Weng Weng and lost pulp cinema genre


BoingBoing, meet Weng Weng.

Star of '70s spy-thriller classics like "For Your Height Only," the 2' 9" Filipino B-movie star Weng Weng is the subject of a new generation of online video tribute mashups like this one from fake-club.com.

Also known as "Agent 00," the diminutively-sized action hero smashes drug cartels, gets chicks, carries around cool high-tech gadgets, and karate-chops the balls of nefarious criminal masterminds like Mr. Giant.

But who was this man called Weng Weng? From the trashvideo bio, which seems to include equal parts urban legend and fact:

"[Rumors suggest that he] began his movie career by appearing in a number of underground adult films... As far as I can see Weng Weng's first movie part was that of the baby Moses in the 1972 Filipino biblical epic "Go Tell It On The Mountain" which also starred Joseph Estrada as the adult Moses and was the only biblical movie ever to be filmed in 3D. In fact most of Weng Weng's early movie roles involved him either playing babies, children, small cuddly animals or strange alien beings in a number of low budget Filipino sci-fi features. In 1973 he appeared in filmmaker Pedro Manoy's super low budget science fiction fantasy "MoonBoy From Another Planet" in which he played a lovable three foot alien who befriends a poor Filipino boy. Manoy later claimed and unsuccessfully attempted to sue Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg for ripping off the idea for "ET".

Eventually in the late 1970's he came to the attention of Hong Kong movie maker Raymond Jury who cast him in the role of Agent 00 in the James Bond style spoof "For Your Height Only". The movie was a huge hit throughout the Philippines and Asia as well as countries as far apart as Iceland, Uganda, Tonga, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea. In the Philippines, Weng Weng was now a household name and he was constantly in demand for appearances on TV chat shows, shopping centre appearances and the occasional political rally. In 1990 he was awarded a special citation for services to the Filipino Film Industry from the first lady Imelda Marcos and joined her at the presentation in a special karaoke "duet" version of "My Way". An unauthorized recording of their performance was later released on bootleg cassette and sold an incredible 200,000 copies."

Here is the only online video clip of Weng Weng I've been able to score. Don't miss the scene at the end where he flies away with the aid a personal rocket jetpack. If any readers out there have other audio or video files to share, please post urls in the "discuss" forum. I can help with hosting, via archive.org.

About Weng Weng (trashvideo site).

Update: Charlie O points us to a terrific synopsis of "For Your Height Only," complete with audio clips, here. And guestbar maven Karen Marcelo reminds us that CG didn't exist in the 1970s-era Philippines, "so [for the jet-rocket exit scene] they probably rigged him up on a crane with fireworks attached to his ass for the smoke." Discuss (Thanks, d*i*r*t*y)

Loading...