Bum RunnerReviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 03/22/03 19:04:56
The arena of the short film has for a long time been considered the realm of artists and wankers. Why would you even make a short film if it wasn't for the gratification of the small elite who gets to see them... right? Well, not exactly. There's another side of the short film world that really couldn't be any more of an antithesis to the 'art world'. These people make short films for two reasons only - they only have one punchline and they don't have a lot of cash. Bum Runners could not possibly be any more entrenched in this alternate short film universe, boasting a simple premise, a low budget, a midget wrestler and Fred "Rerun" Berry. Yes... you read that right... This film features Rerun.But don't let that stop you from hunting it down, as this is a pretty funny nine minutes. Having been produced for $7000 (admit it, you spent a grand of that on Rerun's airfare, right?), it's tough to suggest that you can see every cent on the screen, but judging by the long list of short film festivals that Bum Runner has played at, the investment has been a good one.
Bum Runner is the story of two homeless guys (Perfect Storm's Joe Reitman and midget wrestler Billy Allen) who decide to make off with another a shopping cart full of cans that belongs to another homeless guy (Rerun). It's the score of a lifetime, so midget and non-midget make a run for it, with Rerun and his homeless posse in hot pursuit. Snot bombers, scantily glad do-gooders, assorted toothless bad guys and the occasional bad sexist joke ensue, all at a pace fast enough to keep the audience from rolling their eyes *too* much.
None in the cast would want this on their demo reel (well, they might, who knows whether they even have anything else to put on it), but the intention is to make the audience laugh, and in many scenes that result is achieved. While just as many jokes fall flat and some of the editing stretched things on much further than it needs to, it's indeed "stupid fun", as Maxim Magazine alleged.
I don't know if there's a big market for short films that are so out there that only a three year age-span of the male demographic could dig them, but if there is, Christiansen and Herold have probably got their foot in the door. But a word of advice to them - this film *could* have been shot for under $1000 with no detectable loss of quality to the final result. If you're going to sink seven thousand into a film, sit on the idea for a month and hustle it - you'll find more and more ways to cut costs, or use that money for things that will increase the sellability of the final product.I don't feel like I wasted the nine minutes of my life I gave to Bum Runner. And when compared to your average Morgan Freeman/Ashley Judd movie... that's a victory.
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