Posted by: helldriversmovie | November 10, 2008

Why “Incredible Stunts” photog is in the Stunt Hall of Fame

New photography coffee table book available at

New photography coffee table book available at

Jeffery R. Werner thinks of photographers as the “custodians of history,” so his nickname of “The da Vinci of Daredevil Photography” is quite the compliment.

Werner has traveled for 30 years in search of the world’s most amazing stunts. We know about him because he was in Kingman, Arizona for Doug Danger‘s “I Dare You” jump over a jumbo jet.  When you watch Danger’s feat on video, it is over in a few seconds.  But stare at it in Werner’s book and it makes you freeze and appreciate how insane Danger’s accomplishment really was.

Doug seemingly hangs in the air forever.

Doug Danger photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Doug Danger photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

A coffee table book is the ideal vehicle for adrenaline junkies to savor their favorite daredevils making the impossible possible. When retelling the jumbo jet story, Doug likes to jokingly complain that he wasn’t even served a complimentary drink on his flight. Usually this gets a laugh from the radio DJs.

Steve Hudis photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Steve Hudis photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Evel Knievel was well known for jumping his motorcycle over busses. Daredevil Steve Hudis thought the opposite might be funny — jumping a bus over motorcycles! This surreal act was conducted for the same stuntmasters who dreamed up Doug’s airplane extravaganza — the “I Dare You” specials on UPN television.

Spanky Spangler photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Spanky Spangler photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

In front of 55,000 people at the Houston Astrodome, daredevils Spanky Spangler and Randy Hill crashed in midair above a row of junk cars for cushioning. Their 1981 head-on crash was the equivalent of hitting a brick wall at 120 mph!

Spangler and Hill tried to duplicate their midair spectacle in San Antonio in 1993, but things went horribly wrong. Instead of colliding at their front bumpers, Spangler’s car crashed down on Hill’s roof and crushed him.

A remorseful Spangler is interviewed in the book, calling his friend Hill’s death the equivalent of “losing his right arm.”

Eddie Kidd photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Eddie Kidd photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

British daredevil Eddie Kidd took two years to get permission from the Chinese government to leap over the Great Wall. The wondrous Wall itself isn’t much of an obstacle — averaging 25 feet in height, 15 to 30 feet in width at the base, and 12 feet width at the top — but Doug Danger learned how easy it is to almost die over a few measley cars.

Kidd had a 600 foot drop and the Yangtze River to worry about, with only a “crude bamboo ramp” and a safety cushion of cardboard boxes to stop him. According to Werner, Kidd hit the bamboo “with only inches to spare.”

Rick Meisel photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Rick Meisel photo courtesy of Jeffery R. Werner/

Six pairs of handcuffs and two leg irons might excite bondage fans, but the rest of us are shaking our heads about what motivates Rick Meisel to perform the “World’s Cleanest Escape Act.”

The chained-up Meisel scrunches himself inside a washing machine and churns around with the suds. I can’t even open my own washing machine — from the outside — while it is in the middle of a cycle. So this is absolutely an impressive feat. Even if he does admit surgically altering his body to be more accommodating to the shape of the drum.

Werner categorizes Washing Machine Boy in his “Beyond Reality” section, which truly could be renamed “Psychotic Entertainers.” Another genius, Jesse Caigoy from the Phillippines, picks up razor blades with his eyelids and walks barefoot on a balance beam made from sharpened machete blades. With the blade edge perpendicular to his foot.

Caigoy calls himself “Mr. Pain.” This a case where the photography may be beautiful, but the picture itself will give you hives.

Werner, the first still photographer to be inducted into the StuntWorld Hall of Fame, dedicates his first book to same daredevil legend worshipped by Doug Danger and most of the other stunt performers featured in his book.

“A man can fall many times in life, but he’s never a failure until he refuses to get up.”

—- Evel Knievel

The author also once dreamed of zipping up in a leather jumpsuit. “Then there was the Minnesota teenager who after watching Knievel, yearned only for a motorcycle of his own. Even a Vespa, for Chrissakes,” he writes. “But his mother put the kibosh on that, citing a neighborhood kid who’d been injured in a motorcycle accident and that was that. Well, not quite.”

The young Minnesota kid got to live an adventurous life, after all. And even better, he gets to walk away unscathed from every fiery crash and death-defying jump!

For information on ordering the Incredible Stunts coffee table book, click here!



  1. Thanx,Guys !
    Viva Knievel and All the Daredevils of the world,check out ,Doug Danger Lou Re Debbie Lawler Bob Gill Spanky Crash Dr.Danger all of you are truely Gems !

    “Careful Landings”
    Richard “Risky Rick” Cruz
    Hallsville Tx.

  2. Very Exciting! A film of thrills only few have experienced.
    JEFF WERNER made it possible to capture these moments and open the minds of young and old alike.
    I assisted the Da Vinci of Daredevil Photograpy in Kingman AZ., with only seconds to count in setting up multiple c-clamps, settings. location spots that went on for hours, only to freeze this hero’s courage.
    Awesome work!
    Looking foreward to viewing this film / live.



  3. Can you buy the Helldrivers Video on DVD? and if so…..Where?…..I would like to have it for my collection,any of ya’ll can contact me @ or (903)-720-7747 Thanx !

  4. Hey Guys Dr Danger checking in.
    First of all…”HELL DRIVERS ROCK!”

    I saw that Risky Rick mentioned me above. For the record I am still working on getting the “.com” together. I do have a My Space though you can check out. It is

    We started touring this year in March and did our last show in October. Right around 40 shows I think. All were sucessful. I got ambulance rides at three shows but lucky to have no helicopters with me on them this year. I was at one per year for the last three years, 2005, 2006, 2007.

    We will be posting all the pics and video from this year on the my space soon. Some of the stuff was pretty big for us. One jump inparticular turned out to be 200 feet and rung my bell pretty good.

    Thanks to Rocky Hardcore for helping out at a few shows. He did a great job and we look forward to seeing him next year.

    A highlight of the tour was spending time with Spanky and Gene Sullivan in Butte. Two great guys.

    Another highlight was donating my 2008 firesuit and some other gear to the “Ricksonian Daredevil Museum”. The suit was quite burned and tattered and the helmet was almost cracked in half.

    The true highlight of the entire year didnt come at a show even though some of my jumps were big, super scary and always sucessful. But in the shape of one gold coin encased in a protective plastic sleve. A gold coin given to me from a very close friend and peer from “Our Daredevil Community”. A dollar sized gold coin that says
    “B. Ward Beam’s”
    “World Champion Daredevils”
    It also has a picture of a car on fire flyin over a bus. And the Lords Prayer on the back.
    My Award. I am proud to have it. My three biggset jumps this year were over busses and my first 200 footer.

    Well everyone has there saying, Happy Landings, Careful Landings, Lucky Landings, I say as it pertains to me…”Just Land”.
    “What can possibly go wrong? “Everything.”
    Just be ready.

    My respect to all.
    Stay safe.
    Peace from Dr Danger

  5. Wow this article brings back memories! i was at the tragic Mid Air colision stunt in San Antonio. I was only 9 at the time but still have the newspaper article put up.

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