Cass Python, 2017-12-09
He told me he was doing a video for his economics class on what it was like when you don't have a job, I just wanted some money to get drunk, so I did what he told me to. I never had any idea the stuff he was filming would become what it did.

- Rufus the Stunt Bum

In the bad old days, people used to pay five pennies and a crown to chuck peanuts at the freaks, of cause, doing this grew out of favour for most people, for one thing, you needed to get off your fat arse and go to a public place. No more could people laugh at the freaks outside of their own homes; times were changing after all. One benefit of changing times was growing technology, anyone with a cheap camera could film something and put their great video straight on DVD and VHS to sell it to the general public.

In early 2017 I wrote an article talking about the soft-gore website Rotten Dot Com, in the said article I made a comment about The Rotten Library, saying that it is made up of "1000's of wellmade articles". One of the first Rotten Library articles I read was about the 2002 movie Bumfights, the article itself portrays the movie in a negative light, even mocking the movie, writing;

These homeless people all have something in common. They genuinely appear to believe they're goin' places. They've been selected by honest-to-gosh Hollywood producers. Hollywood, California that is! Let's fool these... these... dumb bum doofuses into thinking they're gonna be the next best thing since The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

After reading the article I put it to the back of my mind until the 20th of September 2017 when I decided to look the movie up on YouTube and downloaded it on my PC to see if the movie really was as tasteless as I've read about. Sitting down on my sofa I opened the .MP4 file to be greeted with a disclaimer, then a quote from the later American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, then - the main even then opens; the audience is greeted with two men twating each other in a public toilet, already anyone naive to this movie will instantly know what it is truly about - curl and tasteless shock.

As someone who has seen all of The Faces of Death movies without cringing, you would think that I would react in the same manner when watching Bumfights. Well, firstly, you would be wrong, second, I'm not heartless!*

Bumfights: A Video Too Far is largely made up of homeless people being terrorized by the film producers (Ty Beeson and Ray Leticia), being beaten up by other homeless people, being harassed by I suppose the only made-up character, The Bumhunter played by Todd Richard Lewis - oh and of cause becasue the producers hate the raiting board, they put in some cheap T 'n' A from model Angela Taylor who is seen bouncing around on a cheap motel bed during intermissions, flashing her boobs in an engaging strip show! How nice.

The film producers claim that the movie was made as a way to spread awareness of homelessness and how horrible it is, which is funny as the directors only paid their cast in alcohol and $20 bills - look, what I'm trying to say is it's immoral to take advantage of anyone who is in desperate need, what Beeson, Leticia and Lewis were doing was highly sickening to say. If the three men (who were all in their late teens/early 20s) paid the homeless people they were filming with good money - rather then cheap beer - then it wouldn't be so immoral. But the thing is that they are still taking advantage of the needy by paying them to do dangerous stunts with no practice for beer, all while they laugh with sadistic pleaser.

After Bumfights Part I: Reception of The Movie

Seeing that the whole idea behind the movie is getting homeless men to fight, it's quite predictable that some people would find the movie to be, among other less flattering things, horrible. In 2002, FOX News anchor and Scientologist, Greta Van Susteren interviewed Ty Beeson about a scene in the movie where star Rufus gets one of his teeth pulled out...

Van Susteren: Why didn't you send him to a dentist instead of handing him a pliers?

Beeson: Because he needed it out at that point in time, and sometimes in the streets, it gets rough, and you've got do whatever it takes. That's real life.

Van Susteren: Lots of people get real-life toothaches, Ty, and they go to the dentist.

Beeson: You're right. A lot of them do, but -- but when you're in the streets and you can't, you've got a -- and you've got a tooth that's bothering you, then you do whatever it takes.

Van Susteren: How can you call it real when it's staged, when you're paying people to pull their teeth out with pliers and you're paying them to do stunts that are dangerous, to bang their heads against walls? How is that...

Beeson: Well, how could you say it's staged when that was his real tooth and he really pulled it out with the pliers?

Van Susteren: Did you pay him to do it?

Beeson: Did we pay him to pull out his teeth?

Van Susteren: Yeah.

Beeson: No.

Van Susteren: Why did he do it then?

Beeson: It bothered him.

Van Susteren: So what -- you just sat and filmed it. It was just fortuitous that you were there and could film the man pulling his tooth out with a pliers?

Beeson: Yeah.

Van Susteren: It was?

Beeson: Did you say gratuitous?>

Van Susteren: Fortuitous that you just happened to be there.

Beeson: No, we caught it on tape. That's -- we caught it on tape, and that's what happened. I mean -- well, it bothered him. He pulled it out. I don't know why we're still talking about this..

