Nazis and Dinosaurs and Vikings, Oh My
Well damn, that was a helluva experience. I just got finished watching Kung Fury, and it’s a crack fueled, nostalgia themed party train that will be hard to forget. May 28th marked the release of the short film, partially funded by a successful $600,000 Kickstarter, made by Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg. This is Sandberg’s first large scale project, but he comes with a history in the music video and advertising arena, and that experience shows. You can tell this a passion project for the filmmaker, who is director, writer and plays the lead role in this love letter to the ridiculousness of 1980’s
This movie screams 80s at you from the opening to the last moment of the credits roll. From the oh so fitting synth laden soundtrack, to the bits of old technology used on the set. Interspersed with visual effects to replicate watching a VHS tape, and working to emulate every cheesy FX from the time, this movie will send you reeling back to the time of Trapper Keepers and bad hair. The loving references are not beaten over your head either, so much as they are woven into the fabric of this insane spectacle in a natural feeling way. Sandberg also did a great job using the effects to mask the limitations he had while making the film.
“The absence of limitations is the enemy of art”
Shot using a Canon EOS 5D and a Sony FS700, lots of green screen, and liberal use of his offices as set pieces, Kung Fury is a glorious monument to what a passion project can turn out to be. When you read about how Sandberg hacked this movie together, and see that the resulting effects rival and at times outshine the visuals something like Sin City, you can’t help but feel humbled at what was accomplished. Though it’s run time is only 30 minutes, every second is filled with so much love that it is palpable.
Little stories about production make the achievement of this short film stand out. Things like Sandberg being only able to afford one police uniform for filming, so they shot everyone that had to use it separately and composited it together. Knowing that, it’s still hard to tell when looking back at some scenes.
Watch how some of Kung Fury was made here:
This movie makes no sense… and that’s OK
I really don’t want to spoil the plot of this acid trip back in time. I don’t mind trying to describe this fabulously absurd ride, though. If Big Trouble in Little China had a baby with Kung Fu Hustle, and it was raised by Robot Chicken then you would get Kung Fury. It is one of those things that you will love or you will hate, but by the end of it you can’t deny it’s the farthest thing from bland. This short film works as a great proof of concept for a way of making fantastic looking and tightly made movies on a lean budget and agile production methodology. That, or it proves that Sandberg is an insane person. Either way, I really hope that some investors come and throw money at him for future projects. Because if Kung Fury is a reflection of the crazy visions this man has, then I want to see more. Plus that cliff hanger!
Best thing of all, you don’t even have to spend a dime to watch Kung Fury! Go embark on this trip yourself right here: