Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kung Fury

Kung Fury
A mixture of very broad and very sly that's quite simply a whole lot of fun.

Review on Rotten Tomatoes

Kung Fury is possibly the best thing ever. Wait, don’t leave. Stick around for a bit and let me explain why.

Let’s crunch the numbers. David Sandberg’s thirty one minute short is one of 2015’s biggest internet hits. Released on May 28th, it has, as of today, over twenty two million views on YouTube. This crowdfunding success, with a total budget of 630 thousand dollars, actually managed to place second in this year’s Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

But what makes Kung Fury such a big success? Well, the Internet, of course. It all began when David Sandberg, a Swedish filmmaker, quit the commercial directing business, back in 2012, and focused on writing a script for an action comedy film set in the 1980s, inspired by action films of that era. He initially spent five thousand dollars on producing and shooting footage with his friends, which resulted in a trailer that swept the web by surprise.

The trailer was used for a Kickstarter campaign to produce a full feature film based on his script. With an initial bid of 200 thousand dollars, the trailer’s overnight success allowed them to raise over triple that amount and set them off on a journey through time back to the old days of NES Games and VHS players.

Kung Fury has the perfect recipe for timeless nostalgia. For those of us who grew up in the 80s and the 90s, this short film offers us what is probably the most action packed acid trip down memory lane that we could’ve ever wished for. Just have a look at the film’s synopsis.

During an unfortunate series of events a friend of Kung Fury is assassinated by the most dangerous Kung Fu master criminal of all time; Adolf Hitler, a.k.a Kung Führer. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time, to Nazi Germany, in order to kill Hitler and end the Nazi empire once and for all.

Oh, and it has Vikings and Laser Raptors too. What on Earth is a Laser Raptor? Just go watch the movie and find out. Seriously, just go. It’s free. And on YouTube. You can’t ask for a better bargain.

Kung Fury has just the right dose of nostalgia all mixed together in one great short film that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. It has a Van Damme cosplaying renegade cop, fighting pinball machines, muscle cars, NES Power Gloves, time-travel, old school 80s-style hacking, MS-DOS, VHS Tracking, Vikings, Dinosaurs, Kung Fu, Thor, Hitler, Nazis and David Hasselhof. Freaking David Hasselhof rekindled his music career with Kung Fury’s hit song “True Survivor”. You think you can hassle the Hof9000?

Nostalgia has grounded itself as one of our generation’s greatest trends. But why are we so pumped up over the 80s and the 90s? Well, because those are the decades where most of us who are now in charge of the production and development of online and creative content, grew up in.

We are the kids who grew up watching old VHS tapes to the point that they were simply unusable anymore. Who walked around with our Walkmen and our backpacks filled with cassette tapes. Who hanged out at old arcades to play 8-bit games. Who listened to The Doors and Pink Floyd albums on our dad’s record players. We are the ones who grew up without the internet or cellphones. The ones who couldn’t wait for the latest action figure from our favorite movie or TV show. The ones who woke up early every morning to watch cartoons. Where 3D was wearing red and green glasses to look at some cool images in a book, or at a poorly made animation on TV.

We grew up with silly action packed blockbuster movies, filled with ridiculously awesome one liners and buffed up dudes who couldn’t actually act but who were awesome at kicking some random bad guy's ass. Movies built upon foundations of unbelievable premises and seizure inducing unrealistic plots that never made any sense.

Kung Fury is a representation of all of this and so much more. It’s not afraid to present itself as what it is. A silly action packed sci-fi parody comedy of mid-80s action films. You can even purchase an actual VHS copy of this short film in their online store. Kung Fury speaks to its audience and gives them exactly what they’re longing to see. And it just doesn’t stop.

80s and 90s nostalgia is the bread and butter of the entertainment industry and it has been for a few years now. Although this trend will most likely eventually come to an end, for now, we are still fueling it with our unquenchable thirst for the good old days of our childhood. And even though we are perfectly aware that those days are never coming back, we can still find some comfort in well done throw backs and parodies just like Kung Fury.

Haven’t seen it, yet? What are you waiting for?

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