Patrick Moote was told that his penis is too small. The emasculated young man, an actor/comedian in Los Angeles, asked his buddy, filmmaker Brian Spitz, to join him on his quest to find the best way to enlarge his dong. The result is Unhung Hero, a sweet, funny, often insightful film that the guys describe as a "cockumentary."
"The 'cockumentary' moniker was all Patrick," Spitz told SFGN. "It just rolled off the tip of his tongue. I came up with Unhung Hero."
In Seattle, the young man bemoans his fate to his supportive parents. Dad admits to not being all that well hung either.
We wondered how it felt to discuss one's penis with parents.
"Patrick had to do it," said Spitz. "He had to go there. We were apprehensive. It was uncomfortable, but rewarding. No one was hurt, and Patrick's mom shed tears at a screening. So did Patrick."
Moote literally travels around the country and across the world on his voyage of discovery. In San Francisco, he lies on the ground with porn star/sex educator Annie Sprinkle, who teaches him how to make love to the Earth itself. Carol Queen, proprietor of Good Vibrations, the City by the Bay's "pleasure shop" assures him that his penis is his friend. Queen warns Patrick against the use of contraptions like penis pumps, which could conceivably injure his penis and further shorten it.
In New York, Moote chats with Jonah, who's considered above average in size: over twelve inches! Moote expects Jonah to be a virile, self-confident stud. But Jonah, we find out, is as insecure as the rest of us.
In Korea, "the small penis capital of the world," he explores the possibility of surgery. In Taiwan, he meets with a group of men who lift weights – with their penises. In Papal New Guinea, he considers undergoing a series of penile injections from a "witch doctor," but decides against the risky procedure at the last moment.
Spitz says that for a film shot across several continents, the budget for Unhung Hero was surprisingly low.
"We spent a little chunk of money here, a little there," he said. "People offered to help: in San Francisco we had four cameras running."
It wasn't always smooth sailing. Spitz and his crew were thrown out of an adult book store in Los Angeles, and were attacked inside a Korean bath house. They had to sneak the camera into Papal New Guinea.
"There was no crew in New Guinea," Spitz said. "Just me, a camera guy and Patrick. It's a pretty lawless place – we got robbed! It was hairy but awesome."
Moote's journey was set in motion when his ex-girlfriend says no to his marriage proposal in front of television cameras at a basketball game. His penis size is a "big" part of her rejection. The film opens with video of that humiliating experience, which got ten million You Tube hits – In four days.
Spitz reports that the young woman has seen Unhung Hero, and was OK with it.
"It was never our intent to demonize her," Spitz said. "The film isn't about her, it's about Patrick's head. She was apprehensive at first but was relieved that she was in it for only thirty seconds. She wasn't hurt by it but asked that her face be blurred, so we did. We wanted to be fair and to respect her privacy."
By the time his exploratory journey was over, Moote learned life's most simple lesson: we must all live with who we are and with what nature gives us. Everyone is attractive to someone.
"I think they're all beautiful," Annie Sprinkle tells Moote, speaking about penises in general. "I think all trees are beautiful. They're all beautiful in their own way."