Bumfights: A Cause for Concern (2002)
Bumfights 2: Bumlife (2003)
Bumfights 3: The Felony Footage (2004)
Bumfights 4: Return Of Ruckus (2006)
Bumfights is a film series created by Indecline Films. The videos feature homeless men in the San Diego and Las Vegas metropolitan areas fighting and attempting amateur stunts in exchange for money, alcohol, and other incentives. The first video, Bumfights: A Cause for Concern, was produced by Ryen McPherson, with friends Zachary Bubeck, Daniel J. Tanner, and Michael Slyman, as Indecline Films. Shortly after sales began to escalate, Indecline Films sold the rights to two investors, who went on to produce three sequels.
The videos immediately gained criticism from mainstream organizations. The US-based National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has stated that the Bumfights videos disseminate hate against the homeless and dehumanize them. In April 2006, the four original filmmakers agreed not to produce any more "Bumfights" videos or distribute videos already made, and to pay three homeless men depicted in the videos, under a settlement announced as a lawsuit was to go to trial.
The videos have proven to be highly controversial. They have been banned in a number of countries including England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Canada, and most traditional retail outlets have refused their sale. The popular internet auction site eBay routinely cancels listings which contain copies of the video, citing their policy which prohibits the sale of materials which promote or glorify violence. In the state of 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 having failed to complete the 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. The courts involved in the lawsuits surrounding the Bumfights producers enforced the barring of further installments being produced, and stopped sales of videos already made. As a result, Bumfights videos were rendered available through illegal means only.