It's funny that they want to portray homeless "real life", I had no idea that homeless people are attacked by filmmakers dressed in a Steve Irwinesque-esq costume being tired and bound. If you're too slow to realise, I was joking, in fact, I find the quote to be quite a hypocritical thing to say, this part kind of rolls over into part II, but I might as well foreshadow it now; in 2005 Beeson and co. directed the movie "Bling Bling: A Sing A long" where they follow Bling Bling, a homeless man, and in the movie, they pay him to get a tattoo and to have a penis piercing. Now I'm not that smart, but I'm quite sure it's uncommon for filmmakers to pay a homeless man to have penis piercings.

Let's say you think I'm wrong here, and the Bling Bling movie isn't trying to show real life, think about this; in front of a camera people don't act the same as they normally would, to quote TV's Charlie Brooker;

The minute you bring a camera into the equation you've altered reality because everybody's behaviour changes slightly.

After Bumfights Part II: Bling Bling

In 2005 both directors shat out Bling Bling: A Sing A long staring a homeless crack addit from the original Bumfights. The movie itself is a strange experance to undertake, the film is made up of Bling Bline being placed into cure and humilaating situations split inbetween of crapaly-made music videos that percaly remind me of something you'd find on Newgrounds in 2001 but somehow worse, I sopose this could be jue to them being new or not used to the paticalar movie softwear they were using, or more likly, they just didn't care. The times when there is no music is filled with the directors bulling Bling Bling into gertting his penis pieased, making him do imbaracing acts in public and feeding his crack adiction.

Bling Bling made the wrong choice of selling his soul for cheap crack and DVD sales and shitty Limited Edition Bling Bling Skateboard Deck that he no doubt didn't get a cut of.

After more than a decade had past, Bling Bling is still on the streets begging for money. Colby from Yahoo! Answers clames that he met Bling Blingin Las Vegas;

I was eating at the Subway on Las Vegas BLVD and Paradise and he came up and asked me for money. I instantly recognized him from Bum Fights and I was like whaddup Bling Bling?! We talked for a little bit. He was a pretty cool crack head.

This is probaly more than true, as there have been some videos posted on YouTube that star Bing Bling in a sad state still in his disalusinal state of beleving he is still going to go far in the music indastry. Hopfuly Bling Bling and many people like him can beat their aditcion and get a better life.

After Bumfights Part III: Rufus Hannah

Rufus Hannah (As seen on the right) - better known as "Rufus the Stunt Bum" in the movie, was one of the two main stares of Bumfights.

Rufus Hannah Hannah was raised in Swainsboro, Georgia. He began to start drinking at the age of 14, despite him having a "good family." Hannah worked as a construction worker until the age of 27, when he joined the U.S. Army. He would soon be discharged after injuring himself during basic training. After his injury, he started drinking heavily, leading him to become homeless and an alcoholic. In the early 1990s, he moved to California, where he was approached by Ryan McPherson to produce Bumfights.

During the filming of Bumfights, he was payed to perform danarus stunts without training, such as riding a shopping trolly down a flight of stairs, ramming his head into steel doors so hard that he suffered from epilepsy and beating up Donald "Donnie" Brennan, another homeless man, so badly that Brennan's leg was broken in two places and required surgical intervention.

Fortutly for himself, Rufus would soon able to break the bonds of homeleness and get a job as a bulder, Hannah also became an advocate for the homeless.

Sadly for his friends and family, Rufus would be a passenger in a car driven by his sister that was hit by a lorry in October 2017 just outside the town of Swainsboro. He would be killed in the crash.

Barry Soper, who gave Hannah a job and helped in his eventual recovery, said this about the crash...

What a beautiful soul he was. He went through so much, then turned his life completely around, I helped him stop drinking and he was sober for the past 13 years

After Bumfights Part IV: Sever of The Wicked

After Bumfights was making a lot of sales, Ryan McPherson allegedly sold the rights to two investors, who went on to produce three sequels; Bumfights Vol. 2: Bumlife (2002), Bumfights Vol. 3: The Felony Footage (2005) and finaly Bumfights Vol. 4: Return Of Ruckus (2006).

In 2014 TMZ reported thatRyan MacPherson and Daniel Tanner were allegedly arrested in Thailand for stealing body parts form a hospital, writting;

The co-creators of the "Bumfights" video series were arrested in Thailand [...] for allegedly packaging child body parts stolen from a hospital, and shipping them to the U.S. ... labeled as "toys."

According to multiple reports ... Ryan MacPherson and Daniel Tanner were busted when a scan of the boxes by a Bangkok parcel company revealed the gruesome discovery.

The 3 boxes -- reportedly intended for friends in Las Vegas as a prank -- contained several body parts ... including a child's foot, an infant's head, an adult heart and 2 pieces of adult skin.

Both guys were taken into custody and questioned by cops, but were eventually released for lack of evidence. They've since fled to Cambodia.

Of cause - I'm not saying that they did or din't do this, but if they did, well, it sure is an intresting prank.

