Kung Fury (David Sandberg), after traveling through time, discovers that he is standing on a rocky shore against a picturesque, mountain scenery. On a hill above, a laser raptor appears. Essentially, it’s a raptor dinosaur that shoots lasers from its eyes. Kung Fury poses in a fighting position wondering where he is. A laser Raptor? Those have been extinct for years! Suddenly the raptor is killed with a Gatling gun held by a Viking woman named Barbarianna, who rides a giant wolf. Kung Fury wants to know what year this is. Barbarianna tells him it’s the Viking age. “That explains the laser raptor”, thinks Kung Fury.
If that short description, of a one minute scene inside the thirty minute short film “Kung Fury” doesn’t pull you in, then you’re going to miss a lot of fun. But that’s not the only reason why I posted that description. That scene completely describes the how the story flows throughout the film. It’s all about breaking the rules.
Typically, in screen writing, you’re taught that when you create your story universe, you set up a bunch of rules that you stick to. It doesn’t matter how outlandish the idea, just don’t break the rules you’ve created. But that’s the great thing about Kung Fury, the rules in this universe are all about breaking the rules in our world.
David Sandberg, who writes, directs and stars as the titular character Kung Fury, explores his nostalgia of the 80s, Miami Vice, Ninja and Kung Fu films, Barbarian Films, like the stuff produced by Canon and a slew of bad Italian cinema (ever seen Yor, The Hunter from the Future?), video games and yes, Dinosaurs. I’m sure I’m missing some stuff here because he throws so much in it.
Kung Fury is a master Martial Artist with great power which makes him the best cop on the force but his world is shaken when Hitler, who time travels to 1985, kills Kung Fury’s boss. To get avenge his death, Kung Fury must go back in time to defeat Hitler (the Kung Fuhrer). I’ll leave it at that. I mean, there’s no better explanation.
So why do I recommend this film? Well, originally I came across this film as a trailer to a kickstarter. David Sandberg was trying to raise money to finish the film, which required a lot of special effects. According to IMDB, the estimated budget used was 600, 000. I’ll say this, it looks like he put that money to good use. The amount of complex looking effects (the arcade machine coming to life at the start was jaw dropping) will keep your eyes glued to the screen. You can tell he put his heart and soul into this, grabbing all kinds of ideas and creating this alternate television universe. Yes, he’s breaking rules with our history and our memories of the 80s, but it works and the violence and the action, the bits of gore, the jump cuts and jumps in logic turn this into a live action cartoon.
Watch it while it’s still on Netflix. Although, I wonder what this would have been like in a theater with like minded souls.