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Film / Who Killed Captain Alex?

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Action-packed movieee!!
VJ Emmie

Who Killed Captain Alex? is an independent, low budget Ugandan action movie, produced by Ramon Film Productions (also known as "Wakaliwood"), and is billed as "Uganda's first action movie". The film was made for over a year and a half in early 2010 on a budget of less than $85 US Dollars (215,000 Ugandan shillings; or about $256 at Uganda's 2010 private consumption PPP conversion factor), which was raised via crowdfunding websites and donations. It was mostly filmed in the Wakaliga slum of the Ugandan capital of Kampala for much of its production, and a majority of the props seen were homemade. Much of its popularity overseas is owed to its energetic YouTube trailers, low quality but exciting action/gunfight sequences, and authentic action styling and camera work.

The plot begins with Captain Alex, a highly-skilled Ugandan Special Forces (USF) officer and a celebrated national hero, being ordered by the President of Uganda to take his platoon of commandos to the jungle to carry out a deep raid on a base that is home to the deadly Tiger Mafia gang, described as a large gang that rules Kampala and the suburbs around the city with an iron fist, now on the run due to several defeats at the hands of the USF. After stealthily sneaking into the base, taking out a few guards, and directly assaulting the base (interrupting a drug deal that the gang was conducting and getting the USF into a deadly and long gunfight with multiple Tiger Mafia goons), the USF commandos manage to capture the brother of the gang's leader Richard and escape unharmed.

The distraught Richard (after learning of his brother's capture by the USF on national TV), with the help of his double agent/spy on the inside of the USF command structure, retaliates with a massive assault on the USF base that results in the death of Captain Alex (it is disputed who killed him, however) and the USF falling into disarray for quite a while. Now it is up to Bruce U, a mixed martial arts master and the dead captain's brother, to get revenge on the Tiger Mafia and bring Richard to justice before he, his Tiger Force goons, and his squadron of attack helicopters put a plan into motion to destroy Uganda's cities and bring down Uganda's government for good.

The entire adventure is (sorta) narrated by VJ Emmie (who is known in Uganda to narrate other films), a video joker — a commentator/translator who will occasionally add their own input, crack jokes, or just shout out random words. The full film was released on Youtube in 2015, and was released as a Blu-ray double feature in June of 2019 with Bad Black.

