Directed by: Sean Weathers
A wide eyed chap wearing a white wife beater vest spots a car pulling up in a car park, he hustles the driver into thinking something is wrong with the car’s engine and that the car is about to “spontaneously combust”. He swindles a hundred bucks, scores some heroin and shoots up in what looks like a local Walmart.
‘Scumbug Hustler’ is a trashy flick about lowlifes and degenerates. It is gratuitous in places, case in point as the hustler zooms in on the shapely behind of a nubile twenty one year old. We see the world through the perverted gaze of the hustler, and after sweaty smooth negotiation he lures the young lady into the bedroom. As time goes on the soft-core sex scenes act as porno vignettes that separate each hustle.
Director Sean Weathers brings us a farcical ‘Candide’ like journey through the mind of a bug eyed addict. The independent filmmaker from Brooklyn really captures urban disintegration, calling to mind the glory years of Blaxploitation cinema. Weathers, who also acts as the hustler named Solomon, gives the audience the glimpse of a man who is rather pathetic but also somehow successful solely because he has the gift of the gab.
There’s an element of comedy to the film as the hustler, whilst looking for a rock of crack, pulls out all kinds of drug paraphernalia from his back pocket. Most of the laughs come from the hustler’s brother Tyler, a religious man who reminds me of Reverend Run from ‘Run’s House’, with his empty preaching. Tyler and his rather dim-witted wife Tamia try and help Solomon get back on the straight and narrow.
The rapid talking hustler convinces a rather gullible bunch of people to part with their money throughout the course of the movie; his schemes, which get increasingly more daring and ridiculous as the film goes on, are deliberately far-fetched. Though shot on a shoe string budget Weathers somehow manages to put together an entertaining film. Yes, the acting is a bit ropey, and the production is raw, but there are glimpses here of some potential. Sean Weathers appears to be a boundary pusher, the Tyler Perry of gutter cinema.