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A very Republican slasher
Chris_Docker18 February 2007
When Scream veteran David Arquette steps into the directorial chair to make a horror movie, you might be forgiven for expecting more of the same. But you would be wrong.

The opening sequence has news footage of nameless war dead, inhumanely thrown together like so much butcher meat. A voice-over says how there is nothing glamorous about war. The image is uncomfortably mirrored later in scenes of carnage and mass-murder. No shortage of gore, but it is the political overtones that make the movie stand out and also invite forgiveness for the appreciably low budget.

The story follows a bunch of hippies having a love festival in the woods, much to the annoyance of local hicks. They are stalked by a psychopath in a realistic Ronald Reagan mask who starts chopping them up. Of those that are left, most are too stoned on ecstasy and LSD ('trippers' - geddit?) to want to believe anything very terrible is happening or that they could do anything about it anyway. The suggestion is obvious: you are living in happy oblivion while your political leaders wreak havoc in the world. Vietnam is neatly linked to Iraq, and 'Reagan' has a pig named George W that seems to be fed on severed limbs. This is no gentle analogy - it is served up with a sledgehammer (or rather an axe in most cases). Ill-gotten gains fly in the air as a body is cut in half with a chainsaw. "No daughter of mine is going to be hooked on drugs," says the killer tenderly, advancing with murderous intent. Better off dead, obviously.

The humour is sparse enough to lend only light relief. With the lifelike Reagan towering over him, axe in hand, one victim pleads, "But I'm a Republican!" The killer dog Nancy is particularly nasty.

And there's another layer . . . When Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he famously released a record number of mental health patients back into the community to save costs. (In case you didn't know this before seeing the film, you will before the end.) Arquette says he was inspired to make the film by growing up in Los Angeles during the Reagan years. Overtly political, B-movie blood-and-gore effects that are nevertheless stomach-churning, lots of nudity and some nice cinematography that mimics the drug experience, The Tripper even has pictures of all the politicians it hates in the credits.

The Tripper may be for horror fans only, but it is an unpretentiously daring attempt to launch a broadside at a morally righteous right-wing establishment that is ankle deep in dead bodies of political making.
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Bad Trip & Ax Reagan
claudio_carvalho17 April 2008
In the 80's, after seeing his father and lumberjack foreman being hit by a protester against the deforesting and arrested by the police, the boy Gus kills the protester with a chainsaw. In the present days, Samantha (Jamie King), who is traumatized after being abused by her former boyfriend Jimmy (Balthazar Getty), travels with her pothead friends in a van to the American Free Love Festival, a rock-and-roll concert in the woods. Near the location, they are assaulted by three local hillbillies, but they succeed to arrive in the festival. Meanwhile, Mayor Hal Burton (Rick Overton) and Deputy Buzz Hall (Thomas Jane) try to give a minimum of organization to the event. However, a deranged psychopath serial-killer wearing a mask of Ronald Reagan uses an ax to kill the pacific stoned hippies.

The slasher "The Tripper" is a great disappointment. David Arquette certainly had the intention of making a cult-movie and was supported by a good cast (probably his friends) including a cameo appearance of his wife and a great cinematography and lightening, but unfortunately the story never works. Jason Mewes is comfortable performing his traditional role of pothead; the sexy Jaime King has a good performance in the role of Samantha but the good actor Thomas Jane is displaced in his silly role. Further, the political anti-war jokes and speeches of the Republicans and Ronald Reagan are boring. In a cheap manipulation, the Brazilian DVD highlights the name of Courtney Cox-Arquette in the movie, misleading her fans. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Perseguição Assassina" ("Assassin Pursue")
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Jelly Beans, Purple Sticky Punch, Chainsaws and Ronald Reagan. Excerpt from The Horror Review
Mr_Alphonso8 March 2007
How does one label David Arquette's directorial debut? Possibly awe inspiring? No, too vague. I've got it…This film is a brilliantly executed politically charged homicidal satire of our generation.

