Monday, December 14, 2015

kung fury [2015]

this 30 minute gem was recommended to me by a friend at work.  he said, you gotta see this crazy homage to VHS tapes and 1980s mom&pop video stores.  so on saturday, feeling the worse for my cold i turned on netflix and gave it a shot.

man, what a shot it was.  filmmaker david sandberg wrote, directed and stars as kung fury, a beat cop who acquires great martial arts skills in order to kick serious street ass.  the film starts with a prologue on how kung fury got his powers.  while narrating his origins kung fury fights a rampaging video game that is killing a shitload of things, buildings and people.  i mean, it ain't the video game that is causing all the chaos, it is the actual arcade machine of the kind that used to house video games that transmogrifies into a death machine.

later, kung fury is told by his boss he's got a new partner, a cop with the head of a triceratop, called tricercop.  fury says, in a faux gravel voice, i work alone.

turns out the new enemy is adolf hitler, who also acquired mad kung fu skills, and who calls himself kung fuhrer hitler.  fury has to go back in time to defeat this villain.

along the way our hero meets a giant thor, a couple of women warriors who look straight out of casting from an '80s day-glo peblum, a tyrannosarus rex, and, of course his new partner, triceracop.  this makes for an unbeatable team and hitler is defeated in his plan of world domination.  or is he?

again, the delight is in this short's zaniness and sandberg's willingness to have fun.  you recall mom&pop video stores, right?  well, sometimes the tape you rented was shit.  the picture and/or sound was crap and the tape would keep tracking.  don't know what i mean?  VHS tapes required to track in order to maintain fidelity.  when the tape got a bit wonky the VCR would 'track' the tape to correct it.  you would even see the word 'tracking' on the TV.  sometimes the tape would just be fuzzy and no amount of tracking done by the VCR would help.  i remember renting the cult film liquid sky [1982] from jazzbird video and the damn tape was all snow.  i could hear the sound but i couldn't get the picture.  fucking tape.  that was how it was back then.  you took your chances.

david sandberg has fun with fuzziness and tracking.  he uses them in his short. sandberg also employs a cheezy synth score that is so in tune with straight-to-video '80s films it is a delight to behold.  this is a wonderful short film for those who want to experience again the days of renting straight-to-video fodder from a mom&pop video store and experience its beautiful slag.


At 6:57 PM, Blogger Radish King said...

My Christmas will now be complete. TY. Have you seen The Wolfpack? Streaming on Netflix now. Brilliant documentary. I'm going to write about it as soon as my temperature drops to under 3000.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

hi rebecca:

i'll check out wolfpack! thanks!


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