The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Fistful Of Yen

Director: John Landis
Starring: Evan Kim, Master Bong Soo Han, Ingrid Wang, Nathan Jung, Eric Micklewood, Derek Murcott, Alberto Issacs

Now it’s time to get a little bit silly. The Kentucky Fried Movie is a collection of comedy sketches put together by the Kentucky Fried Theatre creators Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker. The trio are better known these days for Airplane (Flying High), Hots Shots and The Naked Gun. Fans of those films will know what type of humour to expect.

One of the sketches in The Kentucky Fried Movie is a mini movie called a Fistful Of Yen, which is an elaborate and hilarious send up of Enter The Dragon. The movie begins on the Isle Of Lucy and we witness the detonation of a thirty megatonne nuclear bomb.

Three days later British Intelligence, Asquith (Eric Micklewood) and Pennington (Derek Murcott), are watching footage of the explosion, which they have stolen from the Russians. The man behind the explosion is Dr. Klahn. Klahn lives in a hidden fortress in the Harts Mountains. An apart from detonating nuclear bombs, Klahn has also kidnapped Ada Gronick, who is a famous Chinese nuclear physicist.

Asquith and Pennington’s briefing session features footage of Klahn’s top henchmen. The first is Butkus, Klahn’s bodyguard – ‘he is tough and ruthless.’ Next is Kwong, Klahn’s chauffeur – ‘he is rough and toothless.’

The briefing is over and Asquith states, ‘We need someone to find a mountain fortress, defeat an army of deadly killers, and come back with Ada Gronick.’ Thankfully, Pennington knows just the man to ask. He hires Mr. Loo (Evan Kim) for the assignment.

Loo arrives at the hidden fortress to join Klahn’s army. As he walks through the grounds, hundreds of martial artists are kitted out in white, and practising their skills. Some are breaking boards and bricks; others are toughening their hands by thrusting them into cauldrons of hot sand and gravel. One group of men are practising their derby throwing skills (like Oddjob, Harrold Sakata, in Goldfinger).

At the induction ceremony, Dr. Klahn (Master Bong Soo Han) greets all the new men. He says:

‘We are building a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude.
We forge our spirits in the tradition of our ancestors.
You have our gratitude!’

It may not read like much on paper, but if you have seen Enter The Dragon, Master Bong Soo Han’s impersonation of Hahn (Sek Kin) is fantastically funny. The lines get a work out through the rest of this show (on a telephone answering machine, and after one of Klahn’s sexual encounters).

Now that Loo has penetrated the hidden fortress, there is not much point in outlining more of the plot. The movie only goes for thirty-one minutes, too reveal more would ruin the show, but most of it is pilfered directly from ‘Dragon’.

But I will draw your attention to a couple of scenes to illustrate the low brow humour in this satire. In one sequence, three of Klahn’s guards have failed in their duties and have to be punished. Their names are ‘Long Wang’, ‘Hung Well’, and ‘Enormous Genitals’. I hear you groan. Another of my favourite gags is when the klaxon alarm goes off – it’s a sight gag, sorry, but you’ll have to watch it, to get it.

As if the martial arts skill of Mr. Loo wasn’t enough, this film also comes equipped with Big Jim Slade.

A trailer uploaded to Youtube by tstyle9:

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