Bum Man: Hero Of The Homeless (2007)

DVD Cover (FloydFilms International)
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Overall Rating 54%
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Ranked #12,599
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A lazy, shiftless, alcoholic alien is booted off his home planet and sent to Earth, where he has super powers - but he's still a lazy bum. While using his powers to panhandle, he meets a pretty TV reporter & falls in love. Meanwhile, she discovers an evil plot to take over the planet. When her life is threatened, Bum Man must overcome his slothful ways & use his powers to become the hero he was meant to be! --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: June 05, 2008
According to recent statistics, one out of every three Americans is obese. Let that little nugget of information sink in for a moment - if you were to pick three random names out of a phone book, chances are pretty good that one of them would be a fat slob. In addition to these numbers, one out of every five Americans is a superhero, or at least this is what the comics industry has led us to believe over the last century or so. When you combine these two statistics, you'd think that there would be a rash of obese superheroes making the rounds in the Marvel and DC universes, but with the exception of Kingpin and Blob, I really can't think of any superheroes who had issues with slovenliness.

Enter Bum Man (Anthony Hinch), a superhero who is technically on par with Superman - the man can run faster than a speeding bullet, and yes, he has superhuman strength, x-ray vision, and all of the other powers that one has come to expect from the bigger names in comic history. The problem is that he would much rather sit around the house all day drinking booze and sleeping, and as a result, his superiors have banished him from his home planet and sent him to live on earth.

As time wears on, what should have been a punishment turns into a huge perk for our leading man, as he soon befriends fellow bums Hobo Boy (Alan Cooper) and Gutter Girl (Sherry Hoffman), finds a nice alley to live in, and he even finds ways to put his powers to use in order to make ends meet (read: to score beer money). However, when he discovers that a ruthless businessman by the name of Rich Man (Robin Brecker) has kidnapped news reporter and potential love interest Diane Zane (Sharly), Bum Man must put down the bottle and get busy fighting crime... a true apple pie moment if there ever was one.

Truth be told, I've never been a huge fan of superhero films. Granted, I enjoyed Spider-Man as much as the next guy, but for the most part, these movies based on the comic universe just don't do a whole lot for me. However, when I saw the unique angle that Bum Man brought to the table, I had to check it out and see if it lived up to its potential. While I can't say that it was a perfect film and nor will I say that it's a must-own, I will say that it was pretty entertaining and delivered more than just a couple of laughs.

Anthony Hinch is by far the best part of the film, as the man completely nails the role of a drunken, lazy bum. The man seems perfectly natural in front of the camera, and I really had no problems believing the character that I was presented with; I don't know the guy, but if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that he was just playing himself instead of pretending to be something that he wasn't. This is not intended to be a knock on Mr. Hinch, but it is instead a testament to how convincing he was. The rest of the cast ranges from god-awful to acceptable, with most falling into the latter category more often than not (and I'll be nice and not name names here). Thankfully, the leading man more than made up for the shortcomings of some of his costars.

The writing was another asset of the film, as even though the jokes and plot twists were hit or miss, I felt that more than half of them fell into the "hit" category. There's the usual assortment of fart and bum jokes to be found, naturally, but there's also a few moments that show legit imagination on the part of the writers. Take, for example, Mr. Rich's Muppet sidekick; this is an idea that sounds stupid on paper and took me by surprise when I saw it on my screen, but I'll be damned if it didn't work. I also enjoyed the Gutter Girl character, a lady who spoke in nothing but gibberish (complete with helpful subtitles for us watching at home), and the lucha libre wrestlers who served as henchmen for Rich was pretty funny.

On the special effects side of things, I should point out that the film was made for a total budget of $3,000, with $1,500 of that figure ($1,750 if you count the stripper who appeared solely to lend some T&A to the film) going to the cast members. With that in mind, it should go without saying that you really shouldn't compare the film to the aforementioned Spider-Man when it comes to breathtaking special effects and visuals, but this really doesn't hurt the film very much in the long run. Sure, the action sequences aren't cutting-edge in terms of the technology used, but considering that this is a comedy that intends to make the audience laugh, it's hard to fault the filmmakers for a few cheesy special effects.

Moving on to the negative aspects of the film, I felt that the entire affair would have benefited with about ten minutes cut out of the overall running time. Certain scenes ran too long for my liking and a couple of ideas were rehashed from time to time, and while this isn't exactly a deal-breaker, I think that another run through the editing process would do wonders for the enjoyment of the audience.

Overall, Bum Man is an enjoyable film if you thought that the premise sounded intriguing. You get exactly what you're promised from the synopsis, and although the film wouldn't suffer from a slightly leaner running time, I enjoyed the movie as a whole and think that fans of superhero films who want something a little different would be happy with their purchase. 7/10.
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