“I was pretty much doubled over laughing the whole time this was going on,” Tremaine, the director, said of this prank from the new film.
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Previous “Jackass” movies have all cycled between segments shot on sets and ones filmed in public. (A memorable bit from the first film involved Dave England making “use” of a display toilet at a hardware store.) Much of the new movie, though, was shot during the pandemic, which “eliminated a lot of the public pranks,” Tremaine said. “So that meant we were in a bubble, just torturing each other.”
In the “Silence of the Lambs,” that bubble is pitch black.
The segment begins with the stars arriving in a windowless room. They think they’re acting as audience members for a stunt in which Knoxville will be tasked with removing a cookie from a rattle snake’s head. After they’re briefed on the stunt, the performers leave. They return in pairs. That’s when the lights snap off and the door slams shut.
The stars think they’re alone with a rattlesnake, unable to see in a dark room. The cameras are equipped with night vision, so we see Knoxville emerge from a hiding spot, armed with what Tremaine described as “a whole arsenal of different things that were going to terrify the guys,” including a rubber snake. Tremaine sat in another room, watching Knoxville torment his victims and giving suggestions via Knoxville’s earpiece.
Tremaine came up with the idea for this segment. Like most “Jackass” bits, though, his original premise was built out. Among the added elements was a second room, which some of the performers try to escape to as Knoxville torments them. Unfortunately, the second room is no safe haven: The floor is covered with marbles, heavy cookware dangles from the ceiling and mouse traps are littered everywhere, with a small number of rat traps thrown in for good measure.
“We call it the hell room,” Tremaine explained.
If that makes Tremaine a Lucifer, at least he’s a Lucifer with a benevolent side.