By: Danny Templegod
Greetings valued Dan’s Movie Report and Action-Flix readers. Heaven gained a directing angel last week, with the untimely passing of Xavier Q Kantz. One a personal level I started chatting with Kantz around 2001 and 2002 when he was working on ‘Random Acts of Violence’ The film is hard to find but worth the campy fun! The nearly 20 year old film holds up, mixing rapper Mack 10 and Andre ‘Chyna’ McCoy. In addition to the two leads several colorful side characters abound including Actresses Chona Jason and Grayce Way as truculent, yet sexy fighters.
Kantz has a style, always with an air of humor, yet keeps up the pace. ‘Random Acts of Violence’ is a modern version of a 70s blacksploitation flick. To me this film started what I would call “Modern Urban Crime Drama” Kantz blazed a trail and was where stunt coordinator Larnell Stovell got his career start. In addition writer/director Ben Ramsey has an appearance as Teddy P.
The plot revolves around a drug deal gone bad, with missing money and many people shot. One man survives to tell the story, yet he runs into an even heavier hitter. The movie is loud and violent, full of action and sardonic humor.
The more prominent ‘Love and a Bullet’ also Kantz directed is good, but seems almost too slick and polished, I kind of dig this gritty yet campy take on action. Both films are good, yet for different reasons.
Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Random Acts of Violence’ Yeah it is campy, yeah it is crazy, but it is all indie and all Kantz! The film rates a 7 out of 10.
For information please visit the IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330804/
Kantz also directed a a very young Eva Longoria in ‘Senorita Justice’ The movie was shot in South Florida for the most part and is a law enforcement spin on a crime drama. Kantz told me that Eva even kept in touch with him years after the movie was filmed, and that she was a humble hard worker.
Above Poster for Ann’s Eve (C) 2004 Maverick Entertainment, all rights reserved, image not monetized.
Actress Grayce Wey from ‘Random Acts of Violence’ produced her own horror film called Anna’s Eve, The ghost story marks the first time Kantz has delved into directing horror, though he would later revisit the genre well sort of with a zombie take on ‘Project Purgatory’ and ‘Project Purgatory Beijing’. The film has a slow burn take on horror, going for the ethereal yet with a cool ending twist, worth checking it out on Maverick Entertainment.
In 2011 Kantz directed a ‘Mad Max’ style film called ‘Wasteland’ starring Garret Sato. I reviewed the film for Dan’s Movie Report @http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2011/10/wasteland-movie-review.html
Hard to believe he is gone, Covid is the real deal, get tested, get vaccinated, nothing may be 100 percent preventable, but by wearing a mask and social distancing you can increase the odds.
Kantz was working on several projects at the time of his death and his friend ‘brother from another mother’ Franklin Correa has vowed to help finish the projects.
Several people he has worked with have made tributes to Kantz on their social media pages. Chyna McCoy states “ With a super heavy heart I say goodbye to my brother who got in my ass and cheered me onward and upward to be better in Hollywood and in life. (Kantz) gave me my first chance to be a star and a leading man in my first straight to DVD movie, I will forever miss you.”
Sonny Sison states: “Some days you wake up and just get instantly punched in the face. Reading friends’ posts… This one hit me in the gut. Rest in Peace Xavier Q Kantz. “
Ben Ramsey states “ We’re from Pittsburgh! We don’t play that sh@t! Godspeed to my brother Kantz! Many unforgettable times we had from Pittsburgh to Hollywood! From PCTV to CAA. From Shooting films with public access equipment to shooting feature films in Hollywood! From patching together scripts on the fly to pitching at every major studio in town. I remember walking in meetings and executives would look at us two 200 plus pound brothers stroll into the office looking more like bodyguards than writers and comment “You’re the writers?” Too many tales to tell from both towns. Godspeed Gov’na! You will be missed dearly! I’ll catch you on location at the next level!”
Kantz leaves behind on this moral coil his wife Raenae Kusea McCants and children including his two youngest ‘The Blondes”. Raenae has a difficult road ahead and if anyone in the action community can contribute the Venmo link is in the image.
Above Photo L to R Kantz, Me hah!, and Chyna McCoy. Photo (C) 2003 Paul Newbern
I am sure as time goes by a more formal eulogy page and other ways to help out will happen. Kantz, what can I say man, you gave me inspiration as a writer, and I am just so sad you are gone, Your work ethic and sense of honor and humor made me a better person, and to quote ‘Random Acts of Violence” “Bitches Bounce!” Keep on banging heads and stimulating minds on the other side! Just look at the careers you have helped and please continue to guide us along the way, from a nun-chuck throne at the pearly gates!
For more information on Kantz’s film career please check out his IMDB page:
Watch Dan’s Movie Report and Action-Flix.com for further information on Kantz, as memorial details unfold.