BUM RUNNERProduced by Stephen R. Hicks, Steve Herold, and Kurt Christiansen
Written and Directed by Steve Herold and Kurt Christiansen
Edited by Eric C. Lau
Director of Photography - Dan Eriksen
Oatmeal - Joseph Reitman
Mat - Billy Allen
Can Man - Fred "Rerun" Berry
Like Steve Herold's previous movie, H.R. PUKENSHETTE, BUM RUNNER is one of those shorts I've shown all my friends. It's not that BUM RUNNER is better than what anything else anyone sends in, but the sheer outrageousness of the production makes it a damn site funnier.
At first glance, BUM RUNNER is a simpler, more straight-forward narrative than H.R. PUKENSHETTE. No Sid and Marty Kroft talking puppets cursing or throwing up. This time the humor is cultivated from everyday life. Well, as "everyday" as farce can be.
The politically correct refer to them as "destitute" or "homeless", the rest of us call them "bums," those people we see everyday sleeping on park benches or pushing their stolen shopping carts containing all they own in the world. Herold and directing partner Kurt Christiansen attempt to humanize their plight by illustrating the commonalities between "them" and "us" as two homeless men just try to get through the day.
Or maybe not.
With only a cardboard box to call home, Oatmeal and Mat do as little as possible to survive. Daily activities include stealing from the blind, rolling over on do-gooders attemping to feed other bums, and scarfing a fix from the junkies camped out at Crack World. Realizing that just one big score will be enough to get them off the streets for a day or two, they plan to hijack The Can Man and his cart of aluminum nirvana.
Is BUM RUNNER in poor taste? You bet! And that's why me and all my friends love it, and screen it to all our P.C hippie friends right before they smoke up (it puts the kabosh on their free-love-thy-neighbor vibe). Herold and Christinsen don't reach the inspired lunacy of H.R. PUKENSHETTE, but I never expected them too. BUM RUNNER is its own, unique kind of wrong.