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JACKASS
Volume One

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy
Directors:  Various
Audio:  Dolby Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Paramount
Features:  Cast Commentary
Length:  120 Minutes
Release Date:  December 6, 2005

"Ho, ho, hoooly s**t!"

Film ***

For those of you wondering whatever happened to Volume One of Jackass, here it is...two hours' worth of mirth, mayhem, gross-outs and bone crunching stunts.  Kids, don't try this at home.

What started out as the underground CKY (Club Kill Yourself) became a national sensation when it arrived on MTV as Jackass.  Here was a show with something to shock, offend, repulse or stupefy just about any person who watched it.  And watched they did...in droves.  For those of you who know what to expect from Johnny Knoxville and crew, jump right in.  Others...be forewarned.

The disc kicks off with one of Johnny's most famous stunts, "Poo Cocktail".  In it, he takes a ride in a full port-a-potty as it gets turned upside down on him...yikes.  What could possibly top that?

Well, a lot of things.  There's puking galore as three of our Jackass stars attempt to eat 50 hardboiled eggs in under an hour, and if that wasn't bad enough, they go back and try again with 50 shots of eggnog.  Ryan Dunn takes a swim in some sewage and gets covered with freezing sardines.  Steve-O dives from a ladder into a pool of elephant dung, and also manages to swallow and THEN reproduce a live goldfish.

Wait til you see Johnny Knoxville as Santa going in for a colonic, or Dunn getting slingshot into a scummy pond.  Chris Pontius learns how to wrestle alligators on the go.  Steve-O takes a few amusing spills on some stilts.  The group goes to Connecticut in search of a town with a most unusual name.  And perhaps funniest of all are some misadventures with a little doll that unsuspecting crowds think is a live baby.

If you ever wanted to ski down a grassy knoll into trees, or snowboard on Mexican sand dunes, or turn a shopping cart into a bobsled, you're nucking futs.  These guys definitely are, and they do all that and then some.  Hell, what can you say when Steve-O has the show's name stapled to his butt, one letter at a time, along with the famous warning?  Did I mention 'yikes'?

We all know guys who will do anything for a laugh, but not many who take it as far as these guys do.  This is a show that goes for your funny bone, your gag reflex and your sense of thrill all at the same time.  By the time the two hours is up, you're gonna be exhausted.  It's like one feature length highlight reel.  Or a feature length blooper tape.  Take your pick.

My problem with Jackass is not what they do, but my reaction to it.  I'm not proud that I like it, but I'd be a liar if I said different.  I love the humor inherent in Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare and Moliere.  So why do I laugh like an idiot when Johnny Knoxville gets a case of the farts in yoga class?  Same reason we all do, I guess.  I wonder if I'll ever reach an age where the idea of breaking wind at inappropriate times stops being hysterical?  Do I even want to?

This program isn't for the kiddies or those with impressionable minds.  Consider it a public service:  these guys do this crap so we don't have to.  Let them be human crash test dummies, biological experiments, and masochists all they please.  At least when we buy the DVD, there's no doubt they earned their money.

Video ***

Gee, I wasn't paying that much attention to the video quality...wonder why?  At any rate, these segments, shot on video, look just fine.  I never had any trouble telling the puke from the poo.  That may be the weirdest compliment I've ever afforded in this category.

Audio ***

The stereo audio is likewise serviceable.  Whether it's screams, crashes, or bodily rejections, the sound is clean, crisp, and succinctly delivered.

Features **

The only extra is a commentary by the cast, which is more like listening to a party than a commentary.

Summary:

I may have to check my Bible and see if Jackass is listed as one of the signs of the apocalypse.  If it isn't, it should have been.  Jackass Volume One is gross, funny, provocative and insane all at the same time.  It adds up to supreme lowbrow entertainment.

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