We Almost Got a (Horrible) "Hong Kong Phooey" Movie

Hat tip: BAD

Hey, entertainment industry? Y’know what’d be just great? If something – anything! – could happen between Christmas and New Years so I’d have some content to post between shows other than celebrity deaths and offbeat scoops linked from bigger websites. Just sayin’.

Anyway, Badass Digest has posted what is apparently authentic test footage director Alex Zamm put together as a proof-of-concept for a proposed live-action/CGI comedy based on “Hong Kong Phooey” with Eddie Murphy in the lead role. You’ll be unsurprised to learn that the clip is light on the kung-fu, heavy on an extended joke about dogs drinking from toilets:

Also included: Another video pitch by Zamm for a similarly hideous-looking “Marvin the Martian” feature.

What’s odd about this is, I feel like there’s actually some real potential being wasted here. “Hong Kong Phooey” was an oddity even for 70s Hannah-Barberra in that it was one of their less cringingly tone-deaf attempts at coopting current cultural trends, in this case the burgeoning blaxploitation genre and the import kung-fu cinema craze that were already beginning to cross over into one another at the time: Scatman Crothers voiced Phooey, and the series was set in a version of gritty(ish) Disco-infected New York:

A modernized version of that – a Hong Kong Phooey whose attitude was perhaps more hip-hop than funk, with action riffing on the Matrix/Jackie Chan/Crouching Tiger iconography rather than Bruce Lee – might well have been a unique and even interesting cartoon hero for today’s kids. But, instead, here’s The Voice of Donkey eating a urinal cake. Terrific.

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