Who Killed Captain Alex? is a 2010 Ugandan action-comedy film written, produced, and directed by Nabwana Isaac Geoffrey Godfrey (IGG), in Wakaliwood, an ultra low-budget studio in Kampala, Uganda. It has gained viral notoriety for being a no-budget action film, produced on a reported budget of under $200 though producer Alan Hofmanis admitted that it was a meager $85. A trailer for the film was uploaded to YouTube in January 2010, and has been viewed over 6.4 million times as of November 2021. The original version of the film was lost due to power outages and “strained conditions”, while the surviving version of Who Killed Captain Alex? released online includes an English “Video Joker” commentary that adds in running gags about the characters.
Captain Alex, one of the most decorated officers in the Uganda People’s Defence Force, is sent out to destroy the evil Richard and his Tiger Mafia, a criminal organization that controls the city of Kampala from the shadows. After Captain Alex captures Richard’s brother during a commando mission in Wakaliga, losing countless men in the process, Richard sets out for revenge. He sends a female spy to seduce Captain Alex for the Tiger Mafia to capture him. Later that night, a scream is heard from the tent, and Captain Alex is found dead – but nobody is sure who killed him. Captain Alex’s brother, a Ugandan Shaolin Monk nicknamed Bruce U (a play on Bruce Lee as he is known for his exceptional kung fu skills), arrives in Kampala in search of the murderer. After getting into a fight with nearby temple martial artists, he meets the temple’s master. Bruce U desperately begs the master to help him on his mission for vengeance, but the master refuses, saying that martial arts should not be used for vengeance and rage, but instead for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Bruce U leaves in frustration, with the master reminding him to bring sweets to their next meeting. After spending the night in a tree, Bruce U wakes up and begins his training routine. As he prepares his breakfast, he encounters a woman named Ritah, one of Richard’s wives who has lost her memory after being shot by Richard (Richard has so many wives they are expendable).
The UPDF, now deprived of a leader as magnificent as Alex, struggles to formulate a capture plan for Richard. However, after analyzing a map of Uganda, they find a jungle area that links to the suspected warehouse that Richard is currently hiding in. Meanwhile, Richard tells Puffs, his subordinate from Russia, to steal a helicopter from the military and bomb Kampala. As Puffs wreaks havoc on Kampala with the helicopter, Bruce U is captured by the Tiger Mafia. Now in the warehouse, Bruce U finds himself face to face with Richard, who commands Puffs’ assassins to attack Bruce U and fight him one on one. Bruce U however, challenges all of them at once until he is overwhelmed by one of the assassins’ kickboxing styles. Just in the nick of time however, the military closes in on the warehouse and forces the Tiger Mafia to evacuate. After the Ugandan military tracks down Richard, an action sequence ensues including several helicopters, myriad explosions, and an immense body count. Following an extended ambush, a chain reaction kills Puffs and overwhelms Richard to the point where he is wounded and taken into custody, while swearing revenge in the sequel. In the end, however, as the government places Uganda under martial law, no one knows who killed Captain Alex.
- Kakule William as Captain Alex
- Sseruyna Ernest as Richard
- Bukenya Charles as Bruce U, Captain Alex’s brother
- Nakyambadde Prossy as Ritah
- Faizat Muhammed as Natasha
- G. Puffs as Puffs
- Kaggwa Bonny as Minister
- Babirye Ssekweyama as Vicky
- Bisaso Dauda as Rock
- Musisi David as Tom
- Ssebanja Ivan as Master
- VJ Emmie as the voice of Video Joker
The film was produced on an estimated US$200 budget. Production began in late 2009 in the ghettos of Nateete. Filmmaker Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey Nabwana (nicknamed Nabwana IGG) was inspired by his love of Hollywoodaction movies and martial arts films from childhood. The helicopter scenes in the film were based on Nabwana’s experiences during the Ugandan Bush War where he and his brother were chased by a helicopter.
Nabwana shot the film in January 2010 and edited it using a computer he assembled from old parts. The film’s props and camera equipment were fabricated from scrap metal at a machine shop next to Nabwana’s house. The actors supplied their own costumes; one of them was given a mask so he could play two different roles in the same scene. Squibs used to simulate gunshot wounds were made from condoms filled with red food coloring and tied to fishing lines before being taped to the actors’ chests; Nabwana previously used cow blood, but was forced to discontinue it after one of his actors developed brucellosis.