Kung Faux is an action comedy television series and audio visual art assemblage created by Mic Neumann that remixes classic kung fu movies with popular music, comic book style editing, video game style special effects, new storylines and voice-over dubbing from contemporary art stars, hip hop personalities, and pop culture icons.
Kung Faux was first an art project and movie treatment in 1999 before becoming a half hour television series created by Neumann. The original Kung Faux series first appeared on the websites Popdetail.com, Dubtitled.com and BentoBox.tv as video treatments for a proposed sequential art project and feature length film version of the "Kung Faux" concept, before using its Remix formula for the episodic format for television that first aired in 2003 as part of the inaugural launch of the Fuse music television channel in the USA. Neumann asserts that he further transformed Kung Faux into an audio-visual art "brand" in a variety of forms to over 150+ countries worldwide.
Billboard Magazine considers the use of vintage kung-fu film footage, voice-over with rappers, comic book style special effects, and a hip-hop soundtrack to be "a high-flying, hilarious send-up of the kung-fu genre." Beth Accomando of KPBS said Kung Faux is "hilarious, fresh and inspired." Evan Serpick of Entertainment Weekly said the first two episodes "are filled with hysterical and clever infusions of gangsta-speak".
Kung Faux music and voice-over work was performed by hip-hop artists De La Soul, Guru, Masta Ace and Queen Latifah. Other voice-over artists include KAWS (artist), Steve Powers (artist), Crazy Legs (dancer), Elephant Man (musician), Afrika Bambaataa, Biz Markie, Jean Grae, Roc Raida, Sadat X,Ron van Clief and Harold Hunter. The first volume of the Kung Faux collection was released commercially in 2003, along with a special edition art toy from the Kung Faux line of "Action Figgaz" titled "Break Boy", which was licensed by Art Asylum and created for their collectable line of Minimates. In 2004, Acclaim Entertainment optioned the Kung Faux video game rights for developer Blue Shift to produce before Acclaim Games ultimately filed for bankruptcy and reverted the option. In 2005, Starz (TV channel) debuted Kung Faux when the channel started to introduce unique programming to compete with rival pay TV services HBO and Showtime (TV channel). In 2010, Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner edited an English-language version of the Bollywood film Kites, using the Kung Faux remix style. In 2011, Kung Faux debuted on Sony MAX in South Africa, where it was described in a press release as a "boundary-busting action comedy series".