I had aspirations of spending New Years Eve in Oakland at the Fox Theatre, watching Primus ring in 2014 with some crazy, over-the-top Willy Wonka-themed wonderment, but that simply didn’t pan out. What I ended up doing instead, was spending the night at home on a date night with my lady, and I actually couldn’t be happier about the outcome. The last day of the year was one of the best ones that I can remember having in a long time.
On the morning of December 31st, I called Stephen Malkmus and conducted a phone interview with him for an upcoming issue of a print magazine, scheduled for March. Then, after dropping off the toddler at his grandmother’s, we went out to dinner and, eventually, decided to bail on going out, or heading to a robot party in Olympia; choosing, instead, to take knife hits at home and watch, my favorite film of last year, Spring Breakers (peep my reviews of Korine’s masterpiece here). The credits rolled right at midnight, at which point, I shaped my new electronic drumkit into an “S,” used a splitter to hook up 2 sets of headphones, and flipped the pads so that we could play each side, facing each other–one of us got the hi-hat, while the other manned the kick. It was like a dream for a 17-year-old version of myself, if I had a cool girl to hang out with, and it was really good for the current relationship that the me who is now physically twice that age, is actually involved in. Years come and go and I rarely place much importance on any of it, but this time it felt a bit different. I haven’t been this optimistic about entering into a new year for any reason other than the one that I was exiting was terrible, since I was sipping Kool-Aid on LSD, while cruising into the new millennium, 14 years ago. Having a child affects your views and enthusiasm about the years to come, but that’s more of a personal situation, and not an outlook about a shift in the world at large. Generally, the years just blend into one another.
We’re just 2 days into 2014 and things have continued to impress me and make me feel incredibly enthusiastic about the future. It really feels like a new year and a new dawn and, if nothing else, I’m excited about the prospect of the future getting weird. Just yesterday, there was actually a Reddit AMA with a guy who has 2 dicks–definitely something “different”–and now I’ve witnessed what may very well be the best kickstarter campaign that I’ve ever seen. If New Years Eve was the calcification of everything that would have gotten me stoked as a teen–legendary musical innovators, budget methods of puffing weed, unsettling independent film, a lady jamming with me on an electronic drumkit–then the motion picture work-in-progress known as King Fury, has to be everything that 11-year-old me could have ever dreamed of. Skateboards, explosions, martial arts, vikings riding a dinosaur, a laser grid, digital effects, a Power Glove, silhouettes over cityscapes, a DMC 12… this thing looks fucking nuts.
Not only is this project inspired entirely by the genre of 1980s cop films, from what we’ve seen, it hits the mark in every possible way; delivering beyond the basic gimmick that inspired it. Kung Fury appears to be riding every cliche until the wheels fall off, which is really necessary for something like this. Perhaps, the secret to something of this sort is that our culture has the advantage of being filtered through the mind of someone outside of it–in this case, a Swedish writer/director by the name of David Sandberg (operating under the production moniker of “Laser Unicorns,” of course).
The following basic details come via the kickstarter page:
“The movie features: arcade-robots, dinosaurs, nazis, vikings, norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, all wrapped up in an 80s style action packed adventure.”
“During an unfortunate series of events a friend of Kung Fury is assasinated by the most dangerous kung fu master criminal of all time; Adolf Hitler, a.k.a Kung Führer. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time, to Nazi Germany, in order to kill Hitler and end the Nazi empire once and for all.”
If you’re like me, then you may have seen links to Kung Fury popping up on Facebook feeds over the last few days, already. This isn’t exactly one of those projects that “needs” our support–at this point, it’s already doubled it’s original $200,000 goal, which it reached in about 24 hrs, and there’s still 22 days left in the campaign–but I feel like, if I didn’t at least post something about this, then I wouldn’t deserve to retain the name of this website.
I’ve been involved in discussions about the idea of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, how fundamentally flawed the whole idea of them are, and if they are strictly fucked up or not,. And while I’ve supported the concept, for the most part, my feelings are definitely mixed, as I don’t believe that the concerns are unwarranted. In my personal opinion, I truly believe that people are far too susceptible to getting swept up in the hype of something topical, when most of those same people would never consider donating to a campaign designed to support the homeless, or any other social cause that didn’t have some level of widespread, viral and trendy media support behind it. When you have financially well-off “artists” with huge family support, backing, rich/internationally famous spouses, and tons of breaks behind them, like Amanda Palmer, pulling over a million dollars in a campaign to produce an album in this day and age, just to turn around and request the free services of struggling artists, it can definitely bruise the public perception of crowdfunding, whether you’re a fan of her work and believe in the inflated claims of her importance, or not. The obvious reality is that an established artist will always have the advantage, simply due to their built in fanbase.
What’s exciting about something like Kung Fury to me is that it feels like people are getting behind a project by a relatively unknown artist, simply because the idea is so clearly great, fueled by passion, and that it’s something that they really just want to see come to fruition. When the campaign video trailer ends, I can’t help but feel like there needed to be more to it; like it would be a travesty if it didn’t get finished. As far as I’m concerned, this project alone is a ringing endorsement for crowdfunding in general. This film may not be educating the masses about any horrific injustices in the world, but it’s definitely something that people are believing in and it’s definitely inspiring. Making people want to unite behind an artistic endeavor, has to be worth something. If you watch this video and absolutely nothing stirs in you that prompts you to want to create something yourself, or makes you feel like championing the idea of creation and creativity in general, then I’ve got nothing for ya. I don’t know what to tell you. This thing looks pretty fucking amazing.