So the short film version of Kung Fury came out a couple days ago. Jessica and I backed it on Kickstarter, so it's something we've been looking forward to for a while now. If you're a fan of this comic, then I'm going to assume you've already seen Kung Fury. If you haven't, you totally should. It's free to watch on YouTube and it's an ultra rad way to spend 30 minutes:
In short, I thought it was awesome. It totally lived up to my expectations.
But it was also bittersweet for me.
I found it hard to simply enjoy it, as I kept thinking about what the mega-success of this movie means for Satan Ninja. Every time Kung Fury did something similar to what we've done, like start out at an arcade, or feature a ninja (they called him a "Kung Fu Master" but he was obviously a ninja), I'd think, "Shit." Because the more we have in common with Kung Fury, the more people will inevitably accuse us of being a copycat that's trying to ride the coattails of Kung Fury's success. After all, we launched this website just a few months after Kung Fury released their debut trailer. Sure, we'd been working on this comic off and on since 2008, but since we weren't public with it, that's not easy to prove. And casual critics aren't the type to really look into something like that before tossing out accusations or simply dismissing us outright.
The similarity of Satan Ninja 198X and Kung Fury is undeniable, but it's mostly superficial, stemming from the fact that they're both inspired by the same cheesy '80s source material. However, once you get past the surface, they're really quite different. Kung Fury is way more over the top and silly. It's more of a genre spoof in the wacky style of Airplane! or Spaceballs, except hyped up on coke and testosterone. Satan Ninja doesn't have such a hyper frantic pace, and although it can be bit over-the-top, we try to keep it somewhat grounded in reality. The story of Satan Ninja is important to us, whereas in Kung Fury, spectacle is paramount. The story exists only to tie one wacky over-the-top gag sequence to the next. Nothing really matters. And that's part of its charm.
All that said, I'm super happy for David Sandberg. He wrote, directed, and starred in a badass short film that's enjoying massive success (also, he looks like a young Johnny Depp, the bastard). And if we are forever compared to Kung Fury, I suppose that's not so bad. After all, Kung Fury was rad as fuck. Besides, anyone who actually reads Satan Ninja will see that once you get past the superficial similarities, Satan Ninja stands on its own.