Anyone who’s been near an internet connection in the past few months has probably run across the trailer for Kung Fury, an enthusiastically insane Kickstarter film paying glorious, over-the-top homage to ’80s martial arts action movies, buddy-cop flicks, bad movie hacking sequences, classic video games, VHS tracking issues, vikings, dinosaurs, and the joy of watching Adolf Hitler get punched in the balls. Now the full half-hour Kung Fury short film has hit YouTube, and it lives up to every ridiculous bit of promise shown by the earlier trailer. Check it out up top.
Kung Fury is the thalidomide brain-baby of Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg (he also plays the title roll of Kung Fury, a cop who becomes a martial arts master after being struck by lightning while being bitten by a cobra after witnessing his partner bisected by a ninja). Originating as a Kickstarter project, Kung Fury swiftly surpassed its $200,000 funding goal and maxed out at over $600,000 in pledges, giving Sandberg the means to deliver a ridiculously entertaining half-hour of undiluted ’80s badassery that could only be surpassed by the realization that there’s an accompanying David Hasselhoff music video.
Given that Kung Fury features several moments that look and feel like they were yanked straight out of a video game, there are undoubtedly many viewers who will watch the short and find themselves thinking, “Man, this would make a great game.” Good news: there is totally a Kung Fury video game.
While Kung Fury is primarily worshiping at the altar of terrible/wonderful VHS-era action movies, it also wears its love of video-game culture on its stylish sleeve. The movie opens with a fight between the hero cop and a rampaging ’80s arcade game cabinet turned bird-flipping murderbot, at one point a hacker “hacks time” using a Nintendo Power Glove, and towards the end Kung Fury engages in a blinding martial-arts action sequence that’s basically the best side-scrolling beat-em-up never made. Sadly, the tie-in game isn’t the multi-million-dollar AAA experience it deserves, but it also only costs two bucks, so it’s hard to complain too much.
Kung Fury: Street Rage is available for a mere $1.99 from Steam, and it promises “ARCADE STYLE BEAT ‘EM UP NAZI FIGHTS,” “STEREO SOUND MUSIC INSPIRED BY UP ‘N’ COMING HIT ARTIST DAVID HASSELHOFF,” “STATE OF THE ART TRUE COLOR GRAPHICS,” and “EVEN MORE NAZI ENEMIES TO BEAT.” Street Rage is as simple as its title character, giving gamers only two options to deal with the swarms of enemies charging in from either side of the screen: left-attack and right-attack. Some enemies require multiple hits alternating between the two. That’s it. Pick a direction and fight. That’s a purity of purpose Kung Fury himself would undoubtedly approve of, and the fact that it still manages be entertaining enough to merit a “Very Positive” rating from Steam users speaks volumes. And again: it costs two bucks.
But any gamers left craving more by Kung Fury: Street Rage would be well advised to grab a copy of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. That standalone expansion and Kung Fury were unquestionably birthed in the same pit of sweltering nostalgia, both channeling the excesses of ’80s action cinema into one hell of a good time.
In Blood Dragon, players take the role of Sergeant Rex “Power” Colt (voiced by ’80s icon Michael Biehn), a cyborg super-soldier tasked with taking down an American agent gone rogue. This involves violence, synthesizer music, laser dragons, and flipping enemies the bird before murdering them with high explosives. Blood Dragon is still available for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Did we mention there’s a Kung Fury David Hasselhoff music video? Because there is.
Kung Fury: Street Rage is available now on Steam.