David has created a new breed of a horror film. I'd liken The Tripper to early works by cult fave, George Romero. This film knocked my socks off. Crisp dialogue, great characters and enough scares to send shivers down your spine. Seriously.

The story, from my perspective, is a throwback to classic 70's and 80's horror romps fused with the trickle down ideals that Reagan gave to us.

The Tripper opens with an obscure kid watching his father arguing with "save the redwoods" activists and results in a very bloody end that gives little Michael Myers a run for his money in the opening scene of Halloween. From here the narrative blooms like cannabis and follows a group of twenty-somethings as they travel to a love and peace concert, hosted by an aged Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) in the very woods that the opening tragedy occurred. The group is led by the breathtaking Jamie King, Stephen Heath, Lukas Haas, Jason Mewes sans his Silent Bob but still with his rapid-fire one-liners and the always beautiful Marsha Thomason (Las Vegas). Thomas Jane (The Punisher) plays the local sheriff and David Arquette, well, his character's name is Muff and I don't think I need to say anymore.

Before one can scream Jason Voorhees, a killer donning a Reagan mask descends upon the locals with a sharp political tool; an axe. Balthazar Getty has one of the best lines in the film as he screams "But I'm a Republican!" And the stunning Mrs. Cox-Arquette appears in one of the funniest moments of the film that left me howling.

Arquette has written a dark satire that, thanks to Trickle Down economics, transcended the political climate for the past 20 years. Even the killer's motive is revealed in a bold way by referencing Reagan's poor decision to open up mental institutions and let the patients roam the streets. One chased me to my car last night after seeing this film.

This is a unique film experience like Natural Born Killers was back in 1994. The characters are rich and their personalities are extremely layered. As far as the dialogue, my goodness, Arquette seems to have left no political ideal untouched.

I have no idea how they're going to market and promote this film but it's one to watch when released nationally in 2007. A note to Hollywood…let David stretch his creative legs in the future and when he asks for a bigger budget, do not hesitate. He has proved himself as one hell of a filmmaker to watch.
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It's a short trip without Silent Bob
slake0912 August 2007
This hippie slasher movie from director David Arquette is a mildly amusing satire on other slasher movies that does nothing new with the genre but is entirely watchable. You can watch it, even enjoy it, but there's nothing different from the last satire of slasher movies you saw.

Production values are high, this isn't some cheaply done indie movie, there are actual actors/actresses pretending to be stoned hippies, and the camera work is up to par. It's not particularly funny, though, and the only amusement worth mentioning comes from Jason Mewes, busily playing his Jay character without the benefit of Silent Bob. He could have used the backup in this one.

There is some brief nudity and a lot of swearing and drug usage, but it's not shocking or even particularly interesting. It fits into the story line, so it's not gratuitous. There are some gratuitous gross out moments involving gore and fecal matter, but they are the kind you would expect in this genre.

Every character is a stereotype of one kind or another, from the fascist small town sheriff to the greedy concert promoter. No one steps out of their stereotype, the dialog is competent but not terribly exciting, and the villain himself is only distinct from other slashers because he wears a Reagan mask.

This isn't one to go out and look for, but if it's all that's left at the movie rental place on the tail end of a Saturday night, with a bunch of friends in your living room - you can watch it without being sorry. You probably should break into your stash first, just to be on the safe side.
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enjoyed it
sarah-dmonrx26 October 2007
This movie is great, for what it is. Any hardcore horror or cult movie fan will probably really like this film, as it is sort of a throwback to the old school slasher. For any horror film to do really really well, it has to be mind blowing and even then, net nerds are going to pick it apart until their is nothing left, hence.. the bad reviews are expected. The whole killer scenario, the mask.. the message, it's all so ridicules that it's not meant to be taken seriously (in my opinion) That's what makes this so great. As far as the killings go, I thought they were pretty great compared to most of what i'm seeing these days. Since i'm such a huge fan of the genre, I would love to see more large budget films like this make their way to the theater or even DVD. The bottom line is, if you're a huge fan of the horror genre then you're going to want to see this. If you're just looking to get "scared" and watch horror occasionally, this probably isn't for you.
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Pleasingly fun slasher film
slayrrr66625 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"The Tripper" is a better than expected slasher with a lot to like.


