Elliot “White Lightning” Scott is a man of many talents. This Nova Scotia native is a martial artist, a director, a special effects technician, and Sinophile. Known throughout the region for films such as Blood Fight and They Killed My Cat, Elliot Scott’s ultimate goal is to become Canada’s “first action star.” He spends all of his time—and all of his girlfriend Linda’s money—in an attempt to make this dream come true. Kung Fu Elliot (2014) follows Elliot through this attempt to make a new movie.
Initially, Kung Fu Elliot seems like yet another documentary about a deluded amateur filmmaker who wants to become famous. As co-directors Jaret Belliveau and Matt Bauckman peel back the layers of Elliot Scott’s puffery and self-mythology, a more complex and truly bizarre picture emerges. Elliot’s personal narrative is revealed to be mostly based on numerous lies. Some of the lies are large. Some of the lies are small. Most of the lies are just weird. Elliot’s cadre of supporters, especially his best friend, are revealed as strange enablers who prop up his juvenile and perverse fantasy world. At the center of the mayhem is Linda, who is frustrated by Elliot’s lack of seriousness but is completely supportive of his endeavors. The arc of this true-life story is unpredictable and the conclusion, in which Elliot’s entire facade collapses before the audience’s eyes, is genuinely shocking.