Just one week from today, geek brethren: Matthew Vaughn's much anticipated, controversial, madder-than-a-hatter and — judging by the early reactions — all-but-assured cult classic adaptation of Mark Millar's Kick-Ass barrels its way into theaters. In the spirit of home-spun vigilante heroism, the intrepid crew of Meltdown Comics held an event Wednesday night with an eye toward giving any and all local candidates for grass-roots ass-kickery a chance to shine and prove to the world they've got what it takes to put a boot in the hiney of… well, any hiney that requires booting, really. With the backup of Comics on Comics, CC2K, Geekscape and Lionsgate Films, Meltdown cleared as much space as possible in their back gallery space, set up cameras, called in some judges and enticed the masses with gooey fried goodness from the Frysmith french-fry truck… all to find out who among Hollywood faithful had what it takes — with only a minute to demonstrate — just how they are capable of kicking ass.
Although, as host Sax Carr was quick to point out before the contest began, kicking ass doesn't have to be limited to unleashing out the martial arts moves or proving how nimble you are with the old nunchaku; any talent, be it line dancing or yodeling or popping your eyeballs out of their sockets at will (shudder) — if you kicked ass at it, it was fair game. And what a game, with killer prizes such as tickets to the upcoming Kick-Ass themed Burlesque show downtown; a couple of Benjamin's worth of gift certificate at Meltdown; or — the grand prize — an invitation to kick ass down the red carpet at next week's celebrity-laden premiere of the film. On judgment duty for the evening, Geekscape.net's Jonathan London, actress/comedian Shannon Hatch, comedian and Nerdist podcast regular Jonah Ray, and professional ass-kicker/martial arts instructor Art Camacho quipped, ripped and praised the brave contestants in equal measure, like the geek realm's answer to the Gong Show panel. (And bonus points to Hatch, as the judges' lone Hit Girl, for reveling in some of the saucier entries. Jaye P. Morgan would be proud.)
So how much ass was kicked, exactly? And in what manner? There were flurries of martial arts acrobatics from hopefuls Terry Kvasnik and Narayanan Cabral; a nervously raunchy stand-up routine from Matt Hollin; spandex-and-leather-clad fighting stances from Annie Cruz; pint-sized speechifying about superheroes from 6-year old (!) Blake Ortiz; and a damn-well calibrated demonstration of how to kick a bottle from someone's (in this case, judge Jonah Ray's) hand by Dustin David. Currently, the top vote-getters are Rune Kincaid, who showed up armed with an acoustic guitar and serenaded the crowd with a clever ditty about the fine art of copping a feel; and Lilly Ball, who announced up front that despite her own martial arts training, she can't quite match the backflipping antics of the boys so she supplemented her still-impressive moves by wearing last Halloween's doggie costume and rocking some fancy Chun Li-style paper fan work. As of press time, they're still running a tight race… however the contest doesn't end until midnight tonight, which means you can still catch the ass-kicking in all its glory courtesy of Meltdown's website and the power of YouTube. Get those votes in for your favorite.