For Y’ur Height Only (1981)
Starring: Weng Weng, Yehlen Catral, Beth Sandoval
“You’re such a tiny little guy. Very petite, like a potato.” (Irma, For Y’ur Height Only)
Dr Kohler, a scientist responsible for the creation of the deadly N-bomb, has been kidnapped by a group of Filipino henchmen working for the mysterious Mr Giant. A top secret agency sends their finest agent on a mission to find out more, rescue Dr Kohler and put an end to Giant’s crime syndicate. What’s that? It sounds like your standard spy movie? That’s because I neglected to tell you the secret agent in question is a midget.
Yes, the hero in For Y’ur Height Only (no, I don’t understand the apostrophe) is Agent 00, played by 2’9” Weng Weng (who still holds the Guinness World Record as the shortest actor in a leading role). Is this cruel? Is it exploiting poor little Weng Weng? Well, if it is, you wouldn’t know it, because the tiny fella seems to be having a whale of a time.
Being such a tiny chap, Agent 00 can infiltrate areas no other agent can, squeezing himself into tight gaps and hiding under tables before springing out and attacking his enemies. And boy, can he attack. Much of the film’s numerous fights scenes consists of Weng Weng kicking various arses, not to mention testicles and heads. They’re as well choreographed as you’d expect a fight with a midget could be, though you’ll find Agent 00’s apparent strength a little hard to swallow at times.
The one challenge with an action movie starring a midget is that you’re going to struggle to find a stunt double, so luckily Weng Weng is more than capable of performing his own stunts. It does look like he gets a helping hand at times however – some scenes see him sliding backwards across the floor at speed while firing a gun, a trick no doubt performed by having an off-camera crew member physically launch him across the floor. There’s also one hilarious scene where he leaps on a criminal from the top of a stairwell, clearly achieved by having someone literally chuck him at them.
Of course, if the film wasn’t actually entertaining then For Y’ur Eyes Only’s gimmick would probably get boring eventually. Thankfully this isn’t the case and the film remains amusing throughout. Agent 00 is armed with a huge selection of gadgets and gizmos (presented to him in an absurdly long scene aping the Q scenes in a Bond movie) and uses these devices throughout the film to keep things interesting.
It’s the items Agent 00 receives along the way that lead to the most memorable scenes however, most notably one where he jumps off a block of flats while holding an umbrella (clearly turning into a dummy during the wide shot, smacking its legs off the side of the building as it gracelessly tumbles down) and another where he is given a jetpack. Yes, this film has a midget with a jetpack. Naturally, when I watched this with a primarily Glaswegian audience, one chap was heard to excitedly exclaim “awww fuck offff” during this scene.
The only real negative point of For Y’ur Height Only is the soundtrack. It only has a couple of themes and one of them is an incredibly irritating rendition of the James Bond theme interspersed with screeching trumpets. This is repeated ad nauseum throughout the film and begins to grate by the end.
That’s the only annoying aspect of a hugely entertaining film, however. For Y’ur Height Only may essentially boil down to people laughing at a midget trying to be James Bond, but given that Weng Weng’s clearly having as much fun as the audience then enjoying it without feeling guilty is no tall order (ahem).
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
For Y’ur Height Only is only available on DVD in the US. If you can play Region 1 DVDs you can import it in a double-bill with a dodgy kung-fu film by clicking here. If you live in the US you can buy the DVD by clicking here.