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April 25, 2013
Unhung Hero Eager to Satisfy Audiences Beyond The Climatic SXSW Reception
— Posted by Kenny Miles
One of the best movies at SXSW Film Festival (that few press people covered), but deserves to be seen by anyone who enjoys honest vulgarity and laughing was the humorous, comedic documentary Unhung Hero. Contagious laughter was sustained throughout the screening and numerous moments of applause errupted during my showing. Quite a few people in the audience gave it a standing ovation afterwards. The candid and humorous documentary asks the question: does size matter?
Here’s the premise:
Putting yourself out there to an audience is typical of what comedian Patrick Moote does on stage. However, the honest discussion of his below average penis size was putting his insecurities out there…especially in the context of a world premiere at an Internationally acclaimed film festival such as South by Southwest.
“I was apprehensive rolling into the festival,” said star Moote, “I have never been to a festival of that caliber. In Austin, it was crazy. I had a great time, but it was stressful especially worrying what people would think of me. People were digging it and getting the message.”
There’s a reason Patrick Moote was nervous to screen Unhung Hero to an audience. He goes on a humorous journey interviewing subject matters and traveling the world to find out why size matter. Moote is shown in one uncomfortable situation after another; admitting to his parents why his marriage proposal was rejected, wandering into a porn shop with a hidden camera, and tying a rope to his privates…one with an attached weight in an attempt to make it larger.
“We dont find a magical way to make it bigger,” Patrick joked.
“I was thrilled how the movie was received and the message of it. I feel like it was a positive thing for me,” Moote said. “The response from the audience literally brought tears to my eyes. It was a personal journey for me and they came out and hugged me after the screening. I realized the importance of embracing my insecurities.”
Unhung Hero received more Facebook ‘likes’ and tweets from the SXSW website (as well as a higher IMDB rating) than the hotly buzzed horror film You’re Next, the home invasion sleeper which received A LOT of press attention (maybe because of Lionsgate’s hard working publicity team). Unhung Hero first needs a studio to distribute Unhung Hero to audiences and there is a product comedic loving audiences will exuberantly enjoy as they did during SXSW.
Filmmaker Brian Spitz, who has worked a few smaller films and an unsuccessful original TV show Man-Teen, is fairly confident Unhung Hero will get a distribution deal despite not leaving the festival.
“We are still trying to figure out the distribution options,” director Spitz said, “It will still be a little bit of time but there is some interest. After all, deals are still coming in from Sundance.”
That’s a valid point. After all, even the award winning features from last year’s SXSW film festival (Gimme the Loot) recently made theatrical debut…over a year later. There seems to be no rush for movies shown at SXSW which matches the fun loving, chilled persona of star Moote and director Spitz. It was there comfortable relationship that made working together on a private subject matter ideal despite almost backing out of Unhung Hero.
“When [the doctor] measured him, [Patrick] wanted to back out. We changed the focus for what we were doing. I felt like we were doing something really important. There was a level of trust I had with Patrick. I don’t think I’d want to make a penis with anybody else.”
While making Unhung Hero, Patrick Moote faced the harsh self-realization and the discussion of his below average penis size was captured on camera for the audience to watch.
“In the beginning, I really just wanted to use the idea if size matter to prove if I was too small,” Moote said. “I was on a mission to know if size does matter. I realized I was below average and had it recorded on camera. It wasnt some girl just being mean to me.”
Maybe studios are cautious to market the content of the documentary like Unhung Hero. Graphic sexuality might be a tough sell. However, in the age of a more open-minded Americans and VOD services on cable and satellite providers, this shouldn’t be an issue nor an excuse for a studio not to pick up Unhung Hero for distribution. Even the famous and infamous sex columnist Dan Savage makes an insightful appearance offering his advice on sexuality to Patrick. His appearance gives the documentary additional, professional recognized gravitas for a niche audience.
Many of the scenes featured in Unhung Hero such as frank sex talk at a porn convention, personal discussions with a specialist in a doctor’s office or weights hanging from a penis cause uncomfortable laughter. However, director Spitz didn’t purposefully set up humorous scenarios as one would think.
“It was perceived as funny but it wasn’t the intention. That was what the subject matter dictated,” Spitz said. “Sometimes Pat uses his comedy to hide his insecurities.”
Though Patrick Moote was a little let down that his life would change after SXSW, he was glad audiences there got to watch it and wants even more eventually will enjoy it, too.
“You were thinking life would be different [after SXSW], but it’s the same,” he said. You hope people can see it or have an opportunity to see it.”
Unhung Hero currently doesn’t have a distribution deal. It deserves one! Keep a look out for it and we hope to offer any updates soon.
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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