This film contains examples of:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: The way both the USF commandos and the Tiger Mafia goons hold the guns (hip-firing with sweeping motions and spraying and praying from cover with no iron sights) makes this trope come into effect, because although is almost impossible to hit someone if you use the posture they display here, they still manage to rack up a huge body count regardless.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: A rare case of this happening in live-action. Several action scenes have shots flipping between cuts to show characters shooting in different directions, most obviously seen in the climactic raid on the Tiger Mafia forest base.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: One flashback scene has Richard threatening to kill a captive woman if she doesn't marry him. And the movie seems to be pretty cynical about it.
    "Welcome to Uganda!"
  • Audience Surrogate: When he's not being so hilariously over-the-top in his narration, VJ Emmie often attempts to voice the audience's sentiments during certain scenes, such as shouting "Jesus!" when someone gets stabbed in the throat or "Mamma mia!" when someone gets hit by gunfire.
  • A-Team Firing: The gun battles between the Ugandan Special Forces commandos and the Tiger Mafia Mooks, full stop. Both sides gunfire often only hit people so much because of the principles of More Dakka (as stated below) and Accidental Aiming Skills (as stated above), more than anything.
  • Ax-Crazy: Richard is so wrathful and homicidal that he kills not only soldiers but his own wives and henchmen.
  • Bad Boss: Richard, the leader of the Tiger Mafia, shoots his own people whenever he gets angry, and even sees his own wives as expendable.
  • BFG: The red mercenary’s automatic rifle.
  • Big Bad: Richard, one of the very few named characters in the movie.
  • Big "NO!": Emmie lets one out when Katz's Delicatessen gets attacked.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: A rather literal example. One guy mentions cooking "German Food" and when asked for details, he says he found German tourists and cooked them. The soldiers who talked with him thought it was delicious, and one even wanted the head. Like Predator. Then again, this was narrated by Emmie, so it's debatable if it's what they actually said.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Despite a constant spray of automatic gunfire, no one is ever shown reloading in the film. It's a good thing they don't have to reload, because almost no one ever appears to be carrying spare ammo (barring the Russian mercenary, as he has a Badass Bandolier).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After asking everyone Who Killed Captain Alex, Sserunya Ernest, Richard the Tiger Mafia’s actor, suddenly breaks character, turns to the camera and shouts "THEN WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX!? WHO!?", clearly exasperated at not getting a credible answer.
  • Calling Your Attacks: TIGER MAFIA... SUPA KICKER!!!
  • Captain Obvious: The VJ says things like "The movie is on!" and "You are watching Who Killed Captain Alex."
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Tiger Mafia's number-one hired goon is a Russian who always wears red. You can tell he's Russian because he wears red, too.
  • Curse Cut Short: One of Richard's escaped wives asks Bruce if he can have one of the fish he caught. Bruce's response is a zoomed-in glare, and VJ Emmie translates for us:
    "WHAT THE F-"
  • Decoy Protagonist: Captain Alex is set up as the closest thing to the main character, but knowing the movie's title, this doesn't last too long.
  • Dedication: Director Isaac Nabwana dedicated the film to his grandmother.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Man, the man is killing us, man!"
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The guns. Some of them look like they had been cobbled together from scrap parts by the commandos and others look completely made up, which is true in a sense considering the budget they had.
  • Distress Ball: The Russian mercenary working for the Tiger Mafia is a turbo-charged murder machine in battle, but for some reason he acts helpless and begs for his life when Richard threatens him.
  • The Don: Richard, leader of the powerful Tiger Mafia.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Richard deeply loves his brother and is distraught to learn that he's been captured. Compare his wives (who he shoots on a dime) and his underlings (who he regularly unleashes beatings and threats on).
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: "This is serious! Everybody in Uganda knows kung-fu!" And they mean everyone.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Everyone in this movie is hammy, but Richard tales the cake as he is prone to loud, large hams, which is fitting for such a villain filled with Wrath.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Captain Alex's commandos are so deadly the Tiger Mafia can't even see them even when they should be clearly visible.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The first thing shown is a sequence where the Ugandan People's Defence Air Force use a helicopter to blow up a city block, but it quickly cuts to a shot of the production crew filming some content before their logo appears.
  • Flowery Insults: Richard has a very... bizarre way of trash talking.
    "You think I'll just sit back as you try to eat me, as if I were a juicy grasshopper?"
    "You can't intimidate me! And know this, you diarrhea squirt."
  • Four-Star Badass: Subverted with Captain Alex. He is high-ranked and respected but killed off early in the movie, hence the film’s title.
  • Gangbangers: The Tiger Mafia, although a bit more militant type.
  • Gangland Drive-By: Amusingly, a Tiger Mafia pilot performs one of these while he's in a helicopter.
