Remember a little Swedish Kickstarter project making the rounds in early 2014 that played like an 80’s time capsule overload? We certainly do.
In David Sandberg’s Kung Fury, a “kung fu renegade cop” travels back in time to defeat the most evil kung fu master of all time – wait for it – Adolf Hitler. Along the way he enlists the help of ancient, gun-toting Vikings, fights a sentient arcade game, and rides into battle astride a Tyrannosaurus Rex all to a bombastic 80’s synth soundtrack that’s equal parts nostalgic and cheesy. Needless to say, Kung Fury surpassed all of its fundraising goals, racking up 8.5 million views for its retro stylistic trailer and connecting with over 18,000 Kickstarter backers worldwide (myself included). In the end, Sandberg managed to amass a whopping $630,000, making the project the second biggest Kickstarter film of all time outside of the U.S.
Fast forward to mid-April of this year. After months and months of grueling production and vague backer updates, the highly anticipated CG wonderfest dropped its official theme song “True Survivor” on YouTube. And only one man embodied the time period and Tron-electro aesthetic of mid-80’s excess enough to undertake it – the global superstar and 80’s icon David Hasselhoff.
Within a few weeks, the video went viral to the tune of nearly ten million views. And with its perfect cross-section of the era’s zeitgeist, it’s not difficult to see why.
“The 80s was about fun, action, and heroes,” says Hasselhoff . “Kung Fury has it all!” Nazis, norse gods, dinosaurs and a theme song that spells out the story of the film (Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters” anyone?). Sandberg and his team haven’t missed any of the essentials.
Kung Fury and its companion soundtrack hit the web on May 28th. In the meantime, eagerly waiting fans can check out “True Survivor” and Hasselhoff’s behind the scenes interview on VEVO. Both have been offered as a token of gratitude to the crowd-funding community, while the 30 minute short film undergoes its last stages of post-production. With Hasselhoff’s trademark vocals anchoring the grandiosity of “True Survivor,” Kung Fury is poised to be the most complete and reverent homage to 80’s style film in decades. Fans of the genre have much to celebrate, while a new generation of action fans can sink their teeth into some pleasantly retro genre fare.
“I’m honored to be involved with [director] David Sandberg, an up-and-coming force of nature in the animation digital entertainment world,” says Hasselhoff. “The song is perfect for me as I really am, in real life, a True Survivor.”