Kung Fu Elliot is one Elliot Scott, a man determined to make himself Canada’s number one action star. A former kick boxing champion, he employs a crew of friends to make a series of micro-budget action productions with their home cameras. Elliot shows a fierce determination and entrepreneurial spirit, marketing himself and his movies in local shops and videos stores. It seems like a misguided endeavor, but he works so hard and is so personable that you can’t help but want him to succeed. It would not be completely inaccurate to compare Elliot with Ed Wood; the films may be of questionable production values, but the man has a likability that keeps everyone working with him.
However that’s just the start of this story. There is also his long suffering girlfriend Linda, who largely funds his movies and houses him while he follows his dreams. She encourages him to go to acupuncture school and the crew follows him on a class trip to China (that was paid for with insurance money he was given for his car). These are the first little hints that Elliot might not be just the wide-eyed dreamer that he seems to be.
Directors Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau do a good job of allowing us to laugh with Elliot and not at him. Elliot is an unconventional man with huge ambitions and Bauckman lets him speak for himself and doesn’t construct a cartoon out of him. There is a lot more going on in this film than its cheery premise would suggest and I strongly recommend it (with the warning you will likely see Elliot and the Filmmakers very differently by the end). By the time we get to epilogue text there are some huge question marks that I think are really going to have the audience talking. With the attention this film brings to its subject; I would be very interested to see a follow up that explores some of those questions.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.