14th Jul2015

‘Furious (1984)’ DVD Review

by Joel Harley

Stars: Simon Rhee, Arlene Montano, Phillip Rhee, Howard Jackson, Loren Avedon, Jon Dane, Mika Elkan, Peter Malota, John Potter, Joyce Tilley | Written and Directed by Tim Everitt, Tom Sartori


‘Famously incomprehensible’ are among the first words which come up when one Googles 1984’s martial arts picture Furious. ‘Famously incomprehensible’ is about right too, from the awful picture quality to the bizarre story, which is best described as martial artists vs aliens (after a fashion) battling for control of the universe. I had to Google that bit too, so incomprehensible is the story that I couldn’t quite tell what was going on most of the time.

Lovers of purposefully bad movies like The Room and Plan 9 From Outer Space should find much to celebrate in Furious, in which a pensive young fighter named Simon (Simon Rhee) attempts to fend off the forces of evil by repeatedly kicking them in the face. There’s a plot buried beneath all of the madness, but you’ll have to do some digging to find it. This primarily is a exercise in surrealism; delving into some admirably obtuse places as it goes. Bad movie aficionados will love the film’s bizarre restaurant sequence, and the whispered ‘Simon beware…’ gives the film its quotability quota.

The action, though, is surprisingly good at times, with Simon gamely and competently beating his way through swathes of pyjama and sunglasses clad attackers. Best of all is the tramp-looking chap wearing furs and a Russian style hat, being the film’s most memorable (and oddest) villain. They’re all a bit odd though, one fight culminating with a man turning into a pig just in time for Simon to kick him around the (pork) chops. Everything else has to be seen to be believed, even if very little of it makes sense. Furious is utterly ridiculous, but it’s also one of the most original cult movies you’ll ever see.

Furious is incomprehensible and utterly ridiculous, recalling the old cult TV series Monkey in its oddness. Devoutly refusing to play by anything but its own rules, it’s as maddening as it is hypnotic. This is not a ‘good’ movie, but nor is it a ‘bad’ one, either. Somehow it transcends all of that to become one of the craziest genre movies of all time. As Furious bounds from one fight sequence to another, one is left with the distinct feeling that making sense is overrated anyway.

*** 3/5

Furious is released on DVD on July 21st.


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