Speculative Fiction Saturday, So Bad It’s Good Month: Kung Fury

kung-furyThis month, I want to talk about films that are so bad, that they are good. In this case, I am going to write about films that are essentially deliberately made this way.

This is the issue with creating comedy. If you are creating a story that you can’t take seriously, then often anything goes. However, I believe that there is a limit to this, but like I have said before, sometimes rules of storytelling have to be broken.

In the case of Kung Fury, a lot of rules of just common sense are broken, and that is why it is so awesome. It is very clear that it is trying to be deliberately awesome, and part of the humor is it is deliberately trying too hard.

Kung Fury is not a movie, but some 30 minute short film that I found on Netflix. According to the Wikipedia page, the film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter by a man named David Sandberg, a Swedish music video and commercial director who got some kind of weird dream to come true.

Kung Fury begins in Miami, 1985, but the nightscape looks like something out of Blade Runner, complete with fiery smoke. For some reason, an arcade machine comes to life, and if you are looking for an explanation for that, you won’t get it. To combat this living arcade machine, the cops call Kung Fury, who has some martial arts training that is just superhuman.

The action of this opening scene establishes that the action is three levels above over-the-top. What is odd is how this pays homage to the eighties, and the fight scene between Kung Fury and the arcade machine have this weird spots in them like someone fast-forwarded the VCR. It takes me back to all the action films that I rented back in the eighties and wanted to be better than they actually were.

The scene with the arcade machine is just an opener, as Kung Fury reveals his origin of how his partner was killed by a Kung Fu master. Then Kung Fury was struck by lightning and bit by a cobra and takes his instant revenge, but swears to fight for good.

Of course, he is a cop, and there is the scene where his superior is yelling at him. It is then discovered that Adolf Hitler has come forward in time, and kills his superior over the phone, with a gun. Kung Fury needs to travel back in time to get Hitler, but fortunately, his friend Hackerman has one.

Kung Fury then goes too far back in time to Viking times, but Thor is willing to help him. The cinematography in Viking times looks just beautiful, by the way. There are some Viking girls that he leaves a cellular phone with, and the film stops dead as he describes what a cellular phone was back in the eighties.

Once Kung Fury gets to HItler’s time, there is a scene that looks straight out of a brawler game that goes on for several minutes. It is one of those times in comedy where a joke that goes on for too long is actually funnier.

From there, Kung Fury and his friends show up, and it is nothing but violent action. For some reason, a lot of these films that I review this month have an overindulgence of blood, and yet, it’s all funny.

Kung Fury then gets killed, which results in a 2-D animated sequence that feels like it could fit in one of those Heavy Metal movies.

Then it ends with a lesson about teamwork that feels like it was plucked from a cartoon show, and I suppose that is the idea. They even do that thing where everyone laughs at the same time, and there is plenty room for a sequel to this fun romp.

Kung Fury is worth watching at least once because it is just such a surprise. Seriously, if I was watching a full two-hour film that was like Kung Fury, I would leave feeling that I got my money’s worth. However, I don’t think that this would have actually worked as a 2 hour film, as there is just too much action and awesomeness in it, so perhaps it is only good in small doses.

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