TBT: Kung Pow! Enter the Fist (2002)


Ladies and gentlemen, I again force your eyes and mice/fingerpads/iPad cursor-things towards this page for the second edition of DSB TBT. Hopefully that abbreviation is relatively self-explanatory. I’m too lazy to type it all out.

Due to a request I received (nice call, Josh!!!), the Throwback of today is probably what I would describe as one of the most contentious kung-fu spoof movies; known to some others as one of the most ridiculously hilarious 80 minutes ever created for film. This movie literally caused me so much pain when I first saw it while I guffawed like a hyena — I think I remember it more for that, than for any real story it may have had.

Today’s food for thought: Kung Pow! Enter the Fist.


Release: January 25, 2002


Steve Oedekerk pours all of himself — including his ass-kicking gophers — into this outrageous film that makes light of practically everything you can imagine about kung fu movies — from the awfully out-of-sync voiceovers, to the art form itself, to the characters and how they survive/die. Splicing footage from 1970s obscure martial arts films while dubbing in the main character for major fight scenes borrowed from these films and adding in other random bits and pieces, Kung Pow! is not exactly wholly original — and we get it, it’s the entire point! It’s insanely goofy (and to some, unbearably so…it’s the recipient of an 11% squashed rating on Rotten Tomatoes); to those who were/are fans, this short film is likely to withstand the test of time in the face of hundreds of other spoofs of a genre that is inherently parodic.

Even though Oedekerk wrote and directed the picture he’s at his best as an actor, playing “The Chosen One,” a kung fu prodigy at birth. He embarks immediately on a vengeful quest to find the ones who had murdered his parents in their home years ago, right before he gets tossed from the crib in the most hilarious of ways.

When he discovers that the one responsible for his orphanage is none other than the ugly-as-hell “Master Pain,” also referred to as “Betty,” yep — The Chosen One goes crazy; think Neo on five hits of bath salts but with a penchant for mischief at the same time. Along the way he encounters some strange characters and places, including a future friend in their fist-fighting frenzies, Master Tang, and the one-boobed babe named Whoa.


There are lines galore that one could walk away with stuck in their brains permanently — I still have a few. Some of my favorites include:

  • “Let your anger be as a monkey in a piñata.”
  • “Chicken go ‘cluck-cluck,’ cow go ‘moo.’ Piggie go ‘oink-oink,’ how ’bout you?”
  • “You must take your place in the Great Circle of. . . . stuff.”
  • [narrator] “At that moment, The Chosen One learned a valuable lesson about iron claws — THEY HURT LIKE CRAP, MAN!”
  • “But that would just look stupid and leave my small, sensitive balls completely exposed. . . “
  • “We’re children, we’re children!!!”
  • “Killing is wrong. And bad. There should be a new, stronger word for killing. Like, ‘badwrong,’ or ‘badong.’ Yes, killing is badong. From this moment, I will stand for the opposite of killing: ‘gnodab.'”
  • [Master Betty] “First, a joke. What do you get when you cross an owl with a bungee cord?” [pause…] “…My ass.”
  • “Our! Sexual! Preferences! Are! Our! Own! Business!”
  • “Thank you, squirrel friend. Your soft, cushy body helped absorb the force of his blow.”

In realizing this is not everyone’s cup of tea — in general, spoofs are really a type of acquired taste for those who don’t mind letting the source material become fodder for ridiculous jokes — I have to say this is one of the better spoofs since it literally takes no prisoners in making fun of everything. There’s no escaping the silliness of it all.

So try not to fight back when watching Kung Pow!, or else you might hurt something. Especially the logical side of your brain. This is a good demonstration of what a movie needs as a bare minimum: creativity. If it’s not creative at all, then it’s a documentary. And even documentaries are creative in how they deliver their information. If you’re not in agreement that this movie is at the VERY LEAST creative in its botching of any piece of information, I might just have to have a word with you, privately. . . .


3-5Recommendation: This isn’t likely to move people who oppose outlandish farce, but for those who enjoy shutting their brain off and laughing until it hurts, this does just fine.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 81 mins.

What’s the goofiest movie you’ve ever seen? 

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Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.consequenceofsound.net 

4 thoughts on “TBT: Kung Pow! Enter the Fist (2002)

  1. Pingback: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials | digitalshortbread

  2. Oh my god!!!! I TOTALLY forgot about this film. I remember renting it with a buddy over a weekend and I think we watched it about 10 times. Hilarious beyond belief.


      • hahah MacGruber is a good choice. I can’t believe I haven’t seen that myself. and yeah, Kung Pow I feel like can easily become a forgotten, lost gem. It’s nothing if not insanely funny. glad you enjoyed it as well!!!


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