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Stupid Is As Stupid Does


Jackass: The Movie - The Official Soundtrack - Various Artists
(American Recordings)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2002

Review by Tony Bonyata

"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough," twangs Roger Alan Wade on the fade out of the soundtrack to Jackass: The Movie, and such is the premise of the new full-length feature film based on MTV's runaway hit series Jackass. The cable television show, as well as the movie, both feature outrageously dangerous stunts and extreme pranks that, depending on your age and testosterone level, are either mind-numbingly idiotic or trouser-soakingly hysterical.
So what better way to spice up a movie of such low-brow humor than with a collection of hardcore and old-school punk, speed metal, rap and even country. Although musically the genres are all over the place, they all seem to mesh into a perfect soundtrack for a film that features, among other moronic antics, a golf cart demolition derby, as well as a guy defecating on a display toilet in a hardware store.
There are numbers featured here that, unlike the stunts performed in the movie, were not originally intended on coming off funny, but one can't help but snicker at the ludicrousness of Slayer's own "look how freekin' fast we can play all these notes" brand of speed metal on "Angel of Death," or the Detroit Cobras smile-inducing, hip new take on Chubby Checker's "Twist."
The collection works on not only a base humor level, but even a cruder knowledge of guitar chords as proven on The Ramones' "California Sun," a tasty NYC-flavored punk track with Del Shannon sensibilities, or The Stooges-date-The Go-Gos fiasco on Sahara Hotnights' "Alright, Alright (Here's My Fist Where's The Fight)." Even the thrash-meets-hair metal and belligerent braying on Andrew U.K.'s big dumb anthem "We Want Fun" is enough to make high-brow socialites drop their aperitifs and dive headfirst into the moronic mayhem.
Songs such as Sir Mix-A-Lot's rap gem glorifing the female derriere "Baby Got Back" (" beans and rice didn't miss her"), and Wade's country ditty "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" ("I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer") were both originally written tongue-in-cheek, so it's no wonder that these two outsider genres manage to fit into this otherwise punk / metal mix.
The only single number that may be a bit too smart for this collection, however, is the intelligent metal of CKY on the driving and textured track "Flesh Into Gear." But if it's the sounds of a bunch of knuckle-headed dummies that the producers of this slapstick soundtrack were after, then they succeeded.
Just one question - where the hell is AC/DC?

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