Good morning everyone,
Now is time to revisit the world of mainstream size content. Once more we return to Europe, but now we’re heading east to Poland. We’re also looking back at an era when the governments of the Soviet Union and communist satellite states were beginning to falter. Today’s review will cover “Kingsajz”(the name being a phonetic rendition of Kingsize) a comedy directed by Juliusz Machulski.
(SIDE NOTE: Machulski also directed “Seksmisja,” a.k.a. Sexmission, a science fiction comedy about two men who go into hibernation and wake up in a world without males. I haven’t seen it yet, but am intrigued by the poster and the premise!)
Kingsajz was released in early May 1988. It stars Jacek Chmielnik as Olgierd “Olo” Jedina, a dwarf who lives among humans. Dwarfs normally live in Szuflandia, a place full of drawers which serve as apartments. Katarzyna Figura plays Olo’s human-sized love interest Ala, and Jerzy Stuhr plays Kilkujadek, a high-level dwarf official trying to control the society of diminutive people.
The word dwarf conjures up images of the fantasy race found in J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels and in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons that Tolkien inspired. Which is to note that I think of fictional dwarfs as being the same height as atypically short, but not impossibly so, humans. Between four and five feet tall is the height of the average dwarf in my mind. Note that the English-language Wikipedia entry described the small humanoids in Kingsajz as “gnomes” while unofficial English subtitles called them “dwarfs.” In the original Polish they were called “krasnoludek.” (SIDE NOTE: An anti-communist movement, the Orange Alternative, used krasnoludek imagery to protest the Soviet regime.)
These dwarfs were tiny, much smaller than Gimli from the Lord of the Rings. For example, several are needed to carry ordinary fruits like apples and oranges. Additionally, they reside in the drawers which used to be found in library card catalogs.
The dwarfs of Kingsajz are able to grow to human proportions with the aid of a closely-guarded formula called Kingsize. After initially taking the formula, Olo was able to stay human-size by regularly drinking bottles of a Polish soda called “Polo-Cockta.”
At this point it is important to report that this film references and critiques life in 1980s Poland. Accordingly, Polo-Cockta was a real soft drink which was discontinued around the time Kingsajz was made. It was a substitute for Coca-Cola which was unavailable to the average Pole. Additionally, the fact that Polo-Cockta was becoming hard to find was potentially reflected in the plot. Olo rushed to a supermarket looking for some only to discover that only one bottle was left and a middle-aged guy already put it into his shopping basket. That led to a scene in which Olo steals the last one and causes a minor scuffle!
However, Olo’s friend Adas managed to synthesize the Kingsize formula. This triumph was disrupted when he was subsequently captured by Kilkujadek and his thugs who were desperate to keep the formula a secret.
This leads to the main dramatic conflict, rescuing Adas and trying to get Kingsize for everyone. Kingsize for everyone is also the English translation of a catchy song from the soundtrack “Kingsajz dla każdego.” (NOTE: Click here for Kingsajz dla każdego on YouTube.)
Olo’s motivation was the fact that there are no female dwarfs! How, or if, dwarfs can reproduce without females was unclear. Furthermore, their cafeteria served food such as flies (another nice prop) and most of them were forced to live in cramped drawers alongside several others so the appeal of the human world was certainly understandable.
Speaking of women, while the sight of Ala’s bare back and buttocks was stimulating this was a comedy not erotica. Olo’s first girlfriend Ewa, played by Liza Machulska*, was briefly topless in an early scene, but there was no other frontal nudity, no sex simulated or otherwise, and definitely no genitals on display! Although, a bubble bath scene featuring Ala getting clean while Olo floated on a rubber ducky was fun.
- Liza Machulska was married to director Juliusz Machulski. To the best of my understanding, surnames of Polish wives often differ slightly from their husbands. Therefore, his surname was MachulskI and hers was MachulskA (emphasis added). This was her first appearance on the big screen.
I won’t disclose more details regarding the plot. Better for viewers to actually watch Kingsajz! This was a great movie and should be required viewing for all size fans.
As far as negatives, I do have some quibbles. The most pressing concern was the lack of a proper release for foreign audiences. Secondly, Olo was working as a writer and involved in a relationship with Ewa. However, Olo switches his affections from Ewa to Ala without much consideration. That wasn’t a showstopper. They had only been together for two months, but still felt weird to leave his first-ever romantic relationship so easily. Ewa clearly held a grudge! Lastly, there was a twist at the very end which didn’t quite work. Still, the positives greatly outweighed the negatives.
Showcasing the thought put into the production, it was perhaps symbolic for a final shot centered on the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. A high-rise building which was forced upon the Polish people in the 1950s. Many people have called for its demolition. Felt like a conscious choice to prominently feature the palace.
Kingsajz was well-received in the home country and effort has been made to preserve the legacy, as can be seen in the following:
Kingsajz is strongly recommended! Alas, watching it is not straightforward. Not for viewers who do not understand Polish. Kingsajz can be viewed for free at YouTube, one copy with Polish audio only and another Polish with Russian subtitles. The film can also be purchased on DVD, but only in the original language. Theoretically, a person could download the video off YouTube and combine that with a SRT subtitle file using software like VLC media player. A few places host SRT files in various languages, but be cautious if you decide to go down that route as they may try to slip in malware as well.
Furthermore, Eastern European Movies, click here for that, hosts Kingsajz with subtitles in English as well as Czech, Italian, and Russian. I haven’t tried the service (which offers membership plans starting at €5 a month), but it appears to be the only “legit” site with subtitles.
I would gladly purchase a high-definition copy on Blu-ray with professional subtitles. A Blu-ray release is pretty unlikely, but one can always hope.
That’s it for today folks. The next review should cover shrunken women videos from a “new” studio never discussed at There She Grows before. Until then, let us all follow Olo’s example and advocate Kingsize for everyone!
This review was written by SolomonG and is protected under Fair Use copyright law.
All Rights Reserved.
2 thoughts on “Mainstream Fare #9 – Kingsajz (Kingsize)”
I first saw Kingsajz in 1994. Scarecrow Video in Seattle had (and probably still has) a copy of a VHS release with English subtitles. Note that while they didn’t have region coding on VHS tapes that they do with DVDs and Blu-Rays, there was still the issue of television format which also varied by region. North America & Japan use NTSC, while PAL and SECAM are used in other countries, including Europe and Russia. The copy that Scarecrow had must have been published for North America as I had no problem playing it on my VHS player and NTSC television.
There was nothing on the cassette box to indicate that there was anything like the bedroom scene with Olo and Ala that you screencapped here. The cover image that caught my eye was just a still from tiny Chmielnik on the table set with giant test tubes. The back side of the box referenced “dwarfs” from “Szuflandia” who wanted to be big. That was enough for me to rent it and see what it offered in the way of sizey sexytimes. I really didn’t expect anything more than a lingering handheld.
I would go on to rent it again three or four more times until decent clips started circulating in the online size community. Eventually the whole thing (without subtitles) ended up on YouTube and I snagged it. Whatever facility I have with Polish I owe to this movie.
For a good laugh, go on YouTube and search for “KINGSAJZ Trailer.”
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Are you referring to the “Inception Style” trailer put out by New Adventure Cinema? That deep horn BRAAAM is wildly inappropriate for a comedy, but still (Chef’s kiss) so good! 😉 I leave it up to others to reconcile “wildly inappropriate” and yet “so good.” Hehe
I also regret not pointing out that lovers of pasty white dudes in boxer shorts should appreciate this film! Copious footage of scantily-clothed Dad bods 🙂
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