Dirty Sanchez: Series One – Rear End cast: Lee Dainton, Mike ‘Pancho’ Locke, Matthew Pritchard, and Dan Joyce director: Becky Staniforth 83 minutes (18) 2003 Revelation DVD Region 2 retail RATING: 1/10 reviewed by Ian Shutter

Four wannabe TV celebs amuse themselves with absurd pranks. Torture, physical abuse and mad stunts are the norm in this shocker by reckless (Welsh?) simpletons. If putting live maggots down your trousers, letting big hairy (venomous?) spiders crawl along your arm, or sitting on burning candles sounds like fun to you, go buy this DVD, or watch the show on Channel Four.
Dirty Sanchez is a perfect example of ‘stupidity television’. Let me explain… The last ten years has seen the so-called ‘dumbing down’ of once-laudable small screen documentary formats to a point where the apparently phenomenal success of ‘reality TV’ has, inevitably, led to the kind of show where dangerous stunts are performed live for the camera by nearly deranged individuals with too much time on their hands and no sense of decency, or any other kind of sense. The subject of this MTV trash is outrage, with a gross-out intention that’s clear to all. No critical response is necessary or warranted.
Stupidity TV has actually been with us for a while now, though the ‘genre’ was largely confined to millennial productions like wacky gambling show Banzai, the execrable Jackass, and those usually tedious anthology showcases for the general public’s very own ‘worst home videos’. Dirty Sanchez makes all the unintentional slapstick of those programmes seem like high comedy. From the exhibitionism of nude paintball to pratfalls with DIY tools, sporting equipment, gym gear, playing with snakes, skateboarding and snowboarding ‘stunts’, the makers of this series plumb the depths of human folly. Vicarious thrills is one thing, fellas, but aiming a CO2 fire extinguisher at your naked genitals, or sticking needles up your penis isn’t risky or asinine fun, it’s only demonstrates how close to the surface barbaric, self-destructive traits remain in our supposedly civilised world. And, whether the frequent on-screen warnings are meant to deter imitators or not, it’s worth noting how easy it is for such traits to get airtime in our media-swamped society.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not suggesting this programme should be censored or banned. It gets one point out of ten as potentially worthwhile material for a study by psychoanalysts and sociologists, and by far the most interesting scenes are the candid interviews with non-participants, such as the men’s parents.
The DVD has episodes five to eight (inclusive) from the first series plus a batch of extras. New Stunts includes a boy kicking the guys’ shins until they can’t stand. Extended Stunts features the practical lunacy of head-butting stacks of tiles in the manner of a martial arts exhibition, sans genuine karate skills. Short Cuts has the messy food fight (which actually manages the feat of being quite boring), and you get a special option to play all of the scenes by Dainton, Pancho, Pritchard or Dan Joyce separately. There’s also a series two promo, and some kind of advert for an MTV break-dancer.