Film / Kung Pow! Enter the Fist
aka: Kung Pow

"Betty has gone too far. 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."
The Chosen One

An evil man kills an entire family to get at a baby that is destined to become the Chosen One. The baby escapes, grows up in the wild, fights off attackers by ripping their clothes into shred-bikinis, joins a school of martial artists who loudly admit that they wear push-up bras, eventually meets the evil man — who, in the intervening years, has changed his name to Betty — and later fights a cow. He is also the Chosen One because his tongue has a face on it; its name is Tonguey.

Oh, and there are French aliens.

No, really.

A refreshing comedy that's stupid — but amusingly soKung Pow! Enter The Fist is a 2002 film written and directed by lead actor Steve Oedekerk. The film uses footage from an obscure kung-fu movie called Tiger and Crane Fist, along with newly-shot and bluescreened footage (mainly to insert Oedekerk into the film), to create a rather anarchic parody of kung-fu movies in general. Virtually every line is insane — and very quotable; it was difficult choosing which one to put up at the top — and everyone's voice (save Whoa) is dubbed over by Oedekerk himself.

A sequel, Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury, was due to follow; it's been in Development Hell for years, though. Word of God states that Oedekerk is (still) trying to find the right Hong Kong movie(s) to lift scenes from.

Tropes used:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of low budget Kung-Fu films. The cheap special effects seen later are parodies of mockbusters.
  • Agony of the Feet: The mayor's big toe is cut off by Betty to bring him in line, causing blood to squirt out as he walks. Later on, his whole foot has been cut off.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Some martial arts schools actually "trained" students they considered unworthy incorrectly on purpose, just like Wimp Lo, and certain forms of Chinese martial arts do go to considerable lengths to toughen up the practitioner's skin (although not usually to the point of breaking a thermometer in their student's hands).
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Betty. A feared, skilled, powerful male kung-fu master and warlord decides to go under the alias "Betty". Then there's this line: "Hey, you guys, wanna, I don't know, scam some chicks or something?...I DO like the ladies you know, I do like 'em."
    • Master Tang. He has "special needs" that seem to involve a Glove Snap, and then there's the chants that his students shout during their exercises:
    One! Of Us! Is Wearing! A Push-Up Bra! It's Lacy! And Cute! And Loaded! With! Support!
  • Anachronism Stew: Let Ling's dad know if you see a Radio Shack. Also the car, the boombox, the lighter, the Hooters, the Taco Bell, the Neosporin, the cellphone, and the thermometer.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: Dog, when Ling takes her top off. Also when Betty is demonstrating his ability to take blows.
  • Animals Hate Him: Cows and Whales hate him at least. Rodents and small burrowing creatures really like him.
  • Arc Words: "Open your mouth!"
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Wimp Lo, despite being laughably incompetent (not like he thinks so; he just never realized he'd been trained the wrong way).
    "Face-To-Foot style, how'd ya like it?!"
  • Balls of Steel:
    • This is one of Master Pain's / Betty's powers. The scene where Betty demonstrates said powers (where a guy strikes Betty/Pain directly in the crotch with a pole and he doesn't even flinch) was apparently the reason why Steve Oedekerk chose that particular film to use.
    • Wimp Lo apparently thinks he has this, considering his secondary style is Nuts-to-Your-Fist.
    • And the Chosen One learns the hard way that, no, he does not have this power. At all. He might not even have balls after the test run.
    • One of the Hilarious Outtakes shows that Oedekerk himself doesn't have this power, taking one fake blow before mentioning that he really needs a cup.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: An intermission occurs midway through, where the characters tell the audience to go buy snacks, and Wimp Lo informs the audience of how much milk duds and his nipples look alike. Whoa is, suprisingly, about the only character in the movie itself aware of the fourth wall, breaking it repeatedly.
    Whoa: We will meet many more the sequel!
