In the wake of African cinema shot-on-video, we are introduced to the world of Wakaliwood, or Ugandan cinema with this pretty insane action film from filmmaker Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey, or simply to shorten his name as in the credits, Nabwana I.G.G.
The film’s simplistic plot revolves around a war between two factions, one led by Captain Alex and the other, the Tiger Mafia. When The Tiger Mafia, who are believed to be feared, starts their assault on Alex’s team, Captain Alex’s team retaliates by kidnapping the brother of Tiger Mafia’s leader. However, when a mysterious assassin kills Alex, it is up to his cohorts and his brother to find out who did it before they become the Tiger Mafia’s next victims.
As a fan of cinema, this reviewer decided to give this film a look knowing what to expect after delving into the cinema of Nollywood (Nigerian shot-on-video films). Filmmaker Nabwana was clearly influenced by action films from both Hollywood and Hong Kong. Only utilizing $200.00, he practically showed he was a jack-of-all-trades behind the cameras. It is clear that he wanted to bring a fun action film that in some aspect, was not to be taken seriously. It is apparent that you really should come into seeing this film with an open mind and just enjoy it.
However, after the first viewings of the film in its native Uganda, the movie was said to be lost due to a mishap on the part of filmmaker Nabwana. However, a low-quality DVD master was in fact found and he did what he could to make his film known: he put the movie on Youtube himself for everyone to watch, and the film had racked up over 240,000 views to date.
There is also an interesting lesson in the world of Wakaliwood. It is a known fact that in Uganda, for those who cannot understand some of the languages, when the film is played in local theaters, we are treated to what is known as VJ’s narrating the film with one added twist: they make running jokes with the dialogue. VJ stands for “Video Joker”. As a matter of fact, the version seem on Youtube is just that, a VJ commentary over the dialogue with the running gags. Sound familiar? It looks like the filmmaker, who approved of the commentary, perhaps heard of a little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000? That was the vibe given upon seeing the film, which surprisingly had the worst CGI effects (but knowing the budget, wasn’t a bother) but had some pretty good choreographed fight sequences with actual guys who can fight on screen. ?
Again, it must be stressed that Who Killed Captain Alex? is one film that you should come in not expecting anything serious but have some fun and some of the VJ commentary can be quite a hoot. If you just want a time waster of 68 minutes, you could do worse than this Wakaliwood film.
WFG RATING: C-
A Ramon Film Productions film. Director: Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey. Producer: Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey. Writer: Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey. Cinematography: Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey. Editing: Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey.
Cast: Kakule William, Sserunya Ernest, G. Puffs, Kavubu Muhammed, Kasumba Isma, Faizat Muhammad, Bisaso Dauda, Nakyambaddy Prossy.