Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dan Savage's Hump! Festival 2016 (October 14th at the Capitol Theatre)

[DAN SAVAGE'S HUMP! FESTIVAL 2016 screens Friday October 14th at 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm at the Capitol Theatre. One night only!]

Review by Bob Ignizio

One person's porn is another person's erotica is another person's "what's the big deal?" is another person's "what the hell?" The 2016 HUMP! FESTIVAL, presented by sex advice columnist Dan Savage, contains segments that check off all the above boxes for me.

The fest is a collection of 22 short films all dealing, in one way or another, with sex. Quality varies, but for the most part the films are enjoyable. The first segment, "Hysterical Bullshit", is easily the worst. Basically, a woman reads from Mike Huckabee's ridiculously titled 'God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy' and tries not to laugh. I'm no fan of Huckabee or the other conservative icons mentioned in the portions of the book we hear, but this short is snarky, condescending, and lazy. There is ultimately a punch line, but it's not that funny.

The rest of the festival is a mix of straight-up amateur porn of varying quality and considerable variety, raunchy music videos, and ribald humor. Some segments definitely stand out more than others. In "Blown" two female to male transexuals perform oral sex on each other while talking about it in voice over narration, which is probably not something most people see every day. "Let's Try to Fuck" is a fairly funny parody of fifties educational films. "Lube Dispenser" goes pretty deep into kinkville, and the Katy Perry parody "I Fist a Grrrl" goes well beyond same-sex kissing to deliver both laughs and sex. There's also a fair amount of straight-up porn, ranging from amateur looking stuff to slick, high end art smut.

Considering that Dan Savage put this fest together, it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads his column that it is a true smorgasbord of carnality. You will see male on male sex, female on female sex involving actual lesbians as opposed to porn stars, cuckolding, fisting, golden showers, and, as mentioned in the review, female to male transsexual sex. And of course, there's some relatively straightforward heterosexual couplings, too. There are even some segments that don't have any sex or nudity at all. I'm not passing moral judgment on any of this, just making sure you know what you're in for with this one. As for my artistic judgment, I'd say more of the segments work than not, but not overwhelmingly so. Let's call the whole shebang 2 ½ out of 4 stars.

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