Thursday, April 5, 2018

Bad Movie of the Month: For Y'ur Height Only

I may not be devoting all of my time and effort to covering bad movies these days, but that doesn’t mean I stopped loving them. So once a month, I’ll spread a little bit of that love…

From 1967’s comedy Casino Royale to the Austin Powers movies, James Bond spoofs have been around almost as long as James Bond movies. But I’m pretty sure For Y’ur Height Only is the only one starring a 2-foo-9 Filipino martial artist.

No, there wasn’t a typo in that last sentence.

The action kicks off with the day-time kidnapping of a scientist. The kidnapping is masterminded by “Mr. Giant” so the scientist can make him a fearsome “N-bomb” and take over the world. Cue the maniacal laughter. Mr. Giant only communicates through a lit-up mirror, something even his minions find perplexing. When they start grousing, one of Giant’s lieutenants gives this pep talk: “The forces of good are our sworn enemy, and I repeat [no, he didn’t - SN]: they must be exterminated – and I mean literally!” 

Yeah, I’ll be quoting lots and lots of awesome dubbing from this film.

So with a random scientist missing, who you gonna call? Agent 00 (Weng Weng), currently lamping out by the pool with a pair of bikini-clad ladies. You see, Agent 00 is exactly like Agent 007, but shorter. When his watch starts beeping, Agent 00 takes a look and sees that the little hand says it’s time to rock and roll.

But first: Agent 00 saves a random woman, Lola, from being shot and agrees to help her take out the gang that’s trying to scare her into being their prostitute. That night, Agent 00 is all tiny feet of fury while sneaking around the hideout in his little white leisure suit. 

While tracking down the gang’s boss, Agent 00 and Lola have the most disorientating phone conversation I’ve ever witnessed:

Agent 00: “Hello, Lola. Now listen carefully – this is important.”
Lola: “Interesting.”
Agent 00: “Check it out.”
Lola: “I’ll go right now.”
Agent 00: “Meet you there.”

Once that completely irrelevant mission is wrapped up, Agent 00 is assigned to save the scientist and loaded up with Bondian gadgets. Check out the scene – I swear, the actor playing Agent 00’s superior made up his dialogue as he went along.

Agent 00 eventually makes contact with the agent undercover in Mr. Giant’s gang, Irma.  She’s just as surprised by Agent 00 as the audience: “You’re just a little guy… Very petite, like a potato.”

He may be “petite, like a potato,” but Agent 00 is all business and quickly sets to taking down Mr. Giant’s operations, delivering scores to shots to the knees and groin in the process. Don’t worry: Agent 00 still finds time shake his groove thang in a disco, hook up with a couple of ladies and fly around in a tiny jetpack (a la Thunderball).

What I found interesting about For Y’ur Height Only is that, aside from the absurd dubbing, the film plays like a straightforward spy flick. Oh, it’s plenty silly and blatantly exploitative, but you never forget that this is an action movie first and foremost. And Weng Weng is very much up to the task.

In fact, my one gripe with the film is that there’s too much action. The pace of the film quickly falls into a predictable and relentless pattern: the first scene contains just enough exposition to set up all the action in the second scene. Wash, rinse, repeat. As a result, I started to feel every second of the 87-minute run time.

Pacing aside, For Y’ur Height Only is a lot of fun. And speaking of fun…

Congratulations, For Y’ur Height Only! You are April 2018's Bad Movie of the Month.

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