If you haven’t heard about Kung Fury yet, I seriously question what you do on the internet. The brainchild of David Sandberg (Writer/Director/Star/Visual Effects Ninja), and his Laser Unicorns Production company, Kung Fury is 30 minutes of highly stylized 80’s inspired rad-ness. Inspired directly by Sandberg’s love of 80’s Action films, this short pushes all the right buttons and is the kind of throwback that many have tried to achieve but have fallen on their face while trying.
I can’t go any further without acknowledging that this film is not a Horror film by any stretch of the imagination, but it remains worth discussing all the same. Not only does this film pack enough violence and bloodshed, as well as over the top awesomeness to satisfy any fan of Cheesy 80’s horror films, but the approach and overall execution of the project should serve as both an inspiration, as well as a throwing down of the gauntlet to those who wish to make throwback cinema.
Regular readers will know that I have a Love/Hate relationship with throwback films. I love the spirit, but sometimes it just feels like the filmmakers go out of their way to be silly and the quality suffers. Kung Fury manages to cram in more ridiculousness than I’ve ever seen in 30 minutes, but somehow manages to play it straight while simultaneously not taking itself too seriously. The soundtrack is fucking epic and even features David Hasselhoff singing “True Survivor”, which may be my favorite new song of the year. Visually, this film is on another level, combining conventional photography with digital 3d animation. The finished product looks both retro, and cutting edge in the same breath. Shot almost entirely on green screen and then composited together, Laser Unicorns demonstrated that a limited budget can still generate jaw-dropping work when applied with passion and dedication. Granted, I am a die-hard supporter of practical effects being used whenever possible, but projects like this are certainly an exception. The lesson to be learned here for Horror Filmmakers is that the throwback genre is alive and well…and will now be held to a much higher standard (I’m looking at you, Mutantis…seriously what the fuck even was that?)
So what if it’s not Horror? It’s still awesome in all the ways we love and well worth a view, so without and further delay, I present: KUNG FURY!