  • Gag Sub: The Blu-ray release comes with Latin (for da Pope) and Klingon subtitles, among many other subtitles.
  • Gorn: Since the film crew lacked practical blood effects, a lot of the blood seen in the film was done using real bovine blood.note 
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Richard gets angry quite easily. This results in him shooting his own guys.
  • Hypocrite: Played for Laughs in Emmie's narration regarding the new military commander's smoking.
    The new military commander. He fights drugs and uses drugs.
  • I Am the Noun: For some reason Richard is consistently referred to as the Tiger Mafia.
  • Incompatible Orientation: In the opening scene, Captain Alex rejected the fawning female reporters by claiming to be gay. Even though it was a joke by Emmie, it takes balls of adamantium to say that even as a joke, as Uganda is not an LGBT-friendly country.
  • Informed Attribute: The merc with the red muscle shirt is apparently Russian. Barring an utterance of "Dasvidaniya", you'd assume he's Ugandan like everyone else.
  • Kick the Dog: Richard does these whenever he gets mad. And he gets mad very easily.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: According to Emmie, Bruce U is searching through Alex's belongings because he's looking for money.
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: Literally. One action scene takes place near the statue of Christ the Redeemer; as VJ Emmie cries "Help us, God!", the statue clones itself and crushes the top of Elizabeth Tower.
    "Jesus kung fu!"
  • Large Ham: Basically everyones acting is prone to this.
  • Laughably Evil: Richard the Tiger Mafia is a wrathful loony who attacks and kills people at the slightest provocation, and his antics are quite amusing to watch.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The narrator often reminds you that that you are watching a movie, and even goes so far as to start advertising other movies.
  • Lemony Narrator: VJ Emmie comes across as this, with his regular tangents and bizarre running commentary. This is actually a common trope in Ugandan cinema, with VJ being an entire profession in itself.
  • Mildly Military: The Ugandan Special Forces Commandos and the Uganda People's Defence Force soldiers that support them. Let's see the reasons why.
    • The Ugandan soldiers and commandos in this movie wear camouflage clothing you can find in a typical Walmart or military survival store and wear no identifying patches, body armour or even military harnesses or gear.
    • The command structure for the USF is little seen, and the ones that do often tend to go into combat like a regular soldier.
    • The tactics and strategy for both the initial attack on the Tiger Mafia base and the final assault to kill Richard is basically a Zerg Rush with some military style cover shooting and moving up involved.
  • The Mole: One of the military officers is an infiltrator to the Tiger Mafia.
  • More Dakka: Whether they are mercenaries/guns for hire, Tiger Mafia goons or Ugandan Special Forces commandos, they all resort to indiscriminately blasting each other with machine guns if they get into a fight, with hip-firing that would be expected of a wannabe Rambo and aim that make you fail a basic firearms accuracy course.
  • MST: The film manages to riff on itself via VJ Emmie.
  • Mood Whiplash: VJ Emmie isn't taking this movie seriously and neither should you. The best example of this comes when Richard the Tiger Mafia has captured a beautiful young woman, ties her up and tries to force her to marry him. All Played for Drama, of course. Then out of nowhere, a heart-shaped filter appears over the two of them, and the narrator announces "Welcome to Uganda!"
  • Monumental Damage: Inverted? The top of Elizabeth Towernote  comes off and flies after a Ugandan helicopter, apparently attempting to knock it down. Luckily for the people in the helicopter, they they fly by the Christo Redentor, which comes to life and stops the tower. Even Emmie has no idea what's going on.
    • Then played straight when the helicopter drops off some Supa Dupa Ugandans in New York City, and they attack Katz's Delicatessen. Emmie is heartbroken.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Implied. The Russian mercenary is amongst the deadliest Tiger Mafia members of the movie, to the point of being an outright One-Man Army.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Emmie occasionally mocks Uganda, for example playing it up as a Crapsack World in the above "Welcome to Uganda" scene.
  • Never My Fault: Richard blames Puffs for "making" him shoot one of his wives, even though there really was no need for that.
  • Never Trust a Title: The question of who killed Captain Alex is never answered, and after a very cursory investigation, the issue is dropped entirely from the film. Even the director doesn't know who killed Captain Alex.
  • No Ending: The big action sequence at the end stops fairly abruptly with the capture of the Big Bad before cutting to a government official watching a news report on the situation, with no resolution to the fates of the main cast.
  • Non Sequitur: VJ Emmie does this a lot, constantly screaming the movie is on, where he is broadcasting from, shouting random words that make no sense in the context of the scene and just plain gets overly excited at certain points, to the point of speaking in unsubtitled Swahili.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: A consequence of the near nonexistent budget. All the gunfire, bullet holes, helicopters and explosions are fairly blatant plug-ins from a video editing program. The guns that weren't crudely-made props are cheap toy guns one could buy from a dollar store.
