Thursday, April 12, 2012


A few months ago, I discovered Mirageman, a low budget martial arts superhero comedy from Chile that was a whole lot of fun. It was directed by Ernesto Diaz Espinoza and starred Marko Zaror in the title role. Well, as luck would have it, it was not their first collaboration. Kiltro is much more of a standard martial arts film than Mirageman was, but it still has the same sense of fun.

Kiltro is the story of Zamir, played by Marko Zaror, a young punk and a fighter. He has a pink mullet that is pretty hard to get over as a viewer. It's not just that he has a mullet and his hair is dyed pink. ONLY the mullet is pink! I better stop now before I get diverted and write my entire review about Zamir's pink mullet, so let's get back to the mullet-- I mean the movie.

Anyway, Zamir is infatuated with Kim, the daughter of a local Korean martial arts teacher. Unfortunately, he has a misplaced way of showing his affection: by running over and beating the shit out of any other guy who talks to her. He tries to impress her by challenging her dad's entire class to a fight--and wins-- but you know, he has a lot of natural talent, and none of the discipline.

When Max Kalba, another old martial artist, comes to town to take vengeance on the martial arts teacher, Zamir is defeated, so he takes the girl and flees, going into hiding with another member of Kim's father's old martial arts bros. In order to rescue Kim's father, Zamir must train himself (with yet another of Kim's dad's old buddies, this one the classic drunken master archetype) to defeat Kalba.

What I like about Espinoza's movies is that, even though they don't break new ground, they are really well made, and they proudly are what they are. The stories are presented with a straight faced sincerity not often seen in movies like this these days. Espinoza clearly loves Quentin Tarantino, and wears it on his sleeve, even lifting some of the music from the Kill Bill movies for his own use.

The final brawl is pretty great, with Zamir painting a symbol over his face like a badass, attaching blades to his feet like a badass, and proceeding to slice open a bunch of Kalba's henchmen's throats with his kicks. Like a badass. Sure, the blood is CGI, which inevitably always fails to sate a moviegoer's bloodlust, but hey, I know the movie was made on the cheap.

Kiltro is worth watching if you like the martial arts, though I personally liked Mirageman better. I like the sincerity Espinoza and Zaror have put into their little kung fu movies, and the sort of D.I.Y attitude of the filmmaking. If I could some up my thoughts on Kiltro, it would go as such: Pink mullet.

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