Entertainment :: Movies

Unhung Hero

by Steve Weinstein
Contributor
Monday Dec 23, 2013
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Although Patrick Moote is straight, the story of his worldwide search for a way to enlarge his penis makes the documentary "Unhung Hero" a must-watch movie for gay men.

After a humiliating rejection for marriage is caught by the Jumbotron at a UCLA basketball game, Moote sets out on a quest that takes him around the country and to the Far East. There’s no explanation for how director Brian Spitz hooked up with Moote, but, considering that a video of the incident quickly went viral, it’s not hard to figure out.

Moote’s journey begins back home, on an idyllic island near Seattle, where his dad jokingly admits that the lack of thunk in the family junk may be inherited (his cute younger brother makes no such admission). Many of Moote’s previous conquests were willing to go public with their opinions, as do childhood chums, who remind him that his lack of endowment wasn’t exactly a secret in the locker room.

Moote travels to an adult video expo, where the irony of women with obvious breast enhancements is painfully obvious. Among the brief interviewees is Ron Jeremy, whose long shlong made him an early straight porn star despite his homely looks.

Another non-looker, New Yorker Jonah Falcon, is reportedly gifted with the world’s largest penis. Falcon tells him that it has not brought happiness, but it certainly hasn’t hindered his ability to get laid.

There are visits to a doctor who has made a fortune marketing a penis pump and herbal enhancement pills that -- no surprise -- don’t live up to their promise. A porn shop doesn’t appreciate the appearance of a video camera, but it’s here that Moote meets a very pretty sales clerk who turns out to have more than two dimensions and who provides a charming ending to a very funny film.

A visit to a condom manufacturer in Malaysia that makes the product in various sizes ventures into politically incorrect territory, as do statistics that back up some popular beliefs about Asians and black men. Korean statues of penises provide a suitable backdrop for a visit to a Seoul plastic surgeon who specializes in penis enhancement.

Sex columnist and gay activist Dan Savage gives Moote perhaps the best advice, although all along, the various female sexpert talking heads keep reminding Moote that women prefer tongue action anyway. There are plenty of moments when the viewer will be partially shielding his eyes, such as a Taiwanese discipline of lifting weights with the genitals and a climactic (!) moment in New Guinea involving a very long needle.

If much of the film feels scripted or staged, it doesn’t detract from an extremely enjoyable documentary that explores an eternally fascinating subject. Moote’s voyage of discovery may end in typical uplift, but for this viewer at least, in this case it seems just right.

Unhung Hero
DVD $20
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).

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