Self-control, perseverance, integrity, indomitable spirit – that’s what it’s supposed to be all about at the Concord Tae Kwon Do Studio, where boys are turned into black-belts and suburbanites are chiseled into great warriors, all under the watchful tutelage of proud sensei Fred Simmons. That is, until Fred discovers his wife has been unfaithful and instantly descends into a blubbering mess. OK, so maybe Fred is far more blowhard than kick-ass hero. But when he sets out on a last-ditch quest to meet his kung-fu idol — the 8-time undefeated champ and star of the “Seven Rings of Pain” trilogy, Chuck “The Truck” Wallace – Fred winds up on a wild, comic journey that will take him from egomaniacal bluster all to the way to becoming the stand-up man of his delusional dreams.
The result is “The Foot Fist Way,” an uproarious, full-contact comedy featuring one of this year’s least likely of heroes. Shot in just 19 days on a credit card-financed micro-budget with a cast of mostly newcomers, the film became an overnight smash at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. There, audiences fell madly in love with the seriously self-deluded Tae Kwon Do instructor Fred Simmons, who talks a big, macho game but falls to whimpering pieces when his wife Suzie betrays him. Featuring the debut of North Carolina native Jody Hill as writer, director and producer and two hilariously tough-yet-tender performances from co-writers Danny McBride as Fred and Ben Best as Chuck “The Truck,” the film helped Hill, McBride and Best garner a place on Variety’s “Ten Comics to Watch” list.