“Spearhunter” is a 14-minute short film about a man’s obsession with not only a particular form of hunting, but with the idea of securing his own legacy, one that would live on well after he would be dead.
Welcome to Alabama, where Gene Morris has honed his hunting skills to such a degree that he became bored with normal hunting techniques. Guns, bow and arrows, he was done with all of that. Instead he wanted more of a challenge, and hence set about to be the world’s great spear hunter. And he loved spear hunting so much that he constantly filmed and videotaped himself doing it and also talking into the camera and cutting promos like a professional wrestler, declaring himself to the greatest in the world. Whom he was addressing or expected to ever view these proclamations is never made clear, and maybe it never was to begin with.
Telling Gene Morris’ story is an ex-wife, an ex-girlfriend, and a handful of locals and acquaintances, and they all paint a picture of a man with a huge ego and a love for hunting, with the ex-wife going so far as to call him an animal serial killer. They show off Gene’s spear hunting museum, a place his built to celebrate his own achievements, and why not, it’s not like anyone else was about to do it. His ex-wife, who still works there, says it is the only spear hunting museum in the world. And you know what? I believe her.
This Gene Morris fella wanted to be remembered so bad you can feel it. They admit to trying to get him into the Guinness Book of World Records for years without success, though they never really clarified what record he supposedly set. Killing the most animals by spear? How do you prove that? I can see where that could be a problem. So he probably would have really appreciated this short film being made about him and how his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend kind of bragged about being with him, even while simultaneously admitting some of their more compromised feelings about the guy, because here is a record in which it is claimed that he is the great spear hunter ever. There’s a weird moment in which the ex-wife says that Gene Morris would proclaim himself to be “the Great White Hunter,” and this was never brought up again or explored, so I am not sure what this guy’s skin color has to do with anything, but I am willing to bet, based on his age and where he resided and what he did for fun that he had more than a touch of racism in him.
But then a black fella talks about how he got spear hunting training from Gene Morris and looked up to him as a role model in a way, so maybe the guy wasn’t a hate filled racist, maybe he was more of the 1950’s style casual racist. Not so bad. Still shitty, but not so bad.
This is an amusing little movie, a profile of a weird dude with an odd obsession who may or may not have been an honest to god animal serial killer, seriously, a case could be made for that designation. I bet ya Gene Morris was a hell of a lawn darts player.