The Impossible Kid (AKA The Impossible Kid of Kung Fu) ~ 1982, Eddie Nicart, The Philippines


For most folks, there’s no question as to just who is the ultimate action film super spy. For most of us, James Bond takes the cake, but in the Philippines, there is yet another debonair master of espionage who has won the heart of his people, another bold figure who’s name is synonymous with intrigue and excitement. In The Philippines, there is WENG WENG.


Weng Weng is best known for playing the role of Agent 00 in a series of action packed Filipino spy films from the 1980’s. He was also less than three feet tall.


The dude next to him probably isn’t all that tall, either.

It’s a little offensive, to say the least, but where else was Weng Weng going to get the opportunity to make this kind of scratch? He was NOT a good actor, people, and this role brought him considerable fame, as well as the adoration of fans across the Philippines. The truth is that playing Agent OO was probably a pretty good career move for good ol’ Weng, and he happily did it over and over again. In the end, it’s all a wash anyway, these movies happened, and Weng Weng is dead now. Like it or not, there is, as I write this, a series of Fillipino Spy films starring a midget, and they’re completely insane. The Impossible Kid is one of them.

We should NOT look at Weng Weng with pity in our hearts, anyway, Weng Weng is not to be pitied, he is to be idolized, and respected; for truly, he is our tiniest bad ass. Weng Weng’s stature is never treated as a handicap, either, on the contrary, he always used his physical characteristics to his advantage, and as such, was perhaps even more capable in the field than a spy of average height and build. Let’s discuss some of the special things that Weng Weng had goin’ on:

weng-weng-machine gun1. Stealth: Because what’s more inconspicuous than a gnome in a khaki leisure suit? Weng Weng can hide ANYWHERE, dude. Telephone pole? He’s behind it. Bush? He’s in there, somewhere, and you’d never find him in a million years. Really any physical space offers countless potential hiding spots for Agent OO, I mean, hell, at one point Weng Weng even hides inside a suitcase that the bad guys think is full of their ill gotten pesos, and by the time the learn the truth, it’s too late. Theoretically, he could be in your pocket right now. Sure, there are downsides, like when he gets captured by the enemy and they hold him captive by tossing him into a birdcage that they had laying around, but Weng Weng is more than capable of getting himself out of that jam, even when they chuck that birdcage into the damn ocean.

impossible_kid2. The Martial Arts: That’s right, bozo, drop to your knees and pray for mercy, because this is one black belt who had his neat little karate outfit special ordered from the fucking Baby Gap, and he’s taking you down. Weng Weng even uses his short stature to his advantage in the realm of hand-to-hand combat, because it puts him at ground zero for the ultimate killshot- I speak, of course, of Weng Weng’s pulverizing punch straight to the gonads. That’s his specialty, it’s his Step One in any fight, and he almost never needs to take it to Step Two. Right out the gate, Weng Weng just lets you have it right there in the family jewels, and after that, you’re done, son. A Drinking game where everyone gets together to watch a Weng Weng film and then take shots each time Agent OO lets loose with a scrote-curdling blast to the balls would result in alchohol poisoning four minutes in for all parties involved.

Weng Weng’s fighting style also involves a lot of sliding around. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with his specially designed espionage leisure suits, or if his body secrets some sort of oil, but he frequently just flings himself across the ground and slides around like a hockey puck. It’s interesting.

tumblr_mjnbydqiYu1qiw1nno1_4003. The Babes: The ladies cannot get enough of Weng Weng, and who can blame them? With his frail, child like frame, expressionless face and seductive bowl-cut hair style, all women are moved to a state of frenzied, sex crazed madness at the very sight of Agent OO, and naturally, they’re more than willing to forgive him for being such a creepy little pervert. Seriously, he is, he totally peeps on naked people every chance he gets in all of his movies. He does it more than once in this film alone. He is utterly without shame.

for_your_height_only61“Don’t hate the player, hate the game!” – Weng Weng

THE PLOT~ Some shady terrorist group has been kidnapping wealthy industrialists across the Phillipines and holding them ransom, much to Interpol’s frustrated dismay. Now these mysterious criminals claim that if they don’t start seein’ mad pesos pronto, they’ll start killing these Fillipino one percenters at a rate of one per week! Naturally, Interpol can’t tolerate this crap, so they bring in the one man who can get the job done; AGENT OO!


The only secret agent I know who rides a motorcycle he bought from a Toys R Us.

