Remember the movie 8 Millimeter, where Nicolas Cage was investigating an alleged snuff video and eventually plunged deeper and deeper into the world of violent hardcore porn? Well, I’m starting to feel a little like Cage’s character did in that movie. It started out innocently enough, when I got hooked on the TV show “Jackass” a few years back. The show was unusual and interesting – always an unbeatable combination in my book. From there, I graduated to Jackass: The Movie, a film I confess having seen three times. The stunts performed in that film were so bizarre that I couldn’t look away, even when I wanted to. Now, though, I have officially crossed the line into the realm of the downright disturbing in the “Jackass” universe. I have seen sights that I regretfully can’t un-see. I have personally witnessed the darkest levels of the entire skater/prankster genre.
I have seen Steve-o’s Out on Bail, volume three in the Don’t Try This At Home series.
Those familiar with “Jackass” will know that Steve-o is recognized as “the crazy one,” even amongst this gang of merry pranksters. He is the guy who will do just about anything - with the exception of sticking a toy car up his rectum, but that’s another movie. The Out on Bail packaging proudly boasts that its star travels the world, engaging in the kinds of outlandish behavior that puts him behind bars. (And yes – he does end up in jail during the course of this video.)
The disc begins innocently enough (or at least innocently enough for this kind of thing). The intrepid Steve-o pulls down his pants and allows scorpions to sting him on the ass. Squirm inducing? Sure. Foolish? Without a doubt. Shocking? Not necessarily. After all, we expect this sort of behavior from Steve-o. In fact, it is exactly this kind of stunt that fuels his new reality show “Wildboyz” (airing Sunday nights on MTV). Later, Steve-o jumps off the London Bridge. Foolish again, but hardly surprising.
It is the rest of Out on Bail that shocked me. It goes so far beyond “Jackass” that I was agog. On his tour through numerous countries, Steve-o engages in the following revolting and/or hazardous behaviors:
There is a lot of stuff in this DVD that involves defecation. In fact, the disc’s deleted scenes are devoted exclusively to shots of Steve-o and pals trashing hotel rooms. This invariably means that someone poops on the floor. Having a Masters Degree in Psychology, I could no doubt go into a detailed Freudian analysis of Steve-o’s fixation with fecal matter, but quite honestly I’m still a little too sick to my stomach to even think about it.
Steve-o visibly ingests a lot of drugs throughout this film. Out on Bail also comes with a second bonus disc titled PCP Saved My Life, which chronicles the star’s five-day PCP bender. I really shouldn’t be surprised that Steve-o is such a drug fiend. After all, anyone who staples their nuts to their leg has got to be on some heavy-duty drugs.
You can probably tell that Out on Bail went way beyond what I expected. You can probably also tell that I was offended mightily by it. However, I confess that I did watch the whole thing. Why, you may ask, would I subject myself to this cruel and unusual punishment? Well, the answer is simple: the movie’s nihilism was hard to brush off. Steve-o and friends are people who don’t care about themselves or anything else. They live in a world where pain doesn’t matter, where rules don’t apply, and where morals are unheard of. I’m willing to bet that not a single one of them will live past the age of 35 – nor will they expect to. This kind of hedonistic lifestyle takes people out while they’re young. Steve-o knows this, I bet. He probably figures that if the drugs don’t kill him, the stunts will. He probably doesn’t care one way or another.
I don’t condone this way of living, nor is it my own personal style. However, you don’t often get to see these sorts of people in action. I remember reading Hunter S. Thompson’s great book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” In it, he detailed a drug-fueled, no-holds-barred, rule-breaking road trip. The book is a classic, yet being so unfamiliar with that lifestyle, I had trouble really visualizing what that sort of existence would be like.
Out on Bail showed me exactly what it would be like. How fascinating. How sad.
(zero stars out of four)
Steve-o: Out on Bail is unrated but contains adult language, dangerous stunts, nudity, and excessive drug use. The running time is 1 hour and 34 minutes.
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