Preparing for a road trip, friends Samantha, (Jaime King) Ivan, (Lukas Haas) Jack, (Stephen Heath) Joey, (Jason Mewes) Jade, (Paz de la Huerta) and Linda, (Marsha Thompson) head to the California Redwoods for a special peace ceremony. When the local Sheriff Buzz Hall, (Thomas Jane) warns them about going off into the woods, they laugh it off and proceed to take in the wonders of the concert, imbibing in the usual amount of drugs and free-spirit-nudity that they can stand. As the night goes on, they get even more tripped out on drugs but are soon stalked by a relentless killer. Realizing that the killer is the prodigal son of a local woodsman who went insane years ago after watching a group of people in a similar fashion, they try to get away from the site before they end up being killed.

The Good News: This here was one of the more impressive slashers of the newer era. One of the best is that it does well as what it came across as, a drug trip. Since most of the characters in the film were on one substance or another for the bulk of the film, it gives plenty of times to go buck wild with the visuals and this one really runs with it. The flick's imagery, kinetic editing and distinctive cinematography, laced in one important scene where the entire sequence is seen through the eyes of an acid trip, were just that tweaked up. There's also the novel idea, which really scores big points for making the final girl inadvertently take acid during the climactic chase scene, as surely the only worse thing than being chased by a homicidal maniac with an ax is doing whilst you're completely tripping off. Witnessing a typical slasher unravel within such an LSD inspired setting helped in making these familiar grounds feel somewhat novel. This is really impressive, making something that is not a universal experience yet making it feel like something that can happen well-done. This is one of the few times that managed to capture what its like to be on drugs successfully. The fact that the killer comes along with creepy Reagan voice and mannerisms and a no bull approach as to doing the human laundry upped the enjoyment factor as well. Despite having a few moments where he mouths off some admittedly fine one-liners, the fact that most of the time is spent on the killer instead around the party with an ax and a will to kill, making for fun times. There's a lot of great kills in here, mainly through the use of an ax. They do get chopped up nicely, including plenty of disembowelments, dismemberments, being hacked up, decapitations and much more, giving this one a really obscene body-count total, passing the two-dozen mark that only a few have reached. The film also scores points for a virtuoso set piece where 'Reagan' crashes a hippie party, and proceeds to tear through the group with extreme vengeance, giving it plenty of gore and action to behold. That continues throughout the film, which has plenty of great, gory kills mixed with a lot of action. There's numerous stalking scenes in here, a spectacular final chase and a couple of fights to keep the action going. These here make the film incredibly interesting.

The Bad News: This here didn't have a whole lot of flaws but they were there. One of the bigger flaws is that the flick did put out a handful of political statements, for better or worse. There's just way too much poking around with politics and politics in general, which after a while eventually gets old. Even worse is that there's plenty towards a topic which not a whole lot will really care for, as the continuous use of the topic won't appeal to all out there. The only other flaw is that the flick had some considerable pacing issues, especially during its middle block. It features people doing drugs and humping like rabbits, more often than not at the expense moving the film forward. There was a definite feeling of less tripping out for more slashing, as the Reagan butchering hippies sequences kept getting pushed aside when they should've been brought to the forefront. As well, most of the subplots at hand didn't do much, as the ex-boyfriend and hillbilly encounters were just part of them. These here lower the film somewhat.

The Final Verdict: With just a few flaws and some wonderful parts to it, there's plenty in here to enjoy. Recommended for more modern-leaning slasher fans, big fans of the life-styles showcased or of the technical crew, while those who aren't that comfortable with the political issues should seek caution.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Full Male and Female Nudity, extreme drug use and several sex scenes
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Makes a lot more sense if you've been around hippies!
clintonreednotestine1 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I can really relate to this movie growing up and living in Humboldt County and going to the concerts that sparked David Arquette's imagination. If you've never been to a hippie festival then this movie really doesn't have the same affect but it is still pretty funny. It has gore and comedy with some satire. Not just anti-republican satire but anti-liberal/hippie satire. My favorite satire involves Courtney Cox as a hippie trying to protect killer dogs only to be attacked by one of the dogs. I've met many people like that which makes it only that much funnier. The anti-republican satire is really good as well, like when the rednecks attack the main characters for no reason. Thomas Jane is great in this film and shows he can be funny with out cracking jokes, him and Paul Rubens work well together.