The Impossible Kid is not Weng Weng’s best film- that honor more than likely goes to For Your Height Only, this film’s immediate prequel. The Impossible Kid is, oddly enough, more restrained, possibly due to budgetary limitations, and it features less Bond-esque gadgetry, as well as fewer stunts. Many of the stunts we do see are actually just lamer versions of stunts from the first film, and they reuse many of For Your Height Only’s locations, as well. It’s strange, considering that For Your Height Only is thought to have been fairly successful, because The Impossible Kid doesn’t feel like it has any sort of momentum behind it at all, this thing is sort of just coasting into town on empty.

Actually, while we’re on the topic; it’s pretty much gotta be Weng Weng doing his own stunt work here, right? I mean, what stunt double could possibly stand in for a man who is two feet, nine inches tall? An actual child? It’s either Weng Weng, or a large doll. That’s kinda cool, I think. He’s just like Jackie Chan!

The Impossible Kid also has some pretty weak production value, but no more so than Weng Weng’s other films, all of which are pretty sloppy and primitive. Even as far back as the 1960’s, we saw more sophisticated films coming out of The Philippines, (Brides of Blood, for example), but typically, this isn’t much of an issue, because Agent OO can compensate for crummy production through a heaping portion of crazy, which is always entertaining. The problem is, though, that The Impossible Kid isn’t very crazy. It’s a huge step down from the wackiness of For Your Height Only, precisely when they needed to up the ante. As a result, this is a mostly forgettable effort in the catalog of one of Psychotronic Cinema’s most lovable icons. It’s a shame, because Weng Weng didn’t make enough movies for us to toss one out without it feeling like a real missed opportunity.

That being said, Weng Weng is never TOTALLY unwatchable, and it’s really easy to root for him, no matter how bad his pictures are, so this movie can still supply you with enough entertainment to sustain an hour and a half of your evening if it’s already in your DVD player just ready to go. Under ordinary circumstances, however, I wouldn’t put much effort into seeking out a copy of The Impossible Kid, unless you’re a Weng Weng completest, which I certainly am. My recommendation for the rest of you would be to focus your energies on For Your Height Only instead, which could probably be called the Citizen Kane of Filipino midget spy movies, and which was released on home video by Mondo Macabro a few years back, making it the most readily available Weng Weng film in the United States by a long shot. Low quality DVD releases of The Impossible Kid are obtainable however, if you do a little hunting around, but in my mind that’s too much work for not enough pay off.


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ASWANG~ 1994, Wrye Martin and Barry Poltermann


The story of Aswang is a tale as old as time. A young woman, burdened with an unwanted pregnancy, is propositioned by a wealthy man who looks suspiciously like Shooter McGavin; “come out to my big mansion in the middle of no where and pretend to be my wife and then give me your baby, because my damn mom is dying and if I can’t produce an heir I don’t get any of them fat Aswang dollars.” Win win? No, never trust anyone who looks like Shooter McGavin. Our gal agrees, though, and travels to an isolated country home thinking this was your boiler plate, run of the mill baby sale, when in fact Shooter and his family are a bunch of shady aswangs looking to chow down on her unborn child. Record scratch!

But just what is an aswang? It’s some form of weird Filipino ghoul that, among other things, eats babies, while still en utero, via a long, gross tongue (Asia has the best monsters.) Clearly, the horror movie potential here is just through the roof, and there have actually been a few aswang movies, but at present this is the only one I’ve seen that was actually made for English speaking audiences. Obviously you’re looking for Aswang 101, and unless you speak Tagolog and have an all region DVD player, this is a good place to start.

Aswang, being a film about a unique kind of monster, vaults back and forth between creature feature and slasher when appropriate, but the entire time it maintains an interesting and creepy body horror type vibe, kind of like what you would have seen if David Cronenberg had directed a slasher concurrently with The Brood. It’s kinda creepy, kinda gross, kinda funny, there’s a little blood here and there, and the concept feels fresh and interesting to we Westerners who didn’t grow up under constant threat from nocturnal baby eaters our entire lives. Check your privilege, guys.

So, Aswang is a lot of fun, I like it quite a bit. It could be gorier, it could be more gross, or more scary, but it’s a very well done low budget horror picture with some interesting new ideas. More importantly, this is probably the greatest Shooter McGavin related horror movie available on home video right now, and that means something to me. I hope it means something to you, too.



Pulgasari~ 1985, Chong Gon Jo and Sang-Ok Shin


In the case of Pulgasari, nothing that happens on film is as important as what happened behind the camera. For reals, you guys.

