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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:

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Josh Bray
Josh has worked in IT for over 15 years. Graduated Broadcasting school in 2012 with a fo­cus on A/V pro­duc­tion. Amateur pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a pas­sion to make things work… by any means nec­es­sary. Editor-in-Chief and do-er of tech things at SuperNerdLand