Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Gods Must Be Chinese Hopping Zombies

Hey, remember the 1980 South African comedy hit The Gods Must Be Crazy?

And its 1990 sequel, The Gods Must Be Crazy II?

But did you feel that the story wasn’t complete? And in fact could benefit from the addition of Chinese hopping zombies?


I have good news for you: There’s an unofficial Hong Kong sequel, The Gods Must Be Crazy III a.k.a. Crazy Safari. It even has Namibian actor N!xau reprising his role from the “real” movies, and you can watch it in full on YouTube.

I know, I know — a few of you may not have a full ninety minutes to spend watching a zombie-centric unofficial sequel to a South African comedy. In that case, just read the Wikipedia plot summary, which is almost as good.

An ancient but still fleshy Chinese corpse is on auction in England. A young businessman (Sam Christopher Chow) purchases the corpse. The corpse is revealed to be the body of his third great-grandfather and he intends to give it a proper burial in Hong Kong. To keep it from becoming an irrepressible vampire, the descendant hires a good-natured Taoist priest (Lam Ching Ying) to maintain control of the cadaver using a yellow talisman. The young descendant and the Taoist priest decide that the best way to get the valued ancestor home is via a direct flight to Hong Kong on a private jet.

During the flight, the plane malfunctions and an altercation breaks out between the ruthless pilot and the two passengers. Luckily, they outsmart the pilot and descend from the troublesome plane by using parachutes. The corpse and the two end up separated during the chaos, and they land in Africa.

The corpse lands in front of Xixo (N!xau), where he and his tribe are being confronted by a rival clan led by two greedy Caucasians. The corpse’s presence scares away the villains. Xixo somehow learns to control the corpse and he takes it to his tribe. Soon he and his family think of it as a gift from God, as it aids them in various matters, such as bringing down fruit from towering trees.

The descendant and the priest land in a vast and dry area miles away from Xixo’s home. Confronting an assortment of African animals, they make their way across the foreign land in search of the corpse and rescue. During this time, the corpse forms a strong bond with the compassionate Xixo and his family. Days later, the descendant and the priest meet Xixo and his family. Not knowing they have the corpse, the two nevertheless stay with them, finding food, water, and shelter. They all abruptly form a solid friendship, despite the language barrier, as they all help out each other when in need.

Days later, the priest figures that the corpse must be nearby, since he connects the strange lack of birds in the area with the ominous close presence of a cadaver. Using magic, he summons the corpse to his hut. Xixo and his family frantically chase the corpse. After the corpse reunites with his descendant, the priest proves to Xixo that it belongs to them, and Xixo eventually agrees. After a few more days of living together, they prepare to part ways with the bushmen and Xixo leads them to the main path to civilization. However, the rival clan is still after what Xixo’s homeland has as a natural abundance: diamonds, as they invade the huts and threaten the residents. The corpse, feeling obligated to aid Xixo and his family, goes back, with the priest and the descendant following. A battle takes place between the villains and Xixo’s people, with the corpse managing to chase away one of the ruthless leaders. The priest even summons the spirit of the late Bruce Lee to aid Xixo, and the villains are finally defeated. The priest uses the radio left in the villains’ Jeep to contact a helicopter. Before boarding, the priest, the descendant, and the corpse bid farewell to Xixo and his family.
  • The term irrepressible vampire just means “jianshi,” but I think it just sounds so cute.
  • Crazy Safari itself got two sequels: Crazy Hong Kong and The Gods Must Be Funny in China, the latter of which sounds like something a racist old person would say.

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