Bumfights, Vol. 1

Prod: Ray Laticia and Ty Beeson

There are two levels on which this has to be reviewed: from a moral angle, and as "entertainment". We'll take the latter first, as it can easily be dismissed: it sucks. The title is misleading: despite the controversy, most of it consists of teenage boys flailing lamely away at each other, reminding us how we prefer violence staged by the WWE or Yuen Wo-Ping. Much of the rest is dumb stunts over-familiar from Jackass, or crackheads doing things which, frankly, are a better anti-drug message than anything taught in schools. The only bit with imagination is Bumhunter, a Steve Irwin parody in which they sneak up on the homeless, duct-tape and "mark" them. Otherwise, unless your idea of entertainment is watching a crackhead take a dump on the sidewalk...

Morally, the case is equally cut-and-dried, and is illustrated by the film's most memorable shot: a block where the entire sidewalk is covered with sleeping homeless people. Society has no right to condemn Bumfights - it put the victims on the street to begin with, so for people suddenly to "care" is incredibly hypocritical. How would those crusading against the tape react if Rufus the Stunt-Bum knocked on the front door? Even though he's an honourably discharged Army vet, I suspect "call the police" is more likely than "invite him to dinner"; they'd rather go back to World's Scariest Police Chases on Fox...

Vol. 2 is now available, and will doubtless be as big a hit as part one (300,000 copies allegedly sold). We won't bother, less out of concern for the exploitation of the homeless, than because the results are dull. But what else would you expect from people that mis-spell Robert Heinlein's name in the opening cards?


Rufus the Stunt-Bums
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