Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Impossible Kid

A few years ago, I had what could only be described as a spiritual experience. I am speaking, of course, of the first time I saw For Y’r Height Only, arguably one of the three or four finest Filipino James Bond rip-offs ever made starring a midget. That midget was named Weng Weng, and I was instantly charmed by his plucky spirit, his easy way with the ladies, and his formidable testicle-attacking abilities. This was a man on a mission: a mission to punish the nutsac wherever he found it. The nutsac, as you know, has no conscience, no morals, no shame—but by God, Weng Weng would teach it fear.

For Y’r Height Only is probably the best bad movie ever made. It’s stuffed so full of ridiculousness that I nearly gave myself an embolism trying to write a review of it a few years ago. It is as absurd and transcendental a B-movie experience as can be had on this tired Earth of ours.

I had long heard tales of Weng Weng’s other adventures as the indomitable Agent 00, but I never dreamed of actually seeing them myself. Then I discovered a duped copy of it online for $2.50, and lo, there was joy across the land. It just goes to show that B-movies never die. Orson Welles’ original cut of The Magnificent Ambersons is lost forever, but if you want to see a 30-year-old Filipino midget movie, all you gotta do is ask the right people.

It’s called The Impossible Kid, and on the poster underneath the title, it says: Agent 00 is back! No gimmicks… All is true… Don’t laugh and turn him down. He is a tiny dangerous man! How fucking amazing is that? What can I even add to that? My meticulously modulated snark could only tarnish its glory.

Anyway, this time out Weng is an Interpol agent working in Manila, but he still wears the same safari-style white leisure suit. He’s trying to stop this terrorist organization that’s attempting to extort a billion Filipino pesos out the country’s leading industrialists. The leader of the group calls himself Cobra, and he hides his face with a KKK hood made out of an old tubesock. He says he’ll kill a rich man every day until he gets his money, and only Weng Weng can stop him. This is a much more streamlined and down-to-earth case for Agent 00. If FYHO was a Roger Moore adventure, full of gimmicky gadgets, corny one-liners, and a string of mannequin-like female co-stars, The Impossible Kid is lean-and-mean Sean Connery. Aside from an awesome miniature motorcycle and a few smoke bombs, Weng has to get by with his fists and his wits alone. Even though he gets the chance to pole vault, paraglide, and walk a tightrope, this movie is really a showcase for Weng’s kung-fu skills. He’s got a pretty great fight in a dojo where he has to fend off a bunch of karate killers before taking down a lady assassin. He’s also a force to be reckoned with in a gunfight, since he never misses and his opponents are always aiming over his head. He even gets to use a full-size machine gun this time, so he’s even deadlier. His action scenes are both hilarious and well choreographed. Sure, it’s funny to watch the little bastard decimate a bunch of regular-sized dudes, but you have to admit that he’s got some decent moves. I bet he could kick my ass.

I appreciate this meat-and-potatoes approach, but I still think For Y’r Height Only is better. That one was so packed full of amazing shit—from Weng’s tiny jetpack to the Filipino hoodlums who were dubbed to sound like Prohibition-era gangsters—that it would have been incredible even if it had starred a full-size superspy. The Impossible Kid plays it so straight that it would be kind of boring without Weng. There are a lot of scenes where guys in ugly blazers and ascots sit around arguing with the chief of police and shit like that. The upside of that is that this a much more competent movie than FYHO, in that the plot more or less makes sense and characters don’t just disappear for no reason, but since when did anybody want competence in a Filipino midget movie?

Still, saying that a movie doesn’t measure up to For Y’r Height Only is like saying that getting laid isn’t as good as winning the lottery. Just seeing Weng Weng back in action made me feel like I had a million microscopic teddy bears having a picnic in my soul—especially when I heard the theme song. It’s an honest-to-god blaxploitation power ballad with a soul diva just singing her fucking guts out about how badass Weng is and how much she wants to fuck him. The song builds to an epic crescendo as her mad dwarf lust causes her to totally lose her shit and wail, "I love you Weng WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENG!!!!!!" (I can’t verify this, since I haven’t seen any footage of the recording session, but I assume that she was so overwhelmed by emotion that she dropped to her knees Patti LaBelle-style and started ripping her clothes off, tears streaming down her face in apocalyptic ecstasy.) If anyone has any leads as to how I can get this amazing work of songwriting on my iPod, please let me know because I’ll never be complete without it.

According to IMDB, Weng Weng also starred in a western called D’Wild Wild Weng. As God is my witness, I will not rest until I have seen that movie and written an overlong, rambling review of it. That is my promise to you. I don't care how long it takes. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my man Weng, it’s that nothing’s impossible, kid.

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