  • Brick Break: During his training montage, the Chosen One goes to punch a board, stops inches from it, then extends his index finger. The board explodes, sending the two men behind it flying.
  • Bullet Time: Used during the cow fighting scene to parody The Matrix.
  • Butt Monkey: "I must apologize for Wimp Lo. He is an idiot. We purposely trained him wrong, as a joke."
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Wimp Lo's attacks.
    Wimp Lo: Try "My nuts to your fist" style!
    • Betty also shouts "Paralyzer!" and "Another Paralyzer!" when attacking The Chosen One.
  • Catch Phrase: Betty had "Shirt ripper!"
  • Character as Himself: Tonguey is credited to "Escobar Tongue."
  • The Chosen One: The hero has No Name Given other than "Chosen One".
  • The Chosen Wannabe: Wimp Lo whines that he isn't the chosen one.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone in the movie. Chosen One slightly less. Comes across clearly compared with Ling and her father.
  • Cool Car: The classic convertible Chosen is seen driving during the post-opening credits montage.
  • Curse Cut Short: "I'm gonna count to three, and if I hear one more friggin' squeak, I'm gonna take his shoes and shove 'em up his-"
  • Death by Adaptation: Ling's father and Wimp Lo's counterparts live in Tiger and Crane Fist.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Chosen shreds a male attacker's clothes into a frilly bikini.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Betty, about The Chosen One: "I'll kill him. I'll kill him dead."
    • "Like with, with a, rock or something. Like a, like a stone..."
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The Chosen One's pet dog, Dog. Who is never in the same frame as The Chosen One. Ever.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Ling says this to the Chosen One, though she does survive.
  • Enhanced on DVD: "The Chosen Edition" includes a plethora of special features:
    • Multiple alternate audio tracks:
      • A Creator Commentary
      • The real audio track (for both the original Chinese and the inserted footage)
      • The "long-lost" book-on-tape version
    • Several alternate dubs and extended takes of various scenes
    • A deleted musical number (which also includes the real audio track, in which Steve sings the adulations of Sam Donaldson)
    • The original arc after the Chosen One was captured, in which he was kept captive by an old man named Chew Fat Lip, given a tattoo indicating where his mouth is, before finally escaping using his prehensile boner in a fight to the tune of "Willy Won't Go" was probably better off cut, though. (Some of this was repurposed for the trailer for the sequel at the end).
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • The masked antagonist that Chosen One confronts early in the film.
    "OPEN... YOUR... MOUTH!!!!"
    • Averted the rest of the film, Wimp Lo and Betty both have nasally high pitched voices.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The first minute of the movie is serious in execution, complete with the murder of Chosen One's family... and then Master Pain speaks, and the rest of the movie is ridiculously silly.
  • Fanservice Extra: There's a random bikini girl amidst the group of martial artists who are trying to kill The Chosen One.
  • Far East: There's more than a few Japanese accoutrements to this Chinese movie - Mushufasa has a pair of katanas, and the Chosen One fights a guy in a kendo suit early on. In a smaller example, while Kung Pow is based on a Hong Kong movie (so the original language was Cantonese), the Chosen One's family speak Mandarin in the first scene.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the Council's flying pyramids appears in the sky halfway through the movie.
  • Gag Dub: The entire premise of this film.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Master Pain (a man) declares that his new name is "Betty" partway through the film. The Chosen One Lampshades it:
    Master Pain: From this day forward, you will all refer to me by the name 'Betty'. Ennnh, heh heheheh!
    The Chosen One: But! Isn't Betty a woman's name?
    *"Betty" whips off his jacket, clearly annoyed at the Chosen One*
    Mayor: Easy, easy! We don't want to lose any more toes here!
  • Glove Snap: Happening off-screen in one scene.
    Master Tang: Eeny meeny miney moe, I wonder where my glove will go...
  • Go for the Eye: Early in the film, Chosen One picks out the eyes of five adversaries.
