Kung Fury is a 30-minute, Kickstarter-funded movie that is filmed in the style set by the 1980s. But what exactly does this mean? How do you define something that is “1980s”?
I was lucky enough to be born in 1986. By the time I was 5-years-old, I was old enough to consume and understand all of the popular media and pop culture created during the 1980s and early 1990s. It’s very difficult to describe that era to someone who has not lived through it, but I’ll try: Everything was wacky, fun, liberal, and created solely to entertain the audience in the most over-the-top way possible without fear of reprisal or censorship. YouTube user Vlad Pinata describes it best:
There was a sense of self-awareness to crazy crap like this, but the distinguishing feature was the lack of concern. Life is short, why not burn the candle at both ends and really do something worth remembering? There’s a reason why so freaking much of pop culture came from that decade. It was fearless and unrepentant.
It was not just television and movies, but also the music industry. The rock and heavy metal genre reached its zenith of popularity during this period; Michael Jackson created Thriller and it would go on to become one of the most iconic music videos of all time. Pro wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage become global superstars during the 1980s because of the same reason.
There was also an extra X-factor, which most fans would call the “cheese” factor. Some of the stuff in the 1980s were so cheesy, so unnecessarily over-the-top that despite the stupidity of it all, you still couldn’t help but like what you’re watching. There were also some shows that were meant to be serious, but made you laugh out loud unintentionally, all because of the “cheesiness”.
Why did the craziness of the 1980s and early 1990s disappear? Good question. I would say that it was a combination of the rise of conservatism in the west and the bridging of societies due to the advent of the Internet. Globalism and multi-cultural convergence: Suddenly, we couldn’t be recklessly crazy with our works anymore, out of fear of offending a different culture. But this is a topic for another day.
If you never lived through that era, then you might dislike Kung Fury and simply “not get it”. And that’s totally fine. We cannot change the period of our birth, which is why I am eternally grateful to have been one of the last batches of babies born to that generation (thank you mom and dad). Eighties cheese is best cheese.