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  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of Weng Weng's first cameos saw him playing deputy to Dolphy, the king of Filipino comedy himself, in Da Best In Da West (1981). It's a film which employs the bizarre conceit of having its cast, itself a throwback to the glory days of the Pinoy western, run around in cowboy hats and ponchos, whilst clearly remaining rooted in the modern-day Filipino countryside. D'Wild Wild Weng (1982), made barely 12 months later between the Agent 00 films, copies the formula in a shameless plundering of d'King's RVQ production courtesy of Peter and Cora Caballes' rival Liliw Films International, and shares (exploits?) much of the cast from Weng Weng's other movies. It's no coincidence that four of its main actors ALSO worked on Da Best In Da West, considering producer Pete Caballes scored one of the many gratuitous cameos, was good friends with Dolphy, and secured Weng Weng roles in two of Dolphy's films (see also 1980's The Quick Brown Fox). You can almost picture Caballes on the set of Da Best... with a huge butterfly net and box of pins.

    D'Wild Wild Weng is not strictly speaking an Agent 00 film, as Weng Weng trades in his characteristic white suit for a tiny waist coat and ruffled shirt (incognito, you understand). He is only ever referred to as "Mister Weng" or "Mr Wang", depending on how hungover the guy in the dubbing booth was. He does, however, strip down to karate pants to do some suave martial art moves and, once the sight of Weng without a shirt becomes too much, dons the familiar white attire AND blue paratrooper duds for target practice, just in case you've forgotten what he's capable of.

    Silhouetted against the opening Spaghetti Western credits and Pablo Vergara's jaunty mariachi score, government agents "Mr Weng" and his mountainous sidekick Gordon - who, played by future Zuma star Max Laurel, is more than twice the size of Weng - head to Santa Monica to investigate the slaying of the Mayor and his family. They find the Mayor's caretaker Lupo has had his tongue cut out (Max Alvarado grunts and squeals and pulls faces, but under his Chinese villain mustache we can still see his tongue!) and the evil governor Senor Sebastian in control, along with the familiar faces of Eddie Nicart's stunt team SOS Daredevils as Sebastian's army of Goons, decked out in uniform sombreros and gunbelts. Villages are burnt, townsfolk are lynched, goats and chickens are confused. These are desperate times indeed.

    Weng and Gordon rescue kindly villagers Mr Dencio and his daughter Clara, who warn them of Sebastian's terrible ways. Later, sensing an opening, Weng tunelessly serenades Clara outside her window with Gordon on guitar and Lupo squealing harmonies; it's a direct steal from Dolphy's hopeless attempt at seduction in Da Best In Da West, in which Weng strums a guitar as big as he is. Less than a minute later they discover the family has been kidnapped - by ninjas, no less! - and are tied to X-shaped crosses by Sebastian's sidekick Ku Manchu (Ernie Ortega). Weng helps them escape, but is later captured himself, spread-eagled between four posts with his shirt more than a little ruffled.

    As always, Weng's stature is the main source of amusement - from being carried around in a sack on Gordon's back, to stealing bananas from under a table, to Gordon launching him like a coconut at Sebastian's balcony. It's as if a performing monkey had its cigar taken away and was cross-bred with Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes, then dressed in a set of Tijuana pajamas. At one point Gordon rescues Weng from his cell by dressing as a monk, while Weng crawls under his cowl and clings - fetal style - to his belly, before hanging down like Max Laurel's third leg. Shudder. He then slides across the floor, in vintage 00 mode, through a goon's legs and karate chops their hamstrings, and does a bionic leap from a sixth-story church tower into Gordon's waiting jeep. In a word: Weng Gold.

    Of course, there are very few gadgets in the Wild West other than a Gatling Gun, even bigger than Weng Weng, mounted on the back of a jeep for the big finale. And what an ending: Weng, Gordon and Lupo face-off against a veritable army of Goons. On the signal, Weng cranks the rattling Gatling's handle as fast as his little arm can, mowing down wave after wave of "Mexicans" in slow motion (recalling the best moments of D'Wild Bunch). Stage left, a tribe of pygmy Indians - you ready correctly, Dwarfs in redface and warpaint - launch a counter-attack with bows and arrows amidst a sea of explosions. Oh, and let's not forget the ninjas. It's one of the most insane Filipino B-endings, a micro-Apocalypse Now and a dadaist triumph for Nicart's merry band of pranksters.

