For Y’ur Height Only (1981): Philippines – directed by Eddie Nicart
Not rated by the MPAA – contains violence and Weng Weng
My friend Scotty recently discovered Weng Weng. He seemed to be the perfect package: 2 feet 9 inches tall, martial artist, made James Bond spoofs. What isn’t there to like? So last night a bunch of us settled in for a Weng Weng double feature, starting with For Y’ur Height Only and continuing with D’Wild Wild Weng, a review for which is here.
So how did Weng Weng stack up against our ridiculously high expectations? Surprisingly well, I have to say. Granted, it was one of the worst-made movies I’ve seen in a while, but it had Weng Weng in it.
I should probably point something out before we delve into the plot. It was a noisy viewing environment, so certain sections of important dialogue may have been difficult to hear. Wait a second. Who am I kidding, there is no important dialogue. There’s not even a plot. The best I could tell is that Weng Weng stars as Agent 00 (though one lady also calls him Mr. Weng.) He’s the good guy. Then there are lots of bad guys, and Weng Weng alternately kicks them in the crotch and shoots them with his tiny pistol. There are also a number of attractive dames. Some of them were good, some were bad, and some may have alternated sides, I’m not sure.
If you think I’m grossly over-simplifying the plot, think again. The bad guys even refer to themselves as “the forces of evil” and talk about how “the forces of good” are out to stop them. I think there may have been a little more detail to it, but not much. What I could pick up was that Mr. Giant is the mysterious super-villain and he has multiple layers of bad guys under him for Weng Weng to kill. Some of his cronies smuggle drugs by baking it into loaves of bread so that they look like Twinkies with cocaine filling. Other than that, I’m not sure what they do to be evil.
There are some other characters, too, such as Weng Weng’s version of Q. He gives Agent 00 his gadgets, most of which are utterly worthless, and explains that the department is short on funds so the gadgets aren’t as useful as they should be. One of the gadgets is a ring that flashes when Agent 00 is about to drink poison. Of course, there is only one moment in the movie when this turns out to be useful.
Weng Weng has his charms, though. The ladies find him irresistible, even though they have to almost bend over to hold his hand. In one hilarious scene he runs through a lady’s hotel room (she’s lying on the bed reading a magazine) and has to stop to give her a tender kiss. She doesn’t seem to mind.
Most of the movie is absolutely hilarious. The dubbing adds some laughs to the proceedings (I would love to watch the original Tagalog with subtitles, but I’m not even sure that’s available.) Weng Weng’s voice, for instance, changes at least six times over the 87 minutes. One of the gangsters has a distinctly Mexican accent while another sounds like a Chicagoan gangster from the 1930’s. I suspect that much of the plot was cut out from the dubbing, though. Besides the soundtrack, however, there is still plenty to love. Weng Weng, while not particularly graceful or cool, still manages to kick a lot of gangster butt. Most of the gangsters are deaf and blind and can’t hear him sneaking up on them, which gives him the perfect opportunity to kick them. He does this a lot, and he also slides across the floor shooting up at bad guys with his little pistol. This is always good for a laugh, especially when he’s greased up and zips across the floor like lightning.
Like I mentioned before, it is a very poorly made film. Astoundingly, horrifyingly badly made. Some of the directing is competent at times, but the editing is atrocious. The person responsible for continuity must have been fired early on. Weng Weng changes outfits every three minutes for no reason. The plot jumps randomly from one group of bad guys to another with no explanation in between. This leads to confusion as to where the plot is heading, though I suspect all we are supposed to care about is that Weng Weng has more bad guys to beat up. I must give credit to the women in his life, because they are much better fighters than he is. They beat up almost as many bad guys as he does.
It doesn’t matter that the film had no budget and was made with little discernible effort. It is a blast, from start to finish. The best way to watch it is with a group of friends. Don’t worry about catching all the dialogue, though parts of it are hilarious. The plot is not important. The only thing that matters is Weng Weng and that he has enough bad guys to kick. The entire film is highly enjoyable, often making no sense but being amazing at the same time.