Kung Fury (David Sandberg, 2015)

“It’s bloody well brilliant.” – Todd Brown, TWITCH FILM.

“The world will never be the same.” – Peter Debruge, VARIETY.

Drafthouse Films LogoAfter his partner is killed in the line of duty, Miami Police Department detective and martial artist Kung Fury time travels from the 1980s to World War II to kill rival kung fu master, Adolf Hitler (a.k.a. “Kung Führer”), only to be sent back to the Viking Age where he must face powerful warrior women and Norse Gods.  This ’80s inspired, action extravaganza pits Kung Fury against lethal arcade robots, martial arts masters, laser-dinosaurs, and Nazi mutants.  With only his biceps, his skateboard skills, a collection of similarly badass heroes, and a mere 30-minutes to save history, Kung Fury kicks and quips his way to victory.  Constrained by a miniscule budget, David Sandberg’s Kung Fury was shot on green screen to construct a fanciful trailer of epic, B-movie awesomeness that became an internet sensation and inspired a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.  The result is an homage to 1980s adventure films and side-scrolling video game battles, complete with astounding visual effects and a shredding electropop synth score.  A darling of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, Kung Fury now hits hard media with the mighty force of Thor’s enchanted hammer!

Special Features:

Hack Time Edition – Package Includes:

Once a year, dictionary publishers make the news cycles with the addition of new words like “emoji,” “photobomb,” “crema,” and “click bait.”  Often missed are the new “definitions” rewritten to maintain the currency of language.  Watching David Sandberg’s Kung Fury (2015), a film that started as a pet project that became a concept trailer-turned-viral sensation and then a short film after an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign, we’re convinced that Oxford and Merriam-Webster must have been among the 17,713 backers that put up the $630,000 for its production.  Kung Fury is clearly the new 31-minute definition for the word “awesome.”  And “epic.”  And “badass.”

We could recount its plot here, attempting to describe in words the explosive inventiveness and stunning visual effects of Kung Fury, but we would of course fail to capture the raw power of Sandberg’s effort in ’80s action-adventure.  We could no more express its transcendental coolness than we could describe the joy of grasping your valkyrie-lover’s metal-cupped breasts as she rode you on her winged steed to Valhalla or convey the split-second bliss felt as Chuck Norris windmill-kicked your head off.  Sandberg constructs an audio-visual Rosetta Stone of airbrushed panel van artwork, Capcom video game violence, and Axe Cop originality.  And at barely more than a half-hour, couldn’t you just watch it yourself?

Debuting at the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight earlier this month and having become something of critical darling, Kung Fury is now approaching a degree of legend comparable to its title character.  Sandberg, a Swedish commercial director, conceived of the film as an homage to ’80s movie heroism and shot the entirety of its footage on green screen, then fashioned a trailer as a proof of concept to crowdfund the resources necessary to produce the entire short.  The trailer was enough to inspire the involvement of The Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone (playing the Kung Führer) and that paragon of 1980s masculinity, David Hasselhoff (who needed to see only 15 seconds of the trailer to sign on!).  A feature film is now in the works, starting over with Kung Fury from scratch to allow for even bigger action and a modicum of character-development.  Sandberg’s evolving film is a tall tale of cinema’s digital age that is all the more fantastic for being true.

Kung Fury PosterSo why Drafthouse Films?  Sandberg seems to be doing quite well on his own with his Kung Fury website and web shop and the film is currently available for free on YouTube.  We’ll offer 3 reasons.  First, Kung Fury demands to be seen on a big screen, where the scale of Sandberg’s VFX and the impressiveness of Thor’s pecs can be truly appreciated, and we trust that Drafthouse can find a means to properly present the short for theatrical consumption by interested audiences.  Secondly, the nostalgia-factor that roots Kung Fury requires a hard media presence and Drafthouse does do Blu-ray editions well.  Lastly, a full-length feature seems inevitable given the short’s goodwill, and wouldn’t some forward-thinking label want to be ahead of the game to acquire the distribution rights to that movie?  We’d gladly double-dip for the short and the feature – as if there’s such a thing as too much Kung Fury for your shelf!  I mean, doesn’t that poster look like it was commissioned for a Drafthouse Films release?

Credits:  Our cover summary is derived from content provided on the Kung Fury website, and aside from the interviews supposed for a deluxe edition on hard media, all special features and collectibles already exist.  Our quotes are taken from Todd Brown’s Twitch Film article “Review: Struck By Lightning.  Bitten By A Cobra.  KUNG FURY Is A Giddy Blast Of B-Movie Entertainment.” and Peter Debruge’s listicle for Variety, “Why ‘Kung Fury’ Was the Most Awesome Project in Cannes.”

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