  • Groin Attack:
    • One of Betty's special abilities allows him to resist shots to the groin. The Chosen One tries to see if he possesses this ability only to play the trope straight...
    • In the credits, we see an outtake of this scene.
    Steve Oedekerk: "Oooooh! OK, I'm gonna need a cup."
    • According to the DVD commentary, this scene from Tiger and Crane Fist is what led to it being picked.
    • Taken up to eleven in a deleted scene from the final fight, where the Chosen One unleashes a barrage of kicks, punches, and headbutts upon Betty's naughty bits, to absolutely no effect.
    • One of the deleted scenes features an attack with a groin as the Chosen One escapes from a torturer by beating him and his guards up with his... well... y'know.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Chosen One's inability to find a way to remove the metal spikes protecting Betty's weak points causes him to throw a major hissy fit.
    Chosen One: DON'T LOOK AT MEEE!
  • Hong Kong Dub: Parodied. At one point, Dog barks and lays down, at which point we hear the sound.
  • Inescapable Net: Spoofed. The hero is trapped in a net that isn't even big enough to cover his head.
    Betty: Yessss, the tiny net is a death sentence. IT'S A NET AND IT'S TINY!
  • Intermission: Yep, there's one here, despite that it's only an 81-minute movie. Of course, the intermission is only about 15 seconds long.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Various times, such as the "gopher-chucks" scene where The Chosen One is scaring off his opponents by twirling his gopher-chucks, much like someone would show off normal nunchucks.
  • It's Been Done: The "This is CNN" joke was already done in the Simpsons episode "Round Springfield".
  • Killed Off for Real: Wimp Lo. Played for laughs when it turns out everyone else was Not Quite Dead.
    Chosen One: Wait...if you're all alive, then surely Wimp Lo...Wimp!
    (Chosen One runs over to Wimp's off-screen body, only to hear flies buzzing around)
    Chosen One ...Oh. (slowly backs away)
  • Lemony Narrator:
    • "At that moment, the Chosen One learned a valuable lesson about iron claws...THEY HURT LIKE CRAP, MAN!"
    • Master Tang seems to actually be the narrator, but he expresses one line of in-character thought:
      "OK, so here were my options - A.) Quickly duck sideways, dodge the claw, then take him out with a spinning back kick, or B.) Take the claw in the face, then roll on the ground and die. (proceeds to take claw to the face) Hmm, should've gone with A."
  • Lip Lock:
    • Almost always ignored for humour, except when it is occasionally followed... for humour. Example:
    Betty: People say that I do things that are not...(pause) correct-to-do.
    • Attention is drawn to this quite often. Example: Oedekerk's character looks to be shouting something with a lot of emotion and the camera zooms in on his face, but you hear him say, in a less-than-excited voice, "I implore you to reconsider." The words Oedekerk is really yelling: "I'M SOMEBODY'S MOMMY!!"
    • Parodied with Ling, whose line always end before her lips stop moving, so she ends most lines with "wee-ohh, wee-ohh" noises.
    • Also parodied with the ventriloquists, who never open their mouths.
  • Lull Destruction: Parodied, when a relatively wordless fight scene between the main villain and two random guys in the original movie is turned into a more talkative fight between Betty and a pair of ventriloquists.
  • Made of Bologna: The Chosen One punches a mook in his torso so hard that a circular chunk comes out the other side. This is lampshaded by the narrator.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Ling is very indecisive about how much she loves the Chosen One. Even though she repeatedly flashes her breasts to him, she doesn't want him to think she's a slut.
  • Mighty Whitey: The Chosen One is a white man somehow, despite having two Asian parents.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Subverted. The first woman who finds the Chosen One as a baby lying on the side of the mountain he's rolled half-way down stops, picks him up, and coos "So cute..." before bidding him farewell as she lobs him to roll down the other half of the mountain. (Where he is eventually found, and raised... by "various rodents".)
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Inverted when Master Pain changes his name to Betty.
