KickAssKandy has released a new film called A Quantum of Kick Ass, a sequel to KAK’s previous film Casino Kick Ass, which generated a lot of discussion here at Heroine Movies. We’ll discuss the episode in question and then delve into some broader issues related to “heroine peril.”
So, what does the KAK site have to say about A Quantum of Kickass? After getting captured in Casino Kick Ass, Kix is tied up in chains whilst the evil Ian Rush tries to sell his weapons of mass destruction. Is this the end for Kix? Or can she possibly escape, beat up the armed guards and destroy Rush with those devastating high kicks? This film has it all, danger, peril and Kix in the jaws of defeat… holy shit!
For those of you who have not seen Casino Kick Ass, it ended with Agent Hi-Kix being wheeled away on a chair after being “beaten” in a fight by bad guy Ian Rush. I write “beaten” in quotation marks because as the episode ended, Hi-Kix shot a little smile to the camera, indicating that her defeat was probably part of a grander plan.
A Quantum of Kick Ass begins not long after that little smile, with Hi-Kix tied up arms over head in chains. This leads to a very funny scene where two goons take turns posing for photos in front of an unconscious Hi-Kix. Other producers occasionally try and interject comedy in their films and quite frankly, it rarely works. However, Kickasskandy does it incredibly well. The comedic aspect of these types of films is not something we often talk about, but I think the writers and producers deserve accolades for scenes like this. Comedy is hard, and they always seem to pull it off well.
Hi-Kix awakens and lures one of the goons into range and knocks him down with a kick. She pins him to the ground and threatens his life unless the other goon unties her. He does so, and the normal KAK beat down ensues. Kix easily defeats the two goons and goes to confront Ian for a second time.
With some prodding from Kix, Ian eventually deduces that the first fight was a ruse to get him to reveal the location of some stolen military secrets. The second fight with Ian is a little tougher on the heroine than most fights KAK has previously done, but not much tougher. Ian lands about a half dozen blows and Hi-Kix gets a little dazed, but the outcome of the fight is never in much doubt. Kix puts Ian down and walks out with the briefcase of military secrets. The end.
So, is this a peril film? No. Not in my eyes. But, I don’t think it is completely fair because what is not peril to me may be peril to someone else. I know there is a dictionary definition of “peril,” but each and every one of us has different opinions on what constitutes a “peril film.” Some think just having a heroine in a fight is peril while others don’t consider something a peril film unless the heroine is beaten to a bloody pulp. Me—I generally think of peril films in three categories.
1. Giga-type peril – I have never watched a Giga film, but I’ve read all of HM’s review. Hardcore sexual type peril is not something that interests me at all so I really can’t comment further.
2. The Battle for Earth type peril – The heroine has her moments, but is usually stomped on pretty badly by the villain. It’s not my favorite style of peril film, but I do enjoy them.
3. Zen Pictures type peril – The normal formula is the heroine shows up and dominates some random goons. She then fights and struggles against an extremely powerful bad guy, but still finds a way to win in the end. Far and away my favorite type of peril film and a direction I have always wanted KAK to occasionally go in with their films. Not every film, just once in a while. Let me explain in a little more detail where I am coming from.
I discovered Kickasskandy.com way back when they were posting their videos for free on YouTube. I loved their work, and when they started charging for their films, I bought each and every one without hesitation. After about two years however, this started to change. I still consider myself a fan of KAK. I check on the site a couple times a week to see what is coming next, but I’m much less of a customer now. Whereas I used to purchase everything they produced, I probably buy two out of every ten films now. Why? Well, I got to the point where I knew the plot was going to be something like this: Hi-Kix shows up in a hot outfit and easily beats down the bad guys. There is nothing wrong with that formula whatsoever, I just have ten episodes on my hard drive of Hi-Kix doing the exact same thing. Why would I spend another $15 to see it again?
Now, please don’t mistake this as an attempt to savage KAK. As I stated, I am still a big fan and the producer Kandyman is as friendly and affable a producer as you are ever going to come across. Their production values are first-rate and compare favorably with those of Next Global Crisis. I can’t think of higher praise than that. It’s just the repetition wore me down. I was hoping that would change when Badasskandy launched but in my eyes Badasskandy is Kickasskandy with a slightly different attitude for the girls. I fail to see much if any difference, and yes, I have seen more than a couple Badasskandy films.
My dream KAK episode? Since the entire KAK franchise is rooted in a James Bond type mythos, I would love to see them incorporate a Jaws or an Oddjob type villain. You know the kind I am talking about. The big, nigh invulnerable type. A villain that the girls couldn’t strictly outfight, but would have to outthink. Take my favorite Bond movie Goldfinger as an example. The best scene from the film can be watched here and is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Oddjob takes Bond’s best shots without any trouble, and it leaves the viewer to wonder, Hhow the heck is Bond going to beat this guy.” If KAK did something like this, even just once in a while, I think they would bring me back as a full-time customer, capture an entire new audience, and not lose a single member of the audience they worked so hard to cultivate. I think putting some doubt in the mind of the audience that the heroine can win makes a peril film. (This is just my opinion and does not represent the views of HM or anyone else in the world.)
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Is A Quantum of Kick Ass a good film? Yes. Very good. Every film KAK does is very good. Although I don’t think it’s a peril film, it’s definitely a nudge in that direction which is something I didn’t think we would ever see from them. Hopefully, Kandyman keeps nudging. Only time will tell.
I don’t know if this film represents Kandyman trying to broaden his audience or not, but I truly appreciate the effort. If you’re looking for a funny, well-choreographed action short, I highly recommend A Quantum of Kick Ass. Just don’t expect a big peril fest.