Reviews | Written by Chris Jackson 03/01/2021

AFRICAN KUNG FU NAZIS

CERT: 18 | PLATFORM: DVD, BLU-RAY, VOD (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO) | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

African Kung Fu Nazis, from director Sebastian Stein, his best buddy Yoshito Akimoto and Samuel K. Nkansah (the chap responsible for 2010's 2016 and that incredible trailer), is the product of a rather left-field combination of talent from Germany, Japan and Ghana (and, presumably, fueled by lots and lots of alcohol). Some of you might want to strap yourselves in for this one...

History tells us that at the end of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler committed suicide and Japanese leader Hideki Tojo was sentenced to death by a military tribunal. AKFN tells a slightly different story, in which the two crazy despots flee by submarine to Ghana where, years later, they reverse the ageing process and, now at the height of their powers, start a brand new bid for world domination. With his right-hand man, the wild-eyed Horse-Man Göring, and a magical flag at his side, Hitler brainwashes the locals into joining a new army – the Ghan-Aryans, mindless white-faced soldiers whose sole mission is to create a new kingdom that combines Hitler's Fourth Reich with Tojo's new Japanese Empire. But they weren't expecting Addae, a plucky underdog from the Shadow Snake kung fu school, to be skilled and determined enough to earn his place in the Ghan-Aryan kung fu deathmatch tournament...

Made on a miniscule budget, AKFN might have a couple of shortcomings here and there, but that's all part of the charm, isn't it. On the whole, it's way more accomplished than you might imagine, and there are definitely enough high points to more than compensate for any rough edges. You can expect exciting fight scenes, an impressively dramatic score (as well as a piece of music that sounds like the pause menu from Dead Island and a hilarious incidental sting that introduces almost every change of scene), several absolutely blazing hot dudes, over the top characters like Master 3-Finger Joe and the unbelievably charismatic female tournament fighter known only as “a large but sexy black lady” (played by Amanda Nana Achiaa, who Marvel or DC or someone should take a look at immediately) who definitely missed their calling as 1980s WWF villains, and plenty of laughs both intentional (especially from AKFN's version of the Drunken Master) and otherwise. There isn't much downtime, either - between the jokes, the brutal violence, the training montages and the never-ending product placement (shout out to Adonko Bitters!), it feels like almost every scene has something to keep you watching.

AKFN is 90 minutes of bizarre, offbeat, goofy, low-budget madness with outrageous performances from an infectiously enthusiastic cast, a silly script that (mostly) makes sense, a fair few things that you wouldn't get away with in any other film (some of the humour is a bit near the knuckle, although it's always too daft to be offensive in any way), absurd special effects and countless images that will burn their way into your brain, never to be forgotten. It's just absolute insanity. If that sounds like your sort of thing, put African Kung Fu Nazis at the top of your list immediately!

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