  • One-Man Army: The Russian mercenary racks up a massive bodycount and takes on several soldiers by himself, killing most of them.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Presumably why Richard was distraught when he learned Captain Alex was killed by someone else. Though it's also likely that he wanted Alex alive to exchange him for Richard's incarcerated brother.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Operation Cut Tigerz Ballz
  • Precision F-Strike: An unnamed Tiger Mafioso shouts a hearty "SHIT" after getting shot twice (first round hits the chest, the second hits his right thigh) during the raid on the Tiger Mafia base.
  • Questioning Title?: Who Killed Captain Alex?.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Richard turns out to be quite a formidable in the final battle, even managing to shoot down two helicopters with a hand-held rifle.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Parts of the movie are either not subtitled or "subtitled" with a textual version of VJ Emmie's Gag Dub (likely because, according to the intro, the movie was initially made for internal circulation in the director's village, which is probably also the reason for Emmie switching from English to Swahili from time to time), leaving the audience from outside of East Africa (where Swahili is spoken the most) at a loss to what the actors really said.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why no, you're not going to find out who killed Captain Alex. Not even the director knows the answer. This has become a running gag in Wakaliwood's following films.
  • Roundhouse Kick: "Tiger Mafia, supa kicker!"
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: VJ Emmie likes giving the film a little extra help in the sound effects department.
  • Sequel Hook: VJ Emmie's commentary adds one when Richard is captured by the Ugandan Special Forces.
    "I will get you all... in sequel!"
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech:
    • Apparently, this trope comes into effect when most of the gun users don't even use iron sights.
    • The red mercenary's hand held machine gun, when he is fighting the USF commandos, comes with no iron sights at all, so he basically hip fires it for the entirety of the fight, who still manages to rack up a huge body count in spite of it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • The movie is scored with whatever music was royalty free. VJ Emmie lampshades the use of totally inappropriate music as the Tiger Mafia gang doing a Team Power Walk to the sound of soft, soulful piano music (actually a MIDI cover of ABBA's "Mamma Mia").
    "Now it's time for Who Killed Captain Alex: The Musical!"
    • Also, a panpipes cover of Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" plays during completely inappropriate times, like during a serious drama scene or a stealth scene. It just makes everything comedic for some reason.
  • The Stinger: Two: the first is a message from the director thanking audiences for watching his movie, and the second is a series of titles of movies that the production crew is working on.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Tiger Mafia commando blows up several buildings in Kampala to in an attempt to distract the USF.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: A variation occurs when the top of the Elizabeth Tower suddenly flies after the Ugandan helicopter, chasing it through the Brooklyn Bridge and the Christ the Redeemer statue, leading to the statue cloning itself and crushing the tower.
  • Take That!: Emmie claims that the woman the Tiger Mafia capture at one point was captured because they caught her watching Nigerian movies. He also claims that she's promising to never watch Nollywood again.
  • Team Power Walk: The Tiger Mafia gang are seen doing this at certain points; during their first walk, VJ Emmie parodies the trope.
    "They walk slow 'cause they think slow. Slow, but sure."
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Video Joker" Emmie provides a very colourful commentary throughout the movie. Occasionally he provides narration or explains who is on the screen (e.g "Tiger Mafia, the most deadliest gang in Uganda"), but most of the time he is translating random snippets of dialogue, making sound effects, riffing, laughing, or just shouting the word "Movie!" or "Hello!" for no apparent reason.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Richard finally snaps at the end of the movie when he tries to escape and grabs an automatic BFG and aims all over the place. However, he reappears in the trailer for Tebaatusasula, implying his survival.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bruce U disappears after the military bombs the building Bruce is fighting the Tiger Mafia henchmen in, with the most logical assumption being that he died. However, he appears again in the trailer for
  • Your Mom:
    • After Captain Alex breaks up a bar brawl between his soldiers and the villagers, one of the villagers throws his drink at him in anger. He is then thrown to the ground by Alex and one of his soldiers, picked up by Alex by collar, and asked who he is. He answers with "yo mama", which earns him being thrown on the ground again. After the soldiers leave, he vents on a hapless barmaid by throwing a bottle at her.
    • A similar insult instigated the fight, except aimed at someone's wife:
    "Are you crazy!? That is my wife! Get off my wife!"
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: A minor example with the name of the military operation conducted by the USF commandos (Operation Cut Tigerz Balls).


Video Example(s):


Who Killed Captain Alex?

The movie has gathered this reputation due to the budget of only $200 making the VFX naturally awful, combined with the commentary by a Video Joker but has also been loved as a cult film due to the amount of effort involved.

How well does it match the trope?

4.98 (55 votes)

Example of:

Main / SoBadItsGood

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