Bumfights is the title of a website hocking videos (of the same name) of various indigents beating the hell out of one another. The inventors of the concept, who also direct, produce and sell the videos, are Ty Beeson, 24, and Ray Laticia, 23. The concept is shockingly simple: the two find and film bums who beat the daylights out of one another on film. They are compensated to the tune of $20 US (sometimes as much as $100), but the producers also admit that they often don't have to pay the men anything at all. Laticia stated, to CNN:
They want to be part of something. It's fun. It's a relief from their mundane lives. We've developed a close relationship with many of them. They consider us friends. ... Fights are a part of their culture. It's a way for them to vent their anger. We're simply there to video it."
What makes this whole project and company interesting isn't simply the repugnant subject matter and the blatant exploitation of the video's stars (the duo have sold thousands of the videos at $20 a piece -- I'm no math genius, but you can figure out for yourselves what percentage of the take the people getting hit are collecting), but is the fact that the duo are film school graduates. Laticia graduated from the University of Southern California, while Beeson did his degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.

At present, only the first volume is for sale on their web site (http://www.bumfights.com), but volumes 2 and 3 are apparently in production. Due to the furor surrounding the video and the profits Laticia and Beeson are making, the two have recently stated that a percentage of the take will be going to a homeless charity, but the two have remained somewhat suspiciously silent on which one ...

Two men involved in the production and filming of bumfights were arrested in September, 2002, for threatening witnesses to an incident which involved having one homeless person's leg broken. It seems as though the California attorney general and police are starting to take a very active interest in this production, and its questionable legality (props go to generic-man for putting me on to this).

The video also features Rufus the stunt bum, who hurls himself down stairs and off balconies for our amusement.

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