Coming to VOD via Hulu tomorrow, Saturday, June 3:
DUMB: THE STORY OF BIG BROTHER MAGAZINE
A love letter to the controversial, crass skateboarding magazine which served as a precursor to MTV’s JACKASS.
Emerging at a time when skateboarding seemed to be at its nadir, Big Brother went for broke, cultivating a young audience with creative design, outrageous humor, taboo content, and a diversity of topics of interest to their target subculture rather than an exclusive focus on skateboarding. Running afoul of community standards due to obscene material in a publication marketed towards children, the mag was eventually purchased by Larry Flynt, but even the notorious publisher couldn’t keep it afloat forever. O’Dell, though a skateboarding insider, tells the magazine’s tale so that it’s equally accessible to outsiders – though numerous scenes of scatological would-be humor will likely test most viewers’ limits. Leaving that aside, the film offers a curious, if uncritical, appreciation of the writing and editorial staff’s rebellious creativity, and also serves as a backdoor history of JACKASS, featuring interviews with Johnny Knoxville and a number of other contributors who crossed over into mainstream success when they adapted the publication’s brash approach for television.