Bad Trip exploded across social media this past weekend, going viral for some of the most insane stunts ever captured on film. In this part-fiction, part-documentary feature, Eric Andre and Lil Rel play friends driving from Florida to New York, so Andre's character can reunite with his high school crush, who has no idea he's coming. Tiffany Haddish plays Lil Rel's prison escapee sister, hot on their trail.
Maybe the funniest scene in the movie is when she cons a good Samaritan to help her avoid the police.
The movie was made in a way so the people they encounter don't know Andre and Rel are acting. This Borat meets Jackass concept is as bold as the two comedians who star in the film.
But during the very first days of shooting, while filming a bit where the two of them get their penises stuck in a Chinese finger trap, the actors were almost stabbed by someone not in on the joke. They walked into an Atlanta barbershop where the owner was none too happy.
Eric Andre told USA Today, “Part of my brain was like, ‘Wow, I could die right now.' Another part of my brain goes, ‘This is going to be great footage.’ I felt the movie needed a couple of death-defying scenes to give it real stakes. To make it feel raw and intense.”
Lil Rel didn't take it so well.
Andre said, “That was Rel’s first day of filming... So, Rel was like, ‘I quit! You’re going to get me fucking killed. This is reckless!’”
Lucky for us, he was able to convince him to come back and finish the film.
What struck me was how unlike any movie I had ever seen this was. I mean, at one point, there's a musical number, with unsuspecting people in a mall forced to just go along with it as Andre climbs tables and fountains, singing while professional backup dancers join in.
Then there was the gorilla scene. It appears Andre, in an attempt to get a selfie with an ape, climbs past a zoo fence and is raped by a gorilla in front of unsuspecting patrons.
Lil Rel had to keep it together while people not in on the joke freaked out.
As he said, "While [Andre’s getting attacked], I had to make it real. They had to believe it, the emotion part of it. And they bought into it, man. Like that’s one of the only times I tried not to laugh. To them, it was real, it was crazy. It looked like I’m crying, but I’m really crying laughing."
Making a movie like this is not easy. In order to avoid being recognized, they tried to specifically prank people over 40 years old, since both their audiences skew younger.
They also had to find ways to hide cameras in plain sight, by putting cameramen in boxes, using security footage, and shooting from across the street.
The film's director, Kitao Sakurai, also had to keep his actors' safety in mind. They had a “beefed up the security team” working on the film with ex-law enforcement officials after the knife incident.
In the film's credits, they show how they captured all the scenes, including a safe word that clued producers in on the danger.
“It’s such a stressful process because it’s the real world,” Sakurai said. “The benefits of doing something like this are also the dangers of it. Things are unpredictable. You’re working in a crowd with people that don’t even know they’re on camera. Really anything can happen.”
Did you watch the movie this weekend? What was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments.