Eric André on the Exorcism Prank Cut from ‘Bad Trip’: Levitation, Bleeding Walls, Cockroaches

Kitao Sakurai’s hidden-camera buddy comedy “Bad Trip” is a hit for Netflix after a long journey: the prank movie was supposed to premiere at SXSW 2020, but finally received a streaming bow last week. It’s one of the most-watched original movies on the platform. And while Eric André and Lil Rel Howery’s antics during a road trip from Florida to New York City are rife with viral moments, there’s one striking bit that ended up stranded on the cutting room floor.

In a new interview over at The Film Stage, “Bad Trip” star Eric André and producer Jeff Tremaine detailed a gag that didn’t make it into the final cut.

“I think the exorcism prank was probably like the best prank on its own,” André said. “It just didn’t fit into the body of the movie.”

The details of the excised prank turned out to be quite sick. “We had this prank where we stayed the night in a motel that was haunted. I start getting sick and become possessed by a demon spirit,” Andre said. “Rel got this real preacher to come in and perform an exorcism on me. We have all these hidden practical effects.”

Andre added, “I’m levitating in the bed, the walls start bleeding, lights are flickering. Cockroaches came out of a painting. And this real preacher is trying to get Rel to exorcise the demons out of me. Rel keeps cursing and he’s like, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ get the fuck out of my friend!’ The preacher was like ‘Okay, that’s good, but don’t curse’ and the guy was really on the hook.”

“Bad Trip” has earned comparisons to “Borat” and “Jackass” as a NSFW prank movie that finds its stars debasing themselves across a series of stunts stitched together as a narrative. In his review, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote, “It only takes Eric André a couple of minutes to get naked in ‘Bad Trip,’ and another half hour before he’s sodomized by a gorilla, which should give you a sense of how quickly this goofy hidden-camera romp careens from zero to crazy and just keeps going. In director Kitao Sakurai’s quasi-scripted comedy, the comedian plays a klutzy reprobate who drives from Miami to New York in search of his high school crush, but the flimsy plot is little more than an excuse for André to screw with people up and down the Eastern Seaboard.”

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