If you like gore and satire with some drug humor check it out.
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Saw the Pre-Screening tonight and Loved it...
djcruiser15 April 2007
Gore A+ Theme A+ Originality A+ Acting B- Overall A

I went to a Pre-screening in Baltimore tonight at the Historic Senator Theatre. Went in a little skeptical, but left completely impressed.

There is a great deal of originality with the story...I know if you've seen 1 slasher film you've seen another Slasher film...But this one has a political message underlying if you follow closely. It has an original theme of Hippies going to the Redwood forest for a "Love Fest" and being hacked-up by an obsessed Ronald Reagan fan. There were a lot of Kills, some drug usage and a lot of nudity. So If you are into Horror movies just for those reasons then you will like it also. You can figure out early on who the Reagan-mask wearing killer is but it doesn't ruin the movie for you like most horror movies would. Courtney Cox-Arquette has a small Cameo that is very funny. And Paul Ruebens always saying "F_CK YOU " is funny as hell.

Go check it, it will be worth you time and Money.
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Granola soaked in blood...
evileyereviews12 September 2010
David Arquette has created a carnival of drug hazed carnage in this fun little B horror whose political machinations are as subtle as a race riot. This flick unfairly gets a low rating cuz people just take their political intrigues too seriously, and while the republican right is portrayed in a rather severe light, the liberal hippies are depicted as retarded imbeciles almost deserving their punishment. The acting, especially for a B movie, was decidedly competent. Arquette's direction show that his career should rightfully be found in the director's chair. The story itself was funny, inventive, and wonderfully convoluted without being overdone; and that dialog... The camera was wonderfully dedicated to expressing the fog of a drug bender in the throes of a blood fest. Good clean fun this was, naked granola soaked in blood. Genruk'

Evil Eye Reviews
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Nice try
kfantastico21 April 2007
It's true, everyone that saw The Tripper at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, CA, last night (4-10-07) had a great time. It was a sold out show of around 500 people, David Arquette and other members of the cast/crew were there, and lots of local folks showed up to support their friends and family members cast as extras (it was shot locally here in town). The event made it seem waaaay better than it really was. There's truly something special about seeing a movie, even a bad one, with a full house of excited people.

However, I missed the show last night. Rather, I heard all about it from several of my friends that were there. But since I was curious, and I wanted to see what the quirky D.A. would produce as a filmmaker, I checked it out at another venue earlier tonight, one with a modest crowd and no fanfare. What a difference a milieu makes.

