Judge Ian Visser often manages to make it through an entire day without saying the word "Dude!"
"Dude, that hurt!"
A former circus performer and Clown College graduate, performer Steve-O first came to widespread public attention as part of the TV show Jackass. Steve-O was always the one willing to go a little farther, and risk a little more when it came to stunts and gags. A one-man freak show, Steve-O now brings us his latest effort, Steve-O Gross Misconduct (Uncensored).
• Disc One: Main feature (117 minutes)
Steve-O's Rise and Fall: I suppose this is the "meat" of the DVD. We get various stunts from Steve-O, from snorting his own snot and stapling himself with dollar bills to jumping off roofs into pools and doing plenty of skateboarding stunts. Setting his own hair on fire is also a big theme. There is no real organization at work here, and the footage seem to be assembled at random. The low point of this segment has to be when Steve-O pays a prostitute $20 to urinate on his leg. If anyone can explain why this particular gag is funny, I'm all ears.
Male Pattern Baldness: Things really start to slip in this segment. We get a few more clips of Steve-O doing his thing, but the majority of this segment is dedicated to stuff from Steve-O's friends (or so the DVD packaging describes them). This is mostly a take-off on the old Candid Camera gags where some trick is played on unsuspecting people in public. I cannot express this enough: Not. One. Single. Laugh. None. I didn't even crack a smile as this team of wannabe comics inflicted their "humor" upon innocent people in the streets. Most of this stuff is borderline cruel or harassing, not entertaining. Someone needs to tell these idiots that being willing to act like an a-hole is not the same as being talented.
More Bootleg Classics: More from the same idiots in the previous segment. There is no Steve-O content here. More bad jokes, bad gags, and bad entertainment.
• Disc Two: Bonus material (64 minutes)
Inside the Freakbox: The Freakbox appears to be a kind of confessional booth equipped with video cameras and dropped smack-dab in the middle of Panama City Beach, Florida, during Spring Break. Well-lubricated with alcohol and thousands of miles away from their parents, groups of drunk revelers stumble into the Freakbox to humiliate themselves by flashing, groping, rapping, and generally acting like a bunch of idiots. Alcohol is clearly the dominant factor here, and modesty is in short supply. While there is some low-grade titillation in this segment, it is cheap and dirty, and you'll feel the same after watching it.
Naked Confessions: More of the same. There's no clear difference between the two parts in content, so I have no idea why it is divided into two sections.
Steve-O Interview: Not so much an interview as a recorded series of anecdotes; the viewer gets over 30 minutes of Steve-O being shuttled to a stunt while talking about past hijinks and future plans. Steve-O immediately proceeds to get high while in the car, and the interview becomes increasingly rambling as it goes on. We learn almost nothing about Steve-O in this segment, and nothing that sheds any light on what he does or why. More filler for the bonus disc.
I'm not going to defend what Steve-O does; I think it's stupid. That being said, I enjoyed the show Jackass when it aired on MTV, and the subsequent film. The characters and stunts were entertaining and fun to watch because there was a sense of giddiness and humor behind them. And in most cases, nobody except the principles involved got injured or humiliated. Most of what is included in Steve-O Gross Misconduct (Uncensored) isn't funny or outrageous; it's just stupid or cruel. Steve-O's stunts aren't creative or unique; they are masochistic. The Jackass crew (which included Steve-O) seemed more interested in attempting stunts; if they succeeded, they were celebrated just as much as when they failed. In Steve-O's case, however, there is no larger purpose, just one guy in the process of hurting himself on camera.
Those fans expecting two discs of Steve-O's wacky antics are in for a disappointment. Between the Freakbox segment and the stunts with Steve-O's friends, Steve-O himself only appears in about a quarter of the DVD's running time. Frankly, with the lack of actual Steve-O content present, this is borderline false advertising on the part of the company. Forty minutes of actual Steve-O content over three hours of disc time? I'd be asking for my money back, fan or not.
Interestingly, the official Steve-O website has no listing for this DVD. In fact, I suspect this isn't an actual Steve-O product, rather that Steve-O's "friends" have simply bought or gained to rights to some of Steve-O's old footage and slapped it on this product to scam fans into buying it. There is a title card partway through the DVD that has something called "Freaktown" announced, but I cannot find any information on this group. I suspect they are some half-baked comedy troupe attempting to cash in, or promote themselves through, Steve-O's notoriety. This would certainly explain the barely-there nature of the Steve-O footage.
If this disc cost more than $50 to make, I'd be very surprised. The quality of the footage varies between bad and terrible. Many of these clips are clearly several years old, shot on shaky handi-cams or Dad's video camera from back in the 1980s. The segments with Steve-O's friends are of better quality but are still far from a decent viewing experience. Audio is acceptable, but nobody watches this stuff for the sound.
Obviously, with this kind of content, a debate is always going to occur over the value it possesses. Whether or not you think this kind of thing is harmless fun, or is a blemish on civil society, the bottom line is that Steve-O Gross Misconduct (Uncensored) is simply bad entertainment. A better presentation and more value for the money may not change the nature of this effort, but it would make a difference between getting what you pay for and getting ripped off by a substandard product.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
• Bonus Disk
Review content copyright © 2005 Ian Visser; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.