May 03, 2013 00:00
By The Nation
Thailand's Fedfe Boyband has caught fire internationally, and it's nothing to do with harmony or choreography.
These guys make movies – or at least chop-shop parodies of movies, as part of the enduring fad called “sweding”.
Just a bunch average-looking guys (“pursuing their dreams”, as they say in the business), Fedfe have caught the attention of the foreign media with a hilarious rendition of “Iron Man 3”. It’s the latest in a sizeable collection of “Jackass”-type videos they’ve posted on YouTube that have boosted their Facebook following beyond 180,000.
The fake “Iron Man 3 trailer” has become a phenomenon with almost 870,000 views in the week since it was uploaded. Include in that more than 18,000 “likes” – and zero “dislikes”.
People can’t seem to get enough of the shoestring-budget props and costumes in the scene-by-scene copy of the real movie trailer starring Robert Downey Jr. The planes and helicopters are toys, of course, and Iron Man is clad in cardboard. In place of costly special effects, you have handheld sparklers.
“Sweding” originated with the 2008 comedy “Be Kind Rewind”, in which Jack Black and his fellow video-store employees replace lost stock with their own low-budget versions, shot on the fly with a videocam. They tell impatient customers that the movies take a while to arrive because they come from Sweden. Then they head off to “swede” some more films.
Among the thousands of comments on YouTube, someone said, “I guess Thailand is the new Sweden now?” The Kingdom earns plenty of praise for its newfound talent, so Channel 3 featured the “Iron Man” parody on its morning news on Wednesday and the hosts were in stitches. That’s got more Thais adding comments on YouTube, along with requests for more “sweded” Hollywood films, like maybe the “Fast and Furious” flicks.
Meanwhile the Fedfe “Iron Man” is being shared around like crazy on Facebook. But none of this should come as a surprise, really. Thailand’s already famous overseas as the country that gave the world the volleyball-playing “Iron Ladies”.