Pulgasari is a product of North Korea, produced by, and made under the watchful, giant glasses of Kim Jong-Il, then son of fascist dictator Kim-Il Sung. The film’s director, Sang-Ok Shin was a South Korean director who Kim Jong-Il deliberately arranged to be kidnapped and brought back to North Korea with the express purpose of forcing him to craft propaganda films. It’s a set up more than worthy of a film itself, and it really happened.

One of the films brought about through this insane, childish union of sheltered, detestable puppet master and horribly victimized kidnapee is Pulgasari; a confused bit of communist propaganda packaged as a quasi-Godzilla imitation.

As much as the desire to hate this movie because of it’s connection to Kim Jong-Il might motivate critical bias, the truth is that Shin’s directorial talent shines and the film is actually pretty good, and certainly fascinating due to it’s history. It’s rare that a blatant violation of human rights results in a corny monster movie, but this time we got lucky.

THE PLOT- Korea- Villagers toil in fruitless labor, slowly starving to death as their leach like government sucks them dry of resources without the faintest regard for their quality of life. (It’s difficult for me to place what era Pulgasari takes place in. They have no electricity, no medicine, no science and no technology to speak of, and it’s North Korea… So… 1998? I imagine that, throughout Pulgasari, there are people on the other side of the North/South border checking their E-mail.) As the people are slowly beaten down by their corrupt monarchy, a dying, imprisoned blacksmith fashions a tiny golem like figure of a monster out of mud and rice. With his dying breath, he prays to the gods to bring life to his creation, and then they totally do. As rebellion amongst the peasants leads to all out revolution, this small monster begins to devour metal, especially iron, growing exponentially in size and power as he does so. Soon, the all-but invincible beast is discovered and named Pulgasari, and the villagers use his might against their oppressors, eventually leading them to victory.

And for seven or eight minutes, everything is awesome, until the peasants realize that they were only able to achieve this feat due to their use of Pulgasari, whose voracious hunger for precious resources is ultimately unsustainable. Knowing that they lack the ability to satisfy his enormous hunger, the people conclude that ultimately, this responsibility would force them to invade foreign nations, and eventually this would lead to the fall of mankind altogether. Through tragic sacrifice, the Pulgasari is destroyed.

SO, WHAT’S GOING ON HERE- It’s a funny thing, Pulgasari is blatant communist propaganda, with Pulgasari himself serving as a stand in for Capitalism. The message is clear- Capitalism is a destructive force that will motivate societies to war and battle over resources and only by throwing off the shackles of this burden can we hope to achieve global unity and peace… But that message only really comes into focus at the very end of the picture. For the lion’s share of Pulgasari‘s run time, the movie really looks like a strong piece of anti-fascist sentiment, incredibly strange, given the overtly fascist nature of the powers responsible for creating Pulgasari. It really does take a government as obtuse as North Korea’s to use their fascist powers to create anti-fascist propaganda and have no idea why that’s ridiculous. Must be nice, simply ordering a multi-generation execution of anyone who points out the obvious.

So, as a piece of propaganda, the film is successful, but not exactly in the way Kim Jong-Il probably wanted… Or at least, maybe not in the way he would have wanted if the intellectual mechanism needed for him to second guess even his most basic of thoughts hadn’t withered and disappeared from his brain after a lifetime of being surrounded by terrified Yes-Men. I have no doubt this his biding was done to the letter, I just think that he could have realized that the implication against his own regime was clear if he could have thought about it a little more critically. I guess maybe someone could have helped to point that out during the writing process if execution wasn’t a 100% certainty attached to literally any form of criticism whatsoever.

But as a movie, it’s enjoyable, and fairly solid. The rear projection effects look like garbage, but the monster suit is more than passable, and Kim Jong-Il’s absolute control over his subjects and complete disregard for their safety helped net him some pretty impressive sweeping battlefield shots. One criticism, however- I was shocked to learn this movie was shot in the mid-eighties. It looks on par with Toho productions of the early sixties. I would have expected more cutting edge work from a hostage with a gun to his head.

Pulgasari is, strangely, an enjoyable experience, and the propaganda is blatant enough so as to fail at being effectively subversive. I’d say the circumstances around it make it pretty relevant, and it’s not even terrible. I recommend it to kaiju fans, and would say that it’s required viewing for fans of Mondo Macabro style bizarre world cinema.