  • Nested Mouths: The sign of the Chosen One is that he has a cartoon face on his tongue.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: "Nng, I'm just a birdie too...."
  • Obviously Evil: "The Evil Council".
  • Offscreen Inertia: A hawk is eating Master Tang. Fade to black.
    "Hey, just because you fade to black doesn't mean he stopped. He's still eating me! I promise!"
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: "Nnnng... Yes, the Council!"
    Mayor: Master Betty, might I inquire: What is the Evil Council's plan?
    Betty: Nnnng. It is EVIL! Mnyah! It is so EVIL! It is a bad, bad plan... that will hurt many... people... that are good. I think it's great 'cause it's so bad!
    Mayor: I see. I think...
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • A scene near the beginning is around two minutes of Whip-Zooms accompanied by dramatic musical stings and a parody of another kung fu movie that Steve Oedekerk found while researching for this film.
    • And also when Ling calls out to him later in the film.
      Ling: Chosen One!
      C.O.: (far away, running towards her) I'm coming!
      Ling: Chosen One!
      C.O.: (now closer, still running towards her) I'm coming!
      Ling: Chosen One!
      C.O.: (suddenly far away again, still running towards her) I'm coming!
      Ling: Chosen One!
      C.O.: (now closer, still running towards her) I'm coming!
    • "Chosen One, I want to help... but I..... I..... I..... I..... I..... I..... I....."
  • The Paralyzer: Betty's signature attack is the Trope Namer.
  • Plot Hole: During the final battle, there's no explanation as to how Master Betty loses his iron claws or what The Chosen One is holding at the start of the battle. (In the original film, Jimmy Wang Yu's character uses fireworks fuse to burn the cable that connects the claws. That part was left out of the film as a deleted scene and the fuse is what the Chosen One is actually buying instead of nuts in the earlier scene.)
  • Pocket Protector: The Chosen One is saved from Betty's deadly technique with... a squirrel.
  • Portmanteau: "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."
  • Product Placement:
    • "Oh, Taco Bell, Taco Bell, product placement with Taco Bell!"
    • "Tell me... if you see... a Radio Shack."
    • "Ba na na na na, Neo! Ba na na na na na na, Sporin!"
    • If you look closely when during the scene in which Betty goes to fight Master Tang, during the zoom out you can see people moving tables and on the left side you can clearly see a Hooters.
    • When The Chosen One goes to buy nuts, there is a shelf of Pringles behind him.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Sadly, Kung Pow II: Tongue Of Fury will probably never happen. A lot of the shots used for it are taken from deleted scenes.
  • Rule of Cool: The Chosen One is able to do fifteen backflips in mid-air before landing and is able to do push-ups without touching the ground (he holds himself airborne by blowing the ground).
  • Rule of Three: To the point of reusing the same footage of Chosen One saying "Hmm?" three times.
    Whoa: The supreme gift.
    Chosen One: Hmm?
    Whoa: You must trust the power of the tongue.
    Chosen One: Hmm?
    Whoa: But I must warn you...
    Chosen One: Hmm?
  • Schizo Tech: Played for Laughs.
    Master Pain: "Mmmmm... lighter."
  • Sequel Snark: It spends a good deal of time at the end of the movie showing a full trailer for the sequel, made up mostly of scenes deleted from the first movie. Naturally, no such movie exists (though an unrelated sequel is currently in Development Hell).
  • * Shirtless Scene
  • Shout-Out:
    • To The Lion King in the form of Mushufasa, who calls the Chosen One "Simba" before finally settling on "Chosimba One".
    Mushufasa: (fading back into the clouds) "This... is CNN."
    • Mushufasa is also a portmanteau of Mufasa and one of Mulan characters - dragon Mushu.
    • Ling sounds an awful lot like Miss Piggy.
  • Sissy Villain:
    • Played straight and inverted. Wimp Lo has a very high voice and is indeed wimpy, but Betty is pretty manly despite the high, nasally voice, name, and the Chosen One has his own points of sissyness.
    • Early on, he is assaulted by a large masculine man who says "Your days are over, Mister" in a high-pitched lisp. The Chosen one shreds his clothes into a bikini, which causes him to wrap his arms around himself as if to protect his modesty and run off crying.
