Alright, show of hands. How many of you Internet dorks choreographed some sweet fight scenes with your friends when you were kids? Yeah, me too.
One of the great college memories that I have was taking a fencing class. Fencing itself was alright, but for the final project we were supposed to put together a choreographed fight scene and present it to the class. Luckily, my best friend had signed up with me and we decided to redo the famous battle in Empire Strikes Back between Luke and Darth where Luke gets his hand cut off. Was it good? It was friggin awesome! Did the rest of the class think it was good? I didn’t care. What I do know is that my friend and I had a blast doing it.
I get the sense that the guys over at KWOON feel the same way about their web series.
Going from Starwars to the equally bitchin’ genre of kung fu, writer and director Todd Roy (The Jace Hall Show) teamed up with Jimmy Lam, Chuck Becker, Onassis Parungao, and Nathan Decker to bring us KWOON (the Chinese equivalent to a dojo), a trio of kung-fu action, online comedies full of badass fight scenes paired with equally badass bad acting.
The series are also full of cheesy lines, weak plots, campy monsters, gangsters, one liners and other lame jokes, bloody nipples, gratuitous boob and butt shots, and, as mentioned before, BADASS KUNG FU. And it’s all awesome!
First things first, all of these guys are real martial artists and it shows. During each fight scene you can tell they know what they’re doing with precision punches, roundhouse kicks and deft execution of Tiger Crane technique. They even have world champion Sanshou fighter Cung Le playing the character Death in Death vs. Kung Fu Carwash. Hardly amateur stuff.
If you couldn’t already tell what the series is about, the tagline explains it for you: “Bad Acting, Good Kung Fu.” That’s an apt description, but it’d take it even further.
In stories of mob-related fraud, mummy awakenings, and deadly automobile detailers the acting isn’t that great, the plots are dumb, the dialogue is cheesy and the monster costumes are bad. Yet, somehow, after all these ingredients are mixed together with talented martial artists, it all comes out being pretty damn entertaining.
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch here to say the magic element that pushes the show forward is these guys are clearly having fun. I think they had a helluva time coming up with the stories, making up the dialogue and the jokes, and especially choreographing the martial arts.
My favorite of the three featured shows is the four part Mummy Dearest. The team finds themselves in a museum doing research for a school paper. In said museum we learn there is a 3000 year-old mummy, who’s obviously cursed. If he is insulted, even though he’s dead, he will hear it and inflict his wrath on whoever is stupid enough to insult a 3000 year-old cursed mummy. Of course the KWOON guys are dumb enough to do it.
While viewing the mummy one says, “I swear to God this thing looks like a turd.” From here on poo jokes and bathroom humor fly as the outraged mummy comes to life hell bent on destroying his insulters, to which the team responds with their awesome kung fu skills and even some trippy, transcendental tai chi. Skidoosh…
Although the series are a touch dated, I can promise you little on the internet comes close in terms of entertainment value. Butterfly kick your way over to KWOON now and see for yourself. If you dig it, you can also consider purchasing the Kwoon Collection on DVD. The creators say its a ticket to happiness and increased sex appeal.