Fantastic Fest: Audience Award Winning Doc Kung Fu Elliot Delights, Surprises




Premise: Elliot “White Lightning” Scott, a martial artist with big ambitions, is determined to become Canada’s first action hero with his low budget karate epic, Blood Fight. This surreal documentary captures two years in the lives of a passionate amateur filmmaker, his supportive partner Linda, and their outrageous cast—all trying to realize their dreams.


I really dug the setup of Kung Fu Elliot, about a Canadian martial artist who is determined to become Canada’s Jackie Chan. As the “Kickboxer champion of Canada,” the execution of the premise was just as good, if not better. Elliot Scott is on a small, tiny quest to promote his movie on a very grass roots campaign. Awkwardly describing his Asian girlfriend as “spicy like a hot tamale,” they have complications on screen. Their relationship takes center stage during a lot more of the documentary than I expected. The odd ball exuberance of Elliot expressed throughout Kung Fu Elliot was fascinating. He tries to immerse himself in Asian culture to please his girlfriend. At times, one wonders how far he is taking it.


Kung Fu Elliot has been winning awards at this year’s bigger film festivals and screened at prestigious Hot Docs. Between the Jury award for Best Documentary Feature Film Slamdance and winning the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Fantastic Fest this week, Kung Fu Elliot is very funny and tenderhearted with added darkness. Throughout this goofy, comedic documentary, there are dramatic moments regarding the intense story. Various relational and shooting challenges plague Elliot and his girlfriend. It is exhausting at times to watch the conflict. Yet like the good documentaries, unpredictable circumstances can change the story at a moment’s notice. Since life can be turbulent, it makes sense that not every documentary “sticks to the script.” The good documentaries catch filmmakers and viewers off guard. The ending haunted me and is worth debating.


Kung Fu Elliot doesn’t have a release date but we will keep you updated when it does. It is worth checking out!


I rate Kung Fu Elliot a 7.5 out of 10.

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About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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