Many people in showbiz are multi-talented, that they are quite capable of writing, directing, and acting in their films. One example is the story of Steve Oedekerk and his slapstick comedy with mixed reviews.
Steve Oedekerk was the writer, actor, and director of the 2002 martial arts comedy “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.” He used an old Hongkong movie, filmed new scenes, and dubbed all dialogues for the movie.
Who is Steve Oedekerk?
Steven Brent Oedekerk was born on November 27, 1961. He grew up in Huntington Beach, California, attended Mater Dei High School, then went to Golden West College. Oedekerk started his career in showbiz when he wrote and directed the 1987 indie film, Smart Alex, also playing the title role.
In three years, Oedekerk established his own entertainment company, O Entertainment. In 1991, he co-wrote and starred in High Strung’s comedy movie, where he met Jim Carrey. The two developed a long-term professional relationship.
Oedekerk and Carrey collaborated in the Fox sketch-comedy In Living Color and continued to work together in Tom Shadyac’s debut film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, in 1994. The movie was a blockbuster, prompting the two men to immediately follow it up with the sequel Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, where Oedekerk wrote and directed it.
Oedekerk worked as a writer for Shadyac’s 1996 slapstick comedy with Eddie Murphy titled The Nutty Professor. The following year, he wrote and directed the action-comedy film Nothing to Lose and the NBC variety special The O Show.
He also wrote and produced Patch Adams starring Robin Williams and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. Oedekerk’s work on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius brought him his first Academy Award nomination for the Best Animated Feature category.
At the same time, the talented writer, producer, and director developed the Thumbation technology. The technology combined live-action thumbs while superimposing the faces of the voice actors. Oedekerk fancied his created technology, leading him to create the film Kung Pow: Enter the Fist in 2002.
From 2001 to 2007, Oedekerk was the executive producer of NBC’s Crossing Jordan crime-drama series and Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. In 2003, he reunited with Shadyac and Carrey in the fantasy-comedy film Bruce Almighty and its sequel Evan Almighty. (Source: The Famous People)
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist was Oedekerk’s slapstick comedy film which he wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. The movie uses an old, obscure 1976 Hong Kong martial arts film titled Savage Killers or Tiger and Crane Fist.
He turned the serious martial arts movie into a spoof comedy film. He used the original footage and shot new material using similar methods to make the new parts appear as if it was part of the original film. Oedekerk also dubbed all the dialogs himself, changing the original story altogether. The dialogs were usually full of nonsense, adding to the movie’s hilarity.
He also starred in the film as the main protagonist, calling himself The Chosen One. The original movie follows the usual storyline: the protagonist out to fight the main antagonist, honing his martial arts skills with the help of his sensei. And, of course, the protagonist has a love interest in the film.
The movie earned $7,017,474 from 2,478 theaters, but it met mixed reviews from film critics. It was often a late-night college novelty movie, gaining laughs with the weird dialogs and voices Oedekerk used. (Source: Screen Daily)