Mat Hoffman and the Jackass boys put on a show in tribute to Evel Knievel, watching some insane attempts to break world records.
Evel Knievel was the most popular motorcycle daredevil of all time. Four of his televised jumps, including the famous Snake River Canyon Jump are part of the top twenty ABC Wide World of Sports most watched events. Mat Hoffman is one of the greatest BMX riders in the history of the sport and is from right here in Oklahoma. On this DVD, the Jackass boys team up with Hoffman in Oklahoma to film a tribute to the legendary daredevil by attempting to break world records and perform all the insane stunts you would expect from a Jackass production.
This short feature opens with an interview conducted by Johnny Knoxville with Hoffman. They talk about when Hoffman almost died, flat lining twice after an accident on a homemade bike with a weed eater as the engine. Hoffman mentions that you should never fear dying or else you will forget how to live. As Mat is interviewed at the start of the show, they mention his bike was a gift from Evel Knievel himself.
What follows are some completely insane stunts and jumps that may be commonplace for people following extreme sports, but completely left me with my jaw on the floor in awe at what these guys were willing to do in the name of the jump. Jumpers include Travis Pastrana, Scott Plamer, Allan Cooke, Davin “Psycho” Halford, Trigger Gumm and “Harley” Jeff Schneider. People looking for Jackass style hi-jinks, you will not find that here. This feature is made with the utmost respect for the original showman Knievel and the stunts are very dangerous, and treated with care and careful planning. This is a feature for extreme sports enthusiasts, not so much for the frat humor crowds.
There are cut ups and humor, but what is eye opening are the actual stunts, such as when Jeff Schneider tried to jump using an actual Harley Davidson and ended up failing with the bike landing on his thigh. They start with typical jumps, most succeeding, but a few wiping out. Then they go for some humor with guys trying to jump a container of foam. They then had Knoxville try it, only to discover that he doesn’t know how to ride a cycle. He tries it anyway to good humor – if you like someone wiping out. It did have an interesting end when Knoxville ended up with the motorbike landing on his groin, resulting in him pissing blood (a torn urethra).
However, what makes the feature great are these moments being offset with great jumps by professionals. There was an impressive moment where they mixed the two in one stunt as when X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana did a perfect Tandem Flip with a midget, Little Mike, riding along. Fun stuff.
Did I mention Scott Palmer jumps out of a plane with no parachute?
A lot of time is also spent watching Trigger Gunn as he attempts to recapture his distance jump world record. It is interesting watching this behind the scenes look at a man working towards trying to fulfill his dream, step by step. It is also nice listening to a man like Mat Hoffman talk about how this attempt at a world record makes him nervous to watch. It showcases how dangerous these jumps really are. When Hoffman called Gunn the gnarliest man alive, Gunn shows honest appreciation at the compliment. You couldn’t have found a better man to host this show.
Mat Hoffman (18:27) – Stew Johnson interviews Mat Hoffman in a career retrospective. It is full of exclusive footage of Mat from childhood through present day. It’s a nice sit down interview that is laid back and interesting.
Thoughts on Evel Knievel (6:14) – Trigger Gunn, Matt Hoffman, Scott Palmer, Travis Pastrana, and Spanky Spangler discuss their thoughts and opinions on Knievel.
Behind the Scenes (15:18) – This is a short feature going behind the scenes of the movie. For the people who miss the hi-jinks of the Jackass crew, this is where you will find it. There are also lots of interviews with the riders concerning their jumps.
Travis Pastrana Pit Session (3:39) – A behind the scenes look where Pastrana tries to flip the Harley Davidson.
Palmer vs. Jolene (2:37) – Jolene VanVught shows up skydiver Scott Palmer by flipping a dirt bike. Palmer fails every time he attempts it but Jolene flips it easily. It ends with her kicking his butt down a hill.
Knoxville’s Hospital Visit (2:48) – We go with Knoxville to the hospital after he starts pissing blood.
Tattoo Montage (3:28) – We watch Allan Cooke, Big Nate, Harley Jeff, and Psycho as they are all given Evel Knievel tattoo’s by Mat Hoffman and Johnny Knoxville.
Thrillbillies Trailer (0:38)
Stephen Murray (11:15) – You know the saying “Don’t Try this at Home”? This is the perfect feature about how dangerous this sport really is. Stephen Murray was paralyzed in competition in 2007. As a result of the accident, he remains paralyzed from the neck down. They talk to competitors that were there when it happened, Stephen Murray and members of his family about the incident. I’m a big pussy and this feature really got to me. It’s a great addition to the DVD.
There is also a Photo Gallery and Music Videos (Smut Peddlers – Let’s Get Fucked Up, HDR – Thailand, and Black Ladies – Shannon Tweed) as well as Evel Knievel Days and Jackassworld.com print ads. Evel Knievel Days are July 24, 25 & 26, 2008 in Butte, Montana.
The feature was a short, but very entertaining look at these daredevil bikers paying tribute to a true legend. The extra features check in at over an hour and add a lot of value to the project as well. The Stephen Murray feature is the best of the bunch. This is definitely worth a look.