In other news of importance: Gymkata

Posted by Maximum Fun on 31st January 2007

Does the tagline “The skill of gymnastics… the KILL of KARATE!” grab you at all?

If it doesn’t, you’re probably dead inside. alerts us to the fact that Gymkata, the oughtta-be-cult classic martial arts / gymnastics movie starring world-class gymnast Kurt Thomas, was released on DVD today.

As you know, I am not a fan of the “so-bad-they’re-good” genre of cultural production. In this one (really, there’s only one) case, I have made an exception. Gymkata is a film so bizarre, so amiable, so horrifically bad, so amusing that it must be seen to be believed.

The set-up is simple (and by simple, I mean “absurdly convoluted and completely beyond any understanding”). Kurt Thomas is some sort of gymnastics super-spy (actually, the son of a missing super-spy, who’s a gymnast, I think), who travels to a made-up country called Parmistan. In Parmistan, he has to participate in a sort of cross-country race. The winner of this annual race is granted any wish he chooses. Also, the race has a lot of killing.

ESPECIALLY in the Village of the Crazies. Which also has another name in the film, I think it’s possible two villages were conflated into one for running-time or cost reasons. Anyway, the Village of the Crazies is full of (you guessed it) Crazies, who are crazy. Luckily, when Thomas gets backed into a corner by a group of crazies, he discovers what is apparently the Official Public Pommel Horse of the City of the Crazy, and pommel-horses them all to death.

And that’s just the beginning. When my college roommate showed me this film, I almost couldn’t believe it was real. In fact, if I hadn’t seen it on, I would think the whole thing was some sort of fever dream.

From the director of “Enter the Dragon,” by the way.