys, but that sounds pretty sweet to me.


Let's watch...


I love it. I didn't think I would, but I love it.

Parody projects like this can sometimes be pretty iffy. I'm usually not a fan of them. They often wink way too much, too amused by their oh-so-clever-cleverness to actually pull off the comedy they're straining for. Or they're too much about the minutiae of the thing they're attempting to parody, and the result ends up seeming like nothing more than a dull in-joke that has gone on too long. But in this case, unlike something like The FP or Hobo With a Shotgun, the point of Kung Fury isn't to purposefully create some kind of cult-kitsch out of nowhere--which is impossible, not to mention obnoxious--but to simply have a good time. Yes, I know it's a half-hour long, a truly ballsy ask in this Age of Internet Short Films, but it's worth it. Really. Sit down and give it a shot.

Succinctly put, Kung Fury is pretty damn funny. 

Here's what I like the most about it: When it started out with the Killer Arcade Console and the Lamborghini surfing and all that, I was like... yeah, that's amusing, sure. But as it went on, mostly once Hitler showed up, that's when it hit its stride, deftly walking the line between over-the-top shenanigans, self-awareness, and a ready acceptance of the story's reality. 

That's the key.

All of those things together is what makes films like this work. It's got to be crazy, obviously, and while you can occasionally wink a little bit at the audience to show that you know it's silly and that it's okay for the audience to laugh at that silliness, you can't do that too often or it's like poking a hole in a balloon. You have to remember that this is the "real world" of the characters. You have to treat it like it's their real lives. Dinosaur cops? Ancient gods? Barbarian girls with machine guns riding giant wolves? None of this is all that unusual to the characters, so they have to react that way. They might be shocked that, for instance, Hitler has a surprise giant golden eagle robot to protect him, but they can't be shocked that such a thing exists. That "reality" foundation is what gives the comedy something to spring off of, and for the most part, the film pretty much pulls it off. That's one of the reasons this thing works so well.

The other is that it's a hell of a good time.

You should watch Kung Fury,
Jon


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