While slasher flicks aren't my favorite genre, I do like good ones, e.g., Scream, Halloween, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original, of course). But The Tripper was bad, and not even "bad" in an enjoyable way. I could tell that everyone gave it their best shot -- the makeup effects and acting were pretty good -- but the story was weak, the humor fell flat, the political subtext was sophomoric, and the characters were all unappealing (except for the lovely and underrated Jaimie King). How this didn't end up straight to video I'll never know.
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I guess the best thing I could say about this is AVOID at all cost!
MarkC13 August 2007
This has got to be one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time. The acting is horrible and the scenes flipping back and forth are just an annoyance. The use of red as a fade seem that the director was trying for a Quentin Tarantino effect that seems to be lost on this movie. I think I would rather watch "Police Academy - Ten" before I watch this movie again. This movie tried to be a horror movie when in fact the movie itself is horrible. What did the writers think when they wrote this? Do they honestly believe that hippies are still around like they were in the 70's? Another point concerning this movie is it should have never been produced. I'm sure this movie will lose money. I guess the best thing I could say about this is AVOID at all cost! If you considered this movie good then I apologize if you think my comments are to critical.... I just enjoy good movies.
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Not bad, but not good either
dustinhunter7075 November 2007
OK now this movie wasn't completely horrible because the whole idea of a psychopath obsessing himself with Ronald Reagan and then dressing up like him to go kill hippies actually worked and was pretty frightening. But the gore was really fake looking and the characters were just completely dumb because they were really high the whole movie and didn't pay attention to anything that could have saved their lives. I like David Arquette, but I think he needed to rewrite this one a little before he made it and make the gore a little more realistic as well. Overall I give it a 6 out of 10 because it had a good storyline, but it kind of failed as the movie continued on. I would only recommend this to those who like brainless horror films with dumb characters and fake gore.
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unsuccessful mixture of murder and politics
Buddy-5112 October 2008
In "The Tripper," a slasher movie with a political conscience, a serial killer wearing a Ronald Reagan mask stalks a group of anachronistic hippies (so anachronistic they have cell phones along with their tie dye t-shirts and psychedelic van) who have come to the forests of Northern California to celebrate free love and partake in unlimited drug use at a Woodstock-type outdoor event.

The Red State/Blue State divide is never far from the filmmakers' minds as a bunch of gun-toting rednecks go up against a group of Flower Power love children who suddenly descend on the area. The saving grace, if indeed there is one, of this gory, but not particularly disturbing, splatter-fest is the tongue-in-cheek humor it manages to display from time to time. Otherwise, this odd little mixture of horror movie clichés and outdated political satire (does anybody really care about the Reagan administration any more?) falls strangely flat.
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Very Well Done!
bert-7420 April 2007
I just saw the premier of "The Tripper" in Santa Cruz last night.

This movie was a lot of fun to watch. Never a dull moment and it was the funniest horror show I've ever seen. The audience laughed through the entire piece.

Shot in the redwoods near Santa Cruz this movie is filled with some really gorgeous shots (when the blood isn't all over the screen).

It has enough depth to have you thinking as you drive home. There are a lot of nuances that don't sink in till after the movie is over and you start putting all the pieces together.

Well Done David!!
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Different and Creative.
s-toubal5 December 2007
The Blood and Gore was a bit comical, but overall it was an enjoyable movie. Some of the death scenes were done with some creativity and I think they hit the nail right in the head as far as depicting how Hippies behave and live their lives for nothing, but smoking pot or getting high with mushrooms, acid and whatever else drug they can get their hands on. This concert the Hips were attending reminded me of that event in the desert called (The Burning Man). David Arquette used a different approach to directing this and it was an effective approach for the most part. The acting was decent with some actors being better than others. So overall I give this a 6 out of 10. Not bad for Arquette's directorial debut.
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Below average Slasher.
desire_temptation22 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Plot: A group of hippies attends The American Love Fest. This festival unites the free hippies in a massive display of love, freedom, and drug use. The location of the festival is inside a forest and in the midst of the forest there awaits a man hell bent on wrapping his axe around the head of any person who wonders his forest. One by one, hippies start disappearing, and this strikes the attention of the sheriff, who seems to be the only person concerned with the notion of a maniac lost in the woods. After the deaths of a few, the unenviable happens; the masses of hippies find one of the victims tied feet first to one of the branches of a tree. This instills fear and causes widespread panic. However, it does not last for long; it actually drives the people to dwell deeper into the woods, where they party long and hard in front of a bone fire.

