The reason I created a page for this movie is because of where it was shot. It was filmed at Concord Taekwondo America in Concord, North Carolina, which is one of the core schools of the Taekwondo America organization to which I belong. Many of the cast are students in the school who have worked out with and competed against.
The school is owned byMaster Sean Baxter (Roy Powers in the movie), a friend of mine who for many years has been a beta tester and user of my TaskMaster martial art school management software. The development of TaskMaster has been a long, arduous undertaking and Mr. Baxter has had to kick start my butt many times over the years to keep me going.
The Foot Fist Way is a very funny low budget film about a strip-mall Taekwondo school owner, Fred Simmons (played by Hot Rod’s Danny McBride), an egomaniacal dolt who is self-deluded, obnoxious, and bullying, particularly with small children and women. His behavior may make you cringe, but he is often hilarious. As a Taekwondo instructor, he espouses the tenets of Taekwondo as piously as a preacher does the Ten Commandments, but the he behaves as an egotistical moron.
Simmons is a small-time, out-of-shape. 4th degree black belt who fancies himself as the “King of the Demo,” still brags about the championship he won in 1991, and who idolizes a dopey martial arts/movie star named Chuck "the Truck" Wallace (Ben Best), the 8-time undefeated champ and star of the "Seven Rings of Pain" trilogy.
Simmons is married to Suzie (Mary Jane Bostic), who is ultra blonde-haired, aggressively tanned, and loves spandex. When Fred finds out she has cheated on him (a habit he refers to as her "ways"), he begins to fall apart. His inexplicably loyal students become fodder for his misplaced rage, and a young female student has to endure his pathetic efforts to impress and romance her, which develop into disturbing stalker-like behaviors.
Fred takes two students and a creepily friend (played by director Hill) on a road trip to meet his idol Chuck the Truck and sells his red sports car to get enough money to lure Chuck to his school. After Chuck and Suzie hook up, the Fred actually seems likeable compared to these two lowlifes.
Writer/director/producer/co-star Jody Hill shot the movie in 19 days in the summer of 2005 on a $70,000 budget, financed by credit cards. Hill is now shooting his second movie, Observe and Report, in Albuquerque with Seth Rogen and Ray Liotta.
The film won over midnight audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006, but only landed a United Kingdom distributor. After the festival, DVDs were passed around Hollywood talent agencies and finally things began to come together. Judd Apatow asked Hill to come by the set, Ben Stiller became a fan, and Tom Cruise met with Hill. Eventually Will Ferrell and his producing partner Adam McKay purchased the movie for distribution through Paramount Vantage.
To promote the move, Will Ferrell and Danny McBride appeared as guests on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on February 26, 2008. Ferrell appeared first and played thing relatively straight. Then McBride appeared as the character Fred Simmons. Most viewers were not familiar with the film, the character, or the actor, so to them the seemingly disastrous Taekwondo demonstration in which Simmons asked for a "redo" after a failed attempt to break a block seemed real. During his interview segment, Simmons repeatedly lashed out at Ferrell for dancing around in a sexual nature during his earlier interview segment. A hint that the whole situation was a setup was when the film’s website address was flashed onscreen during the interview.
Running Time: 1 hr. 27 min
MPAA Rating: R for strong language and some sexual content
Distributors: Paramount Vantage
Production Company: You Know I Can't Kiss You, Inc., Gary Sanchez Productions