Those Kung Fury references

You might have seen the recent video with David Hasselhoff:

or the original Kung Fury trailer:

both are packed with 80ies references. As a public service, let me help with those.

The lead track

The song sounds like some of the iconic 80ies songs. This is partly due to the Hoff, partly due to the specific use of synthesizers. The song is called True Survivor. Survivor made the song Eye of the Tiger. Eye of the Tiger replaced the originally intended lead track for Rocky III (You're the Best), which meant Karate Kid (the original movie) got that as lead track. Karate Kid is where the villains were members of the Cobra Kai martial arts school. Coincidence? I think not. (Eye of the Tiger was instead used for Rocky III)

David Hasselhoff

Actor and singer. His two greatest claim to fame are Baywatch - a late 80ies, early 90ies thing, not really relevant here - and Knight Rider, where he was basically a supercop working for a clandestine agency just going around and helping people in need and fighting evil organizations above the law... And he has a robot supercar. There were a slew of supervehicle TV shows in the 80ies, just roll with it.

He was also kind of big in Germany for a while.

Buddy cop/Renegade cop

You might have seen a few Buddy Cop movies in your time. Buddy Cop movies are kind of a worn staple at this point. While Kung Fury is about Kung Fury, he's obviously a Riggs (Lethal Weapon reference) or a Dirty Harry in that he's an Out-of-Control cop with a Heart of Gold, because All These Rules Protect The Real Villain!

Kung Fu, Karate and ninjas oh my

Karate, Kung Fury and Ninjas were big during the 80ies. It might have been partly due to Shogun, Akira Kurosawa's Ran (and other movies), Japan's rise to a dominant economic power, the Kung Fu series from the 70ies, Bruce Lee's legacy, the rise of martial arts in video games...  - whatever the reason, this was a big thing. Oddly, there aren't actually that many decent-to-good Western martial arts-using movies. There were some Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude van Damme movies. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one example that was big among 80ies kids. The Miami Connection encapsulates the whole thing kind of... kind of well?

(It's not a great movie, but it has this weird 80ies charm. And an awesome opening.)

Obviously the headband is a karate movie thing.

Wasteland warriors

All those people in hockey masks, torn clothing and serious attitudes are basically due to the second Mad Max movie, starring Mel Gibson (before he got big), The Road Warrior and its bigger-budget sequel, Beyond Thunderdome. Those basically kickstarted the post-apocalyptic aestethic still used today. There's a sequel/reboot kind of thing coming out this summer (Mad Max: Fury Road). It looks freaking awesome. As an aside there was a massively popular (in places) manga and anime which was basically Mad Max with awesome martial arts and mutants, with a main character that's basically  Bruce Lee mixed with any slasher movie villain (e g Jason). You may have seen/heard of the crappier movie, or god help you the Hollywood version of it.

That computer he timetravels/skates on and that glove


It's a Commodore 64. Most sold computer model of all time. No, I'm not joking. It doesn't have a disk drive or hard drive. You plugged it into a TV, plugged in a disk drive, or more commonly, a cassette player, typed LOAD, pressed enter, pressed play on the cassette player, typed RUN and waited for a while until the game loaded - something like that anyway. There were on-screen text instructions. Games were usually played with a TAC-2 joystick, which had two of the same fire button (for both left- and right handed people). One famous game is The Last Ninja.

The time hacking glove is a Power Glove, a nintendo accessory for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom. It sucked, but looks really cool. It also turned up in The Wizard, which is basically a Nintendo commercial movie.


These were kinda big for most of the late 80ies and some of the 90ies, then they faded into obscurity, never to-Oh right, they made a comeback, nevermind. The dorky knee protectors existed, but I can't recall a kid who thought they were cool outside of TV series.

That boxy robot

It's an Arcade machine/cabinet - used to be people would go to centers and pay in coins through a coin slot for a set of lives/rounds. You'd think they went away with the NES, but arcade machines upped the game with visually appealing games running on expensive hardware (the NeoGeo, famously). The name is a spoof of Space Invaders (and obviously the 80ies laser obsession). You might have seen Wreck-it Ralph (it's a good movie if you haven't)

Nazi villains

80ies pop culture had a lot of nazi villains, whether with South America-hiding former leaders wanting to restore the Third Reich or as mooks for Indiana Jones to punch. I don't think I need to go deeper with that.

Dinosaurs and vikings

Obviously, this is because (fictional) dinosaurs and vikings are awesome. Also possibly Jurassic Park and the whole Swedish-made-movie thing. Eh, who knows?