One of the oldest tricks in the book is to pull a good prank on someone. We do it more often than we even realize. Pranks big and small happen every day, often to the enjoyment of both people, though there are plenty of pranks that are very one sided.
Pulling a prank is fun, but what makes a prank really fun is being able to film it so that you can share it with others. Just log on to any social media and you’ll see dozens of prank videos within the first few minutes of scrolling. Maybe you’re even the star of one such video.
In the recent decade, an entirely new type of prank video has blossomed: the prank movie. These are movies where the whole premise is to prank people around them, especially within a narrative. The newest entry in the line of rpank movies is Bad Trip starring Eric Andre, and some of the pranks that hit the cutting room floor are quite shocking
Bad Trip is half-scripted comedy, half prank movie. It follows Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery as two young men on a road trip to connect with one of their dream girls. It hits all the beats of a typical road comedy, however, the scenes are played in front of real people who have no idea they are in a movie. What results are lots of genuine moments between the actors and the real people, as well as plenty of shocking and scary moments.
While many segments must have been left on the cutting room floor for one reason or another, there is one scary moment they left in where the two actors enter a barbershop and are chased away with a knife. I won’t spoil why the barber chases them with a knife, because the reason is too shocking to write, however, we do have some behind the scenes details on how the scene went down.
The scene has the two main actors enter the barbershop looking for help. Soon after, the barber grabs a knife and chases them out of the barbershop. Eric Andre can be heard yelling, “he’s got a knife!” as they run out of the shop. Despite how scary it was, Eric Andre was thrilled. "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."
The scene wasn’t so well received by co-star Lil Rel Howery. He left the movie immediately after, forcing Eric Andre to convince him to return. When he did return, Tiffany Haddish came with him, titillated by the idea of extreme pranks.
Eric Andre has had mainstream success as an actor in movies like Rough Night and the family friendly Lion King, but he is known for his over-the-top pranks on the Eric Andre Show. "I’ve had concussions, I’ve put my hands through glass requiring a bunch of stitches. The trials and tribulations of the 'Eric Andre Show' prepared me for this movie. But I didn't know what a stunt coordinator was before 'Bad Trip,' I didn't know you can wear knee pads to fall on concrete."
Since the film was on a bigger, more uncontrollable scale, director Kitao Sakurai hired a security team who would assess threats before they happened. Sakurai said, “It's such a stressful process because it's the real world. 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."