Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Dub-Parodies” with a minor in “Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh!”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week Supercult purposely trains his students wrong (as a joke!) in honor of Kung Pow!
After the death of his family at the hands of the evil Kung Fu legend, Master Pain, The Chosen One wanders from town to town, searching for revenge. Along the way he will meet a strange cast of characters such as bovine karate master Moo Nieu, the single-breasted Whoa, the mystical lion Mu-Shu Fasa, and a dog. Can this rough around the edges hero and his magical tongue defeat the ultimate evil? This is Kung Pow! Enter the Fist!
Kung Pow! is an American comedy kung fu movie within a serious Hong Kong kung fu movie. Written, directed, and starring Steve Oedekerk as simply The Chosen One, Kung Pow! uses footage from the 1976 film Tiger and Crane Fist (also called Savage Killers) along with new footage shot by Oedekerk, to create a completely original, unrelated plot. Oedekerk replaced the lead actor in Tiger and Crane Fist, Jimmy Wang Yu, in many scenes with the use of post-production and chroma key techniques. Oedekerk also re-dubbed the entire original cast’s voices himself, inventing a different silly voice for every single character. The only exception is the character of Whoa, who was voiced by her actor, Jennifer Tung.
It’s clear that Kung Pow! was somewhat of a one-man vanity project. Parts of a scene in which Chosen and Ling’s father are falling down a waterfall was filmed in Oedekerk’s swimming pool while the scene where Chosen is visited by Mu-Shu Fasa was filmed in his backyard with a digital camera using a lamp and a hairdryer for lighting and wind effects. Kung Pow! is basically a 10 million dollar excuse for Steve Oedekerk to live out his childhood dream and star in a kung fu film. That alone deserves respect…even if nothing else about this movie does.
Released in 2002 Kung Pow! would’ve been a highly inventive comedy masterpiece…if the same thing hadn’t been done earlier and better by Woody Allen in 1966 in “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” by Carl Reiner in 1982 with “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, and by Chris Hayward with the 1963 Television series Fractured Flickers. Kung Pow! Enter the Fist! is really just another entry in the Dub-Parody genre that anyone with even the most basic of audio editing equipment can join in on. Does that make Kung Pow! a worse movie? Well…yeah…but at least it’s got gopher-chucks! That’s something, right?
Kung Pow! Received extremely negative reviews by critics upon release and with a box office return of $16.9 million from a budget of $10 million, it’s clear that audiences weren’t too crazy about it either. John R. McEwen of Film Quips Online says, “I haven’t seen such self-amused trash since Freddy Got Fingered,” and Brian Mckay of eFilmCritic.com says Kung Pow is “As deadly to brain cells as huffing paint thinner, but more delightful!”
However, Kung Pow! garnered a strong cult following due to it’s camp, over-the-top humor. With an IMDB score of 6.2 and an 11% Rotten Tomatoes, Kung Pow! may not be a fantastic film (no seriously, it’s pretty f#*%-ing bad!) but it hits that sweet spot between stupid and stupid funny that we here at Supercult go crazy for! For those of us who enjoy lampooning poorly-overdubed English language releases of martial arts films, the film scratches that itch and provides a lifetime’s worth of incredibly quotable content. Everything from the squeaky shoes of Wimp Lo to the milk dud nipples at the intermission are fuel for the incredibly annoying fire that is, quoting this film to each other until two in the morning.
We’re here to keep that fire burning! You watch this movie. I’ll go home!
The Supercult show is proud to present Kung Pow! Enter the Fist!