  • Smoke Out: Averted when the smoke is too small and conditions are too windy to hide the ninja.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Master Tang's counterpart gets killed in Tiger and Crane Fist. Though he was sick and dying anyway.
  • The Stinger: No one actually recovered Master Tang after his "death" scene, and the crew just laugh as a hawk arrives to eat him. Also, save the whales.
  • Stock Footage: The movie itself is pieced together from Tiger and Crane Fist, and there are numerous other instances in the movie, all done deliberately for laughs:
    • Certain shots of baby Chosen One rolling down the really tall mountain are recycled in that sequence.
    • The introduction to Master Tang has footage of Tang swooping his arm in the air three times.
    • When Chosen One meets Whoa, footage of him saying "Hmm?" is used three times in quick succession.
    • The footage of Betty swinging his chain at the waterfall is used a few times in the same scene.
    • The footage of Chosen One running towards Ling in an open field ("Chosen One!" "I'm coming!") is recycled, parodying continuity errors.
    • The footage of Chosen One coming across dying bodies of Tang, Ling, and Dog is recycled numerous times.
    • The animorphically stretched stock footage of squirrels near the end of the film.
  • Stylistic Suck: The whole movie. To give the sense of bad dubbing, Steve Oedekerk wrote scripts that had nothing to do with the actual story and had everyone use them on set. Then they were all later dubbed over by Steve or Jennifer Tung in the case for "Whoa".
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Betty has a guy with a boom box playing "Can't Touch This" and "Baby Got Back". Also when the Chosen One changes the music to "Black Betty"
    "Beware... his song... about big butts. He... beats you up while he plays it!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Probably not intentional, but Betty seems to have done this after the intro. At the start of the film, the Chosen One delivers a beatdown on a baby. The next time they clash, many years later, Betty returns the favour.
  • Translation: "Yes": "______________________________________________________ I dunno."
  • Trivially Obvious: "Behold the two symbols... one, over here... the other one, over there."
  • Unbuilt Trope: The movie itself plays out much like an Abridged Series, years before Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series debuted.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Master Tang's friend told him of the Chosen One's coming and that "It would be significant"... before he killed his dog by farting.
  • Verbal Tic: Developed to fill time when the characters are still talking on the film but have run out of dialogue. Eventually leads to this exchange:
    Betty: Nnnnnng...
    Ling: Wee-ooh! Wee-ooh!
    Betty: Nnnnnng...
    Ling: Wee-ooh! Wee-ooh!
    Betty: Nnnnnng...
    Ling: WEE! [Kicks random mook] OOH! [Beats another one]
  • Vocal Dissonance: Admit it: You were surprised the first time you heard Master Pain, a sinister-looking martial artist, speak in that high-pitched goofy voice.
    Master Pain: Open da mouth.
    • One of the villagers, an Asian, speaks with a Southern drawl.
  • Voodoo Shark: Played for laughs with the "I am a great magician" sequence. Steve Oedekerk wanted to edit two shorter dialogue scenes into one long scene, but found a major problem in that the mayor was wearing a black robe in one scene and a red in the other. So he stuck in some dialogue regarding Betty's great magical powers, and had him change the mayor's clothing when needed.
  • Walking the Earth: "So on he walked... and sometimes, drove... and occasionally, partied with the desert creatures."
  • The War Sequence:
    • The Chosen One faces down the army of the Evil Council... in the sequel.
    • A smaller one (that we actually see) occurs near the beginning.
  • Wimp Fight: Wimp Lo. Justified, as the dojo deliberately trained him wrong "as a joke". Which is, apparently, what some ancient martial arts schools actually did to those they felt were less than worthy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Betty attempts to kill the Chosen One as a baby. Unfortunately (for Betty), the infant already knows how to do some sick kung fu moves.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: The Cow has a mean piledriver.
  • Yandere: Ling is very much in love with the Chosen One, but is also no stranger to hurting him.

"We will meet again, Chosen One. Many more times. In the sequel."

Alternative Title(s): Kung Pow