Jackass Number Two

No homo
Jeff Tremaine
Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy
The Setup: 
Group of guys engage in a wide array of masochistic / homoerotic stunts

I didn’t see the first movie [nor have I ever seen the series], but I heard that there was much of the homo about it—then I heard that there was even MORE in the sequel. So I made an effort to get out and see it before it exited the theaters.

Blah, blah, blah there’s a bunch of juvenile stunts. I am primarily interested in the homo stuff, so let’s start off with an inventory of that:

> In the first skit of the film, Johnny Knoxville has a string around the end of his friend’s penis, which appears to be partially to fully erect. The friend is wearing something that covers his dick and makes it look like a puppet, and is sticking it through a hole into a terrarium with a snake. Next to the opening, “Glory Hole” is written. Knoxville tugs on the string to make his friend’s penis bob up and down, and finally the snake bites the dick.

> You know those things at carnivals where you swing a hammer and try to hit the bell at the top? Sort of a ‘test your strength’ thing? One of the guys takes off his pants and sits his ass on top of the tower, while they attach a large dildo to the part that is usually propelled toward the bell. When a strongman swings the hammer, the dildo shoots up toward the ass of the guy on top. We have a slow-motion replay of the dildo hitting the asscheeks of the receptee. He later says something to the effect of “I can’t believe I just got a dildo shot up my ass at high speed.”

> One of the guys gets a cock-and-balls shape branded onto his asscheek.

> A guy who we are told is the nation’s leading card-thrower [?] throws cards at the bare ass of a midget.

> Knoxville dresses as an old man and takes a boy who is supposed to be his grandson to a snack stand. As they get up to leave, grandpa offers his ostensible grandson a massage. The kid asks if grandpa gives happy endings, which is answered in the affirmative.

> When Knoxville is about to… do something, it all runs together after a while… one of his friends says “If he goes in there I’ll fuckin’ French kiss him.”

> A guy takes a shit on a miniature bathroom as all of his friends watch.

> A guy gets down on the floor in front of his 15 all-male friends and sticks a plastic tube up his ass. A funnel is on the other end, and he “chugs” a large amount of beer up his anus as all of his friends are gathered around him. He then gets up and spews some of it out, but says that he “feels like there’s more beer in his ass that he can’t get out.” His friend approaches him with a toilet plunger, and pumps it several times up his friend’s anus, whereupon a great deal more of the beer comes out.

> In an interview in The Onion, Steve-O said “There's never enough stuff going up people's butts.”

> One guy wets his testicles, then sits down on a horse made of ice, sticking his balls to it. Then Knoxville shoves him off, apparently ripping the skin off of his friend’s nuts.

> A few of the guys drink a freshly-milked load of horse sperm. One of them says “I’m ashamed of myself. I really am,” then later adds, “that’s semen all right.”

> As one of the guys is trying to climb out of a large tire, when his friend lowers his pants and sits his naked ass on his friend’s face.

> Knoxville again is made up as an old man, with the addition of fake testicles hanging out of his shorts. He then creates several situations in which they either touch men, land on a table where men are eating, etc.

> One of the guys is being made up as a terrorist, but his friend’s play a joke on him by shaving off all their pubic hair for him to make a fake beard out of. Much is made of the fact that he gets his friend’s public hair in his mouth. Upon learning what’s on his face, he vomits.

> I would estimate that this content comprises more than 1/3rd of the film.

> There are only two women in the film [aside from random passers-by], the mother of one of the guys, and an old woman with sagging breasts they hire to walk around naked in public.

> The production company of this film is Dickhouse Productions.

> The publicity still below is not from the actual movie. Is it an accident that they're posed in front of an ad for gay cruises? ["Sailors, Board Me Now!"]

So what does it all mean? I do not think it means that Knoxville and friends are all secretly gay, but I think it’s clear that they derive a lot of excitement from the thought of themselves or their friends engaging in vaguely homosexual activities. Which is not to mention all of the sadistic and masochistic tendencies on display.

A friend of mine recalls being at a lecture on which some anthropologist was talking about how the men in the tribe suck each other’s dicks and drink each other’s semen, but “it’s not a homosexual thing, it’s about the passing on of the masculine essence,” to which someone sensibly responded: “Then why couldn’t they just drink it out of a bowl?” It’s kind of the same thing here. They didn’t HAVE to paste their public hair on their friend’s face, they could have used a fake beard. They didn’t HAVE to write “Glory Hole” next to the space where the guy sticks his dick. They didn’t have to use a dildo to fire at the guys’ ass. The hot iron the guy is branded with didn’t have to be in the shape pf a cock and balls. Of course, in almost all cases here, they didn’t have to do whatever it was to their dicks and asses… but this point is almost moot, as this kind of “grossness” is almost the entire point of the film. The thing is, the amount of thought they’re putting into devising homoerotic activities for each other belies a great deal of interest in homosexual activity. This excitement may run under the guise of how ‘hilarious’ or ‘gross’ the activity would be, but the fact remains that it is something the guys obviously devote a great deal of energy and thought to.

It’s all so juvenile it’s not really worth getting upset over [“Oh, that’s just latency-age stuff,” said my psychologist friend], but when you get down to it, the excitement is homophobic in nature. The whole idea of pasting your public hair to your friend’s face is the for effect of how very gross it’ll be for the friend when he finds out [and he does in fact vomit when it is revealed]. Similarly the horse semen, dildo shot at the ass, or the old man’s testicles. The humor or gross-out factor comes out via how inherently hilarious or gross it is for a man to drink semen, see another man’s balls or take a dildo up his ass. So a lot of the ‘humor’ of these sequences reflects the guys’ homophobia and depends on the audience’s homophobia, as without considering homosexuality itself disgusting or funny, none of this would have any effect.

But as I said, I think we all have better things to worry about this. Furthermore, if you aren’t inclined to see this movie, but are curious about the homo stuff, I would advise you that you can probably get the gist of most of it from reading this review, and the whole thing will hold up on video just fine.

Should you watch it: 

If it’s your thing.

FREDDY GOT FINGERED features similar raunchy stunts, but in the context of a story that is—believe it or not—a bit more mature, and has a structure and subtext and everything.