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#TIFF19 Review: Crazy World (Midnight Madness)

September 16, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Shot on a shoestring budget in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, Crazy World is the latest action movie from Wakaliwood filmmaker IGG Nabwana. Starring Nabwana’s own kids and other locals, the loose plot involves the Waka Stars, a group of kids who are trained in kung-fu. When they get kidnapped by the gangster Mr. Big and his evil Tiger Mafia, who are abducting children to be used for child sacrifices, the kids fight back, as their action cop father Bruce U and a former commando who has cracked plot their own revenge, leading to an action-packed showdown.

This is a hard film to really review, because the film’s technical elements are clearly limited by its budget, and watching it feels like more of an experience than it does a movie. While Nabwana has made dozens of films in Uganda, this is only the third to be shown internationally. It was actually shot back in 2014, and is only be released for Western audiences now, with a few new touches added specifically for its TIFF premiere. The film was presented with live commentary by VJ Emmie, one of Uganda’s foremost “video jokers” who is tasked with providing narration for films being shown to local audiences without subtitles, at its Midnight Madness premiere, which was included as a pre-recorded track at the second screening that I attended.

At just 63 minutes long, Crazy World has an enthusiasm to it that is unique and infectious. The actors do their own stunts, and the blood bursts are done using makeshift squibs crafted out of condoms filled with red food colouring. It’s an amusing, low budget Ugandan action flick that has an appealing do-it-yourself spirit and is fun to watch with a crowd.

Public Screenings:

Saturday, September 14th – 11:59 PM at Ryerson Theatre

Sunday, September 15th – 12:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

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