    The Agent 00 films were sold all over the world, but I don't recall an English-dubbed midget western ever making it past Manila Customs. As with its follow-up The Impossible Kid, Weng Weng has the same literal, uninspired and relatively humorless dialog delivered in a breathy baritone at complete odds with his real helium-huffing voice, which makes you yearn for the For Y'ur Height Only crew to hijack the dubbing studio. And, like The Impossible Kid, it's technically rough in places, Nicart carries forward his annoying segues of characters walking into the camera, and ultimately isn't a patch on the original Agent 00 adventure. Nevertheless, D'Wild Wild Weng does have its share of glorious Weng Weng moments, and the fiesta music (with just a hint of the theme from The Good The Bad And The Ugly) keeps things, like Max Laurel's third leg, swinging away nicely.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    D'WILD WILD WENG is a Filipino western comedy and a film which boasts another starring role for the famous dwarf actor Weng Weng. The film itself is a somewhat riotous production, packed full of action sequences and endearing stunt scenes in which the tiny performer kicks the backsides of various villains who are brutalising a small town in much the same way as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Whether you enjoy this film or not really depends on your predilection for B-movie cinema, because the production values are poor and the direction routine, but I nonetheless enjoyed it for the sheer entertainment value it presents.
  • artpf1 November 2013
    Weng Weng was christened as Ernesto de la Cruz and was the youngest of the five de la Cruz children (all boys). Weng Weng was born with a medical condition known as primordial dwarfism, which caused him to only grow to a height of 2 feet and 9 inches tall. According to his brother Celing de la Cruz, when his mother gave birth to Weng-Weng, his size was "no bigger than a small coke bottle", this forced Weng Weng's parents to place him in the care of the hospital incubator for the first twelve months of his life. During this time, the doctors were advising the de la Cruz couple that Weng Weng might not survive but miraculously he did, and being devoted Catholics, the couple showed their devotion to their faith by dressing and parading a young Weng Weng as Santo Niño each year for the annual Baclaran parade.

    Weng Weng starred in this 1982 western D'Wild Wild Weng, playing a character called "Mr. Weng". In the film, he and sidekick Gordon (Max ZUMA Laurel) are sent to the countryside to investigate the murder of Santa Monica's mayor. The town is now overrun by the corrupt governor Sebastian (played by Romy Diaz) and his army of banditos, all dressed up to look like Mexican revolutionaries. The ending has Weng cranking a Gatling gun - on the back of a jeep - mowing down wave after wave of sombreros, while a tribe of dwarf Indians launch a counterattack with bows and arrows.

    D'Wild Wild Weng shares much of the cast from both For Y'ur Height Only, and The Impossible Kid: Yehlen Catral (Lola in For Y'ur Height Only) plays Elsa the barmaid, Max (For Y'ur Height Only's tartan-clad villain in shades and cloth cap) Alvarado takes a turn at playing a sympathetic character as the mute Lupo, and Nina Sara (later in The Impossible Kid) is Weng's love interest Clara.

    This movie is very cheaply made. At points in the movie the sound track pops and crackles. The print is fairly dirty too.

    It's sort of an offbeat funny movie and the bad guys wear Mexican hats and are punching and killing the villagers without reason. For some reason the lead villain doesn't want anyone leaving his town! Why? WHo cares?

    Weng to the rescue.
  • BA_Harrison13 May 2018
    Ever wanted to see a dwarf with a greasy Purdey haircut and a cool line in ruffled shirts mowing down bandits with a Gatling gun? Of course you have, and Wild Weng Weng is where you can.

    Diminutive Filipino star Weng Weng plays Mr. Weng, one half of a crime-fighting duo sent to discover what has happened to the mayor of rural town Santa Monica. When he and his full size partner Gordon (Max Laurel) arrive at their destination, they find the place under the control of wicked bandit Senor Sebastian (Romy Diaz), who has been killing anyone who tries to escape.

    With the two-and-a-half foot tall lead kicking ass, aided by Gordon and a tribe of nearly naked pygmy natives, Wild Wild Weng sounds like hugely entertaining trash, but despite its ridiculous premise the film actually proves extremely boring for much of the time, Weng Weng's novelty appeal quickly wearing off, leaving the viewer to struggle with a weak plot and poorly executed action.

    There's the occasional glimmer of genius - Weng Weng escaping prison under the cowl of Gordon, who is disguised as a monk, is priceless - and we get a couple of Filipino cuties to please the eye (Yehlen Catral and Nina Sara), but on the whole this is nowhere near as enjoyable as it should be.

    4/10, marked down to 3 for mute Lupo (Max Alvarado), who isn't quite as mute as I wished he was (his mumbling irked me immensely, and I hate being irked!), and some of the crappiest ninjas imaginable.