Not so long ago, the greatest joy I took from writing for Heroic Cinema was the fact that I could use my position on the team to justify watching all sorts of crazy crap, usually starring Amy Yip. Seeing as I could never be sure what Mark would ask me to review next, I had no problems at all sitting down with a copy of Erotic Ghost Story, or similar, and feeling just fine about all the exploitative sex and violence that was finding its way into my brain. Now, I’ve become a little more discerning of late, but I still occasionally get the urge to watch something akin to the crazy crap I signed on for – something that’s more or less rubbish, but can still be enjoyed for as long as its in the DVD player.
Sadly, Kung Faux is not that kind of crazy crap. Despite my honestly hoping otherwise, it turned out to be crazy crap of a different kind, the kind that fails the old Wayne’s World 2 tag-line test because it although it inspires crying and hurling, it completely misses out on the third, and most important, response: laughter.
To be fair, the Kung Faux concept makes me snigger quite a bit, which is why I was rather looking forward to watching it, but I really can’t say the same for the actual programme because the execution is so shockingly bad.
Here’s the thing — everybody finds bad dubbing funny. That’s a given. And what is it that makes badly-dubbed films so hilarious? It’s because the soundtrack is asynchronous with the image, right? You laugh because the characters onscreen are moving their mouths but the words just don’t fit! But, BUT, although bad dubbing is bad, it’s still dubbing, and it is with this important point that Kung Faux’s greatest failing becomes clear. What’s coming out of the speakers never really seems to correspond to the picture, and there are actually times when there’s no-one speaking onscreen but the voice actors will still be blathering away on the soundtrack! Stupidity!
There are lots of other irritating things about Kung Faux — the bizarre use of filter effects, the addition of all sorts of super-annoying captions like “SHORTY’S GOT SKILLZ” — but the biggest problem besides the bad-dubbing-that’s-not-actually-dubbing thing is that there’s not a single gag worth laughing at in the either of the episodes included on this DVD. A friend suggested I might find it funnier if I watched it stoned, but really, at what point do you decide it’s just not worth the effort? In the case of Kung Faux, I gave up long before resorting to drug use.
You know what? I think I’m going to spend some time imagining fu films dubbed by other musicians. Heh. James Brown. Or Hendrix maybe. Yeah, Hendrix. “Uh… dig, brother… look out… I’m coming to GETCHA! Da da DAda dad a da DAda…”