Pop Quiz: How do you rename a Chilean buddy cop film in order to attract American audiences?
Obviously you’re dying to know, and lucky for us it seems the folks at film distribution company Uncork’d Entertainment have given us the answer. After acquiring the Chilean box-office sensation Fuerzas Especiales, Uncork’d has decided to avoid the literal translation route and instead go with something with more flair, something like – drum roll please – 3rd World Cops.
Yes, the one Latin American country that could make a solid case for being considered a developed, industrialized nation has to peddle itself as “third world” to get American audiences to theaters. Go figure. And the subtitle? “These guys never went to the police academy!” Yup, nothing gets Americans out of their seats quicker than reinforcing stereotypes about inept third world public services (and referencing an old 80s comedy franchise). In truth, knowing American theatergoers it’s actually not a bad marketing strategy… but that doesn’t make it any less sad.
Be that is may, the real news is that the Chilean box-office sensation Fuerzas Especiales has been picked up for American distribution! The brainchild of comedy duo Sergio Freire and Roberto Salinas, the filmbegan as a controversial recurring sketch on the hit show El club de la comedia, and in part thanks to this familiarity it broke box-office records in Chile in the first week of its release.
If you weren’t previously aware, Chileans are actually funny as hell (if you need proof, take a minute to check out classic comedy programs like Plan Z or 31 minutos), and with the country’s peculiar melange of absurdity and black humor it was only a matter of time before they broke through to American audiences.
While the trailer seems over-the-top silly, especially compared to some of the more serious festival fare that’s been coming out of country lately, sketch comedy movies haven’t traditionally been known for their restraint. In fact, this one looks like it would hit the spot when seen through a thick cloud of smoke.
While you’re at it, check out this ridic nu-cumbia music video from the movie’s soundtrack.
Dates for the U.S. theatrical release have not been announced yet.