On Saturday I went to a Seattle annual amateur film festival run by local newspaper The Stranger. It was a classy event, and I feel more cultured and refined by attending. Or, perhaps I would have were the particular film festival in question not named "Hump!" and featuring pornography. Dan Savage was there.
It was actually much less seedy and creepy than I was fearing. Attendees were about 60% male and 40% female, and looked no different from the crowd you might expect to see entering any other Seattle theatre. I dunno; I was expecting to see tall, unshaven, overweight men with black trenchcoats—you know, seedy people—with their hands in their pants throughout the show. But, I saw none of that.
In fact, only a few of the 8-minute-or-shorter movies were intended to have any erotic value whatsoever, and many featured no nudity of any kind. There was a very-well-done furniture porn video, an animated cartoon titled Alien Fucks Predator, which was exactly what it sounds like, a parody of Senator Larry Craig's recent sex solicitation incident featuring dry-humping lesbians, a love story between a bobble-head doll and a dildo, and other weird stuff. In fact, I only recall Vampire Strip Club being remotely arousing, and it was about vampire strippers, and "remotely" is the key word in "remotely arousing." (See a list of all of the films here, with descriptions.)
The best film was in the style of Crocodile Hunter (Steve Irwin would be, uh...), titled Queer Safari. It's a fairly hilarious instructional video of a man wandering around a Seattle park teaching the audience how to identify different types of homosexuals. A couple minutes before the end, it gets dark, and suddenly switches to a Blair Witch parody (wow, been a while), with a disturbingly funny shock ending. All of the screener copies of all of the films shown at the festival were destroyed to protect the identity of the entrants, and they had bouncers watching everyone like a hawk to ensure that nobody was taping anything, but hopefully the authors of Queer Safari will get it online someday to share it with the world.
Would I recommend it next year? Sure, though clearly not to the easily disturbed. If you went this year, you did have to set through an unsettling bondage video and the enactment of each one of some guy's creepy foot fetishes. But, there were quite a few laughs to be had. At $20 it's a bit pricey, but not that bad. Honestly, I'd be much happier if all of the videos were supposed to be funny, instead of funny and/or erotica, but I doubt that will change for next year.