Let it never be said that Sean Weathers is deceptive when it comes to titling his films. Scumbag Hustler centers on the less than reputable character of Solomon Crow, played by Weathers himself. Crow is without a doubt a scumbag, and very much a hustler.
Solomon barely has enough money to get by. He sleeps on the street as often as not, wears the same outfit throughout the course of the film, a week at least, and only really cares about his next score. He doesn't even really care what the score is. He's fine with pot, ecstasy, crack, heroin. Pretty much anything illegal and mind altering, he's into. And he'll do whatever he has to in order to get it.
Mostly this involves scamming people on the street. His car broke down and he needs money for a cab. Or he sells bootleg children's movies on street corners. Or, he just got beat up, and can you please help, lady? It varies, and Weathers frenetic persona carries the scams for the most part, although it's hard to see how exactly they would work as well as they do here were one to try them in the real world.
Eventually, Solomon's born again Christian brother Tyler (Waliek Crandall) agrees to take his wayward brother in, not worrying at all about the virtue of his beautiful yet sex starved wife Tamia (Sybelle Silverphoenix). You would think he knew his brother better. Solomon isn't just addicted to drugs, but also sex, and he has lots of it, explicitly, on screen.
There isn't too much of a story. Solomon bounces around between hustles and drug scores and women apparently at random. There is a small through line involving his sister in law, and trying to convince her that he's a government agent and that's why he needs drugs. It doesn't really go very far, or in terribly interesting directions, but that's not really what this film is about.
Scumbag Hustler is really a day in the life type of story, showing the crazy things that Solomon does and the lengths he'll go to for a score. Weathers frenetic performance and total commitment mostly allow this to work. He seems to never run out of energy, and manages to be just a little bit of a caricature, but an enjoyable one. The other actors range from decent, to not great, and so segments sometimes stumble. Silverphoenix does pretty well, but Crandall struggles here and there. Of course, flawless performances aren't really what viewers are looking for in a movie like this one. It's the experience that counts.
Weathers makes exploitation movies, and this certainly is one. The sex is much more explicit than one would see in a mainstream film, though I understand that there is a version that excludes it. If you're a fan of Weathers (and he does give an energetic and passionate turn here), or urban exploitation films generally, then this is probably something you'll enjoy. For most of the movie going public, Rent It.