Originally scripted for Will Ferrell, daredevil comedy Hot Rod wound up being a springboard for young comedian Andy Samberg. He didn't exactly scale the heights of stardom though. Despite "a few good yuks" the lack of A-list muscle meant this tale of a wannabe stuntman hit a brick wall on release.
Going behind the scenes of Hot Rod, Samberg admits to being really "wussy" when it comes to motorcycle stunts. Director Akiva Schaffer puts it that, "Andy did one stunt in this movie and that was shutting a door". In fact Samberg does get on the bike, but repeatedly stalls it. He does, however, exert himself in the Punch Dance sequence. As he explains, it's a "not-so subtle" homage to Kevin Bacon's rage-fuelled warehouse boogie in Footloose.
Rod unleashes more pent-up aggression by smashing all the household lamps in the deleted scenes section, but his macho dad (played by Ian McShane) isn't impressed. Much of the excised footage showcases the comedy stylings of Danny McBride (aka Rico). He has a tough time chatting up women and, like Rod, appears to struggle with repressed anger issues; Over a beer, he idly muses that he'd like to "punch the sun its stupid face..."
Kevin's videos are good for a few chuckles. They find Rod in training, attempting to run up a wall, shimmy up a tree and perform a cone slalom - without any wheels... Other pointless endeavours include a one-minute clip of the film's orchestra recording the soundtrack. Nothing funny about, unless someone sticks a banana in your trumpet. On the other hand, the outtakes reel features some motorcycling on ice (ouch!) and an Easter egg sees Jorma Taccone (Kevin) in a road crash of a different sort, doing bedroom karaoke.
Schaffer is joined by Samberg and Taccone for the audio commentary, but don't expect an edifying account of the filmmaking process. Instead the guys laugh at each others' jokes and spend a lot of time trying to squeeze the word 'hoobastank' into casual conversation. Those who've seen the film will recall Rod uttering the same during a near-death experience. Despite a few bizarre leaps of imagination, the plain silliness of Hot Rod is difficult to resist.
Hot Rod is out now.