The killer, who wears the mask of former President Ronald Reagan, reaches the pinnacle of his efforts when he rampages around the bone fire, rips of limbs, decapitates heads, and chops other body parts on a massive scale. The funny thing is nobody seemed to run away to safety. Instead, they sat and stared as each victim falls prey to Ronald. The climax is the most famous slasher movie cliché involving the drug free, socially withdrawn, troubled person, who, you guest it, is of course female, and the only person who did not have sex, fights with the evil Ronald Reagan. She eventually kills him with a hammer. Although, guess what, Ronald is not dead. The deputy informs the Sheriff that the body of Ronald had no been recovered, and the end scene shows Ronald stabbing the most annoying character in the film - the event manager. Other slasher clichés include, the murder of the informative old man who heeds warnings to the unsuspecting victims, the killer who turns out to be avenging to death of his mother by killing those who represent the same people who in his mind killed his mother. The couple interrupted during sex who happen to die, the corrupt official, the interaction with the town locals on the way to the festival, where they happen to get drawn into a fight, the crazy ex-boyfriend showing up at the very end, the law abiding sheriff who is the only person, apart from the hero, fearful of things to come, and many others I cannot think of right now. Oh, hang on, the killer who mysteriously vanishes into thin air leaving behind nothing other then his mask.

View: This is just another cliché filled horror/slasher film that brings nothing new to the screen. The setting, plot, characters, dialogue and everything about the film is substandard. Heck, it bored the hell out of me.

Rating: 3/10 - It was terrible, but I've seen worse. I wouldn't recommend it. It's not even worth downloading the sucker for free.
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Trip out on the Tripper
gaus1721 February 2007
Not having to face the facts, this movie is beyond weird. The tripper wears a Ronald Reagan mask while he butchers unsuspecting hippies. David Arquette took this movie and ran away with it, ax in hand. The plot seems kind of violent, i mean c'mon, Hippies? Who is going after hippies, but hey? This movie will trip out even the most hardened horror movie trippers. David Arquette's did a good job at directing, writing and acting in it. The Ronald Reagan mask is real 1980's cahuenga pass. It reminds me of the Max Headroom days when all we saw was cold war, berlin war and Ronald Reagan on t.v. This will probably get some hippies scared of a walking Ronald Reagan.
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Don't we see movies to escape reality?
thebigrodney23 December 2007
I had to stop this movie at about 25 minutes in because of the bad acting, horrible dialogue and the "political comment a minute" script. We go to see movies to get away from the bad news of everyday life. The last thing I want in a slasher film (or any film) is more commentary on Bush is bad, Bush is good, war is evil, corporate American is profiting from killing children, love everyone, legalize drugs, blah, blah, blah. I just saw a movie that could have very easily taken a political slant but didn't...."I Am Legand" with Will Smith. That was a good movie.

I want boobs, blood, a surprise ending, a twist, a bunch of good "jumps" in a horror film. David Arquette is a complete DORK. Go away please.
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David Arquette should stick with acting...
MrGKB23 May 2008
...because based on the evidence of "The Tripper" he's an average-at-best director and a distinctly second- or even third-string screenwriter, though no doubt hamstrung by the scripting contributions of Joe "Darkness Falls" Harris. I'm sorry, I admire good intentions as well as the next guy, but only when they rise above mundane infernal construction projects, if you catch my drift. "The Tripper" is essentially a vanity project, and suffers accordingly.

The production values are alright for a relatively low-budget affair, especially the at-times lovely DP work from Bobby "Arlington Road" Bukowski, and the acting varies from earnestly professional (particularly leads Lukas "Mars Attacks" Haas and Jaime "Sin City" King) to egregiously self-conscious (most notably the ever-moronic-but-somehow-likable Jason "I owe Kevin Smith everything" Mewes and Paul "I AM Pee-Wee!" Reubens), with various shades in-between, including a slumming Thomas "The Mist" Jane as a local sheriff doing his best to keep a straight face. No one, though, collectively or individually, is able to redeem the sophomoric script.

I won't bore my gentle reader with yet another synopsis; you can find that in profusion elsewhere. "The Tripper" is, at best, a slasher film pseudo-parody that plays things too seriously to be genuinely funny, and too tongue-in-cheek to be remotely scary. Arquette should have gone for one or the other, not both. It's a watch-once film that I'm quite relieved I found at the library instead of wasting money buying or renting it.
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A dead President killing faux hippies? What's not to love?
MBunge7 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
You might think a horror-comedy about Ronald Reagan killing hippies that ends with an environmental speech by Robert Kennedy Jr. won't be much fun. But with The Tripper, you'd be wrong.

