Kung Fu Elliot
The bizarre story of Elliot "White Lightning" Scott, who plans on becoming 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 Lum, and their cast and crew of outrageous dreamers - all striving to achieve success.
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★★★★ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd
It is so refreshing to be blindsided by a movie you know nothing about, and then think you've got your mind wrapped around, and then slips through your defenses and hits you in surprising ways. A deserving winner of the Fantastic Fest best documentary award.
★★★★ review by JesseSP on Letterboxd
I'm still not sure this is real, but it blew my damn mind.
★★★★½ review by FilmApe on Letterboxd
"Well, you know, it's Nova Scotia, like, there's not too many good people here, it's...it's the province. There's a lot of dirtbags in Nova Scotia. More than any place I've ever lived."
So I have no idea if this film is real or fake. The ending suggests that it is fake, and most of me hopes that it is. This Elliot guy is so unlikable that accepting that he is a real human being might forever alter my opinion of humanity in a negative way.
So the film starts much in the vein of American Movie and seems to be about this guy trying to make low budget Canadian martial arts movies. The quality of the film's is terrible, but like any good underdog dreamer, Elliot doesn't seem to realize this. The way he acts at the beginning of the film had me thinking a lot about where is that line between following your dreams and just being delusional. It becomes clear that Elliot has definitely crossed that line, as the story unfolds itself. The whole bit in China is incredibly uncomfortable and hilarious, as Elliot is basically going around taking pictures with people and claiming that he is Canada's Jackie Chan. After this trip, things really take a turn in the "documentary", and I think it is here that it becomes most obvious that the film is fake (at least I am hoping).
Kung Fu Elliot ends up going to some dark places, and the way that he treats his girlfriend Linda is pretty horrible. The things that we end up seeing Elliot do, and the way that he acts, are pretty despicable, and the access that the crew has to everything that is going on is impressive. However, some of the access just seems ridiculous, and there are a couple shots that seem too perfect. Add to the fact the end confrontation between Elliot and the film crew, and it is really difficult for me not to call shenanigans. Really though, if this is actually real, than it is amazing, and if it is fake, than it is still amazing. This movie is full of big laughs and plenty of cringe inducing moments, and to me it is shocking that I have not heard more about it. Definitely seek this out, because real or fake, it is amazing.
★★★½ review by Gavin Rye on Letterboxd
It’s hard to talk about Kung Fu Elliot without giving it away. It’s a film that’s best enjoyed by going in cold. Elliot is just such a bizarre character, that it hardly matters what the story ends up being, we could just watch him weave his poorly constructed lies and that alone would be enjoyable.
We follow him as he is making his third film and it’s a joy to watch him work. He’s shooting his film on a tiny point and shoot camera and seems oblivious to the fact that his actors can’t deliver a line to save their lives. Then we get to the twist. I won’t give it away, but it’s amazing that the makers of this film were there to capture it and that in it’s self leaves the question whether the film is real or not open. I at first thought that there is no way it could be real. But if it isn’t, then the acting is top notch. Having read a little more into it and found out that Elliot’s other two films are real and are out there, I think I believe it. But either way, it’s a great film and a superb subject. I hope Elliot resurfaces from Mongolia so that we can hear his side of events.
★★★½ review by matt lynch on Letterboxd
"There's a lot of dirtbags in Nova Scotia."
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