After Bumfights Part V: When Two Tribes Go To War

In California, both felony and misdemeanor charges were filed against the producers, as well as civil lawsuits; in 2005 the producers were sentenced to six months in prison for not completing their community service to which they had previously been sentenced. The filmmakers maintain that the production of the video was a mutually beneficial arrangement and that the homeless people depicted freely chose to participate.

In April of the same year 2006, the four original filmmakers agreed not to produce any more "Bumfights" videos or distribute videos already made and to pay the three homeless men depicted in the movie, under a settlement announced shortly before a lawsuit was due to go to trial.

What the Web Thinks About it

As most things in life, the World Wide Web is a joy to behold; it's full of vast knowage of human history, it knows all and can be used by all. Because of the latter point, it means that any fuckwit can use it and say any dumb shit they like, most of the time there is no back fire to this, uh, unless you end up on this Web page...

Anyway, here are some dumb quotes related to Bumfights to lighten the mood.

swaggy p spits out the truth, yo;

people taking advantage of people below them, thats america

ZZRaddict here seems to not know that people on the X Factor aren't getting their teeth pulled out;

And what exactly is the difference to the likes of X-Factor, Whereever's Next Top Model, or any of these crappy excuses for TV? Is it because a bunch of teenagers came up with the idea and are profiting from it instead of some massive corporation?

At least these 'bums' are adults and should be able to make their own decisions! They weren't forced to do anything.

So get over yourselves and leave your righteous bigotry out!

Javier Orcasitas clealy seems to have not seen the Bumhunter part of the movie;

Nobody put a gun on their head to do any of that shit. They're grown adults, they can do whatever they want and all you people defending them are wasting your time cuz they're NOT gonna change. So get off ur high horse and stop pretending like you want to help them, u wouldn't let them shower, or eat in your house.

James Branstutter has also not seen the Bumhunter part;

I don't feel bad for any of these bums because they agreed to do it . They choose to do this crazy shit when they could have said no .

Seasonal Mommy writes;

People who like these videos and support the creators are distrusting and have no moral compass. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

While Harris Naseem repliys with;
Like you have one for supporting feminists and corrupt governments that exploit minorities you hussie..... Go choke on an Ophra magazine before you go all trigglypuff....

Ending Points

At the end of the day, I find Bumfights: A Video Too Far just that - a video too far - the movie has only one point and that's taking advantage of homeless men for our amosement, the only reason why a person would want to watch the movie is just for grim curiosity or sick enjoyment.

Would I recamend the movie to anyone? I honestaly don't think I can afer the effect the film makers did to the homeless communaty. It's not a film with a posative outcome at all; it doesn't show us how the film makers have helped the homeless people they so depended on, no, all it shows us at the end is that it's okay to take advantage of people less fortanus than ourselfs for the sake of making money and fame. Honestly, don't try and seek this movie up online, it's really not worth your time nore money.

I am aware that there are some people who like to defend the movie, saying that it is comparable to Jackass, I sopose that it is easy to compair the two; they both feacher people doing danarus stunts, they both end in someone in pain, etc. But one of the biggest difrence between Bumfights and Jackass is simply that Johnny Knoxville and co. arn't living on the streets, willing to do anything for money. At best Bumfights is poverty porn, at worst it's shameless movie that fetasises and glorify violence.

He told me he was doing a video for his economics class on what it was like when you don't have a job, I just wanted some money to get drunk, so I did what he told me to. I never had any idea the stuff he was filming would become what it did.

- Rufus Hannah


References

I.
Bumfights - Rotten seems to have been since September 2017
http://rotten.com/library/culture/bumfights/ [Internet Archive, archive.is]

II.
Bumfights: A Video Too Far (2004)
http://imdb.com/title/tt1020763/ [Internet Archive, archive.is]

III.
'Bumfights' homeless actor Rufus Hannah dies at 63
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/7/bumfights-homeless-actor-rufus-hannah-dies-at-63/ [Internet Archive, archive.is]

IV.
Rufus Hannah, 63, Star of San Diego 'BumFights' Videos Dies in Georgia Car Crash
https://nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Rufus-Hannah-Star-of-La-Mesa-BumFights-Video-Dies-in-Georgia-Crash-449657543.html [Internet Archive, archive.is]

V.
The photo of Rufus Hannah is from
https://nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Life-After-Bum-Fights-102801299.html [Internet Archive, archive.is]

VI.
Quote at the start and the end
https://usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2017-10-07/bumfights-homeless-actor-rufus-hannah-dies-at-63 [Internet Archive, archive.is]

VII.
Wikipedia on Rufus Hannah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufus_Hannah [Internet Archive, archive.is]

VIII.
Charlie Brooker quote
Screenwipe, series 4 episode 1

IX.
'Bumfights' Creators Busted For Mailing Baby's Head And Other Body Parts - TMZ
https://tmz.com/2014/11/17/bumfights-creators-infant-body-parts-arrested-thailand/ [Internet Archive, archive.is]

* Depends