Set during President George W. Bush's first term in office, The Tripper concerns a group of faux hippies. By faux hippies, I mean they dress and act and take drugs like it was the early 1970s and not the early 21st century. The trio of young couples - Sam and Ivan (Jaime King and Lukas Haas), Joey and Linda (Jason Mewes and Marsha Thomason) and Jack and Jade (Stephen Heath and Paz de la Huerta) - have all piled into a van and are heading to a music festival in the woods. Sam hooked up with this crew after a bad drug trip, trying to get away from her possessive and violent boyfriend Jimmy (Balthazar Getty). After a run in with a fairly generic group of rednecks, Sam and company make it to the festival. But before long, people start turning up dead, pushing local cop Buzz (Thomas Jane) to try and close the festival down. The spirit of freedom and the desire to get high won't be denied, however, and the concert goes on…right up until an orgy of murder perpetrated by a crazy guy who thinks he's Ronald Reagan. The murderer also has a pig named George W. to eat the remains of his victims.

When you hear the politically tinged details of the story, you might think this is a strident, overwrought piece of liberal propaganda…but you couldn't be more wrong. This is a fun little film that has no actual agenda than trying hard to entertain you. It may cast Reagan as an ax murderer but it's almost as hard on its faux hippie main characters, who, except for Sam, are all huge losers. I don't know if David Arquette thought he was making a political film, but The Tripper is as serious about politics as Groundhog Day is about meteorology.

What Arquette did make is a movie that's constantly working to please you. Whether it's flashes of gore, a couple of nudists walking by, wisecracks from Thomas Jane or a concert promoter who really, really loves the F-word, there's always something coming at you. A lot of films can start out strong but hit a wall. They reach a point where the story just starts killing time until it gets to the end. That never happens with The Tripper. There's no dead spot where it runs out of plot or has the characters lapse into a stretch of pointless screaming and running. Some scenes are shot in a very pedestrian style and no one involved in this movie had any clue how to film a fight scene, but there's a lot of interesting things splashed on the screen. This movie has its own look and its own sensibility, which is fairly impressive for a novice filmmaker working in a somewhat difficult genre. Horror-comedies can go very wrong, very easily, but Arquette strikes a nice balance between humor and slaughter.

He also gets some decent performances out of his cast. Thomas Jane looks like he's having a great time as the cop with a Fu Manchu mustache who has to deal with these faux hippies. Jaime King, as the only character with anything like a real backstory, manages to play a traditional horror heroine without lapsing into self-parody. Jason Mewes, however, is the standout performer of the film. Best known as Jay from Jay and Silent Bob in Kevin Smith's movies, Mewes shows off genuine charisma and screen presence. I'm not sure if he can actually, you know, act. But there are many skilled actors who would kill for Mewes' natural appeal.

This is exactly the sort of movie I'm always hoping for when I grab a DVD off the shelf. It's a film not that many folks have seen or even heard of, but it's still a good piece of entertainment that you'll be glad you saw. The next time you're looking for something to watch, take a ride with The Tripper.
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One of the most awful movies I've ever seen in my life
nizze-131 July 2007
How this movie's got a rating of 6.7 is totally mind blowing to me. It's seriously one of the worst movies I've ever seen and believe me, iv'e seen my share of bad movies. My tip to you is to avoid this movie at all costs. If you see it on a shelf somewhere, just run and never look back. Yeah. Thats how bad it is. It's kind of a scream rip-off, but worse. The only highlight's in this movie are the occasional one liners that are, just so incredible bad that it makes you laugh your lungs out. Maybe this is a movie for those who have never seen a horror film before because I never got scared while watching this. Not even close. Instead I got a sudden urge to sleep.
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The Film You Have Been Waiing For
gavin694225 September 2007
A group of young drug users and liberty-lovers attend the Free Love Festival (as filmed in Big Basin National Park in Santa Cruz). But, of course, not everyone is in love with free love or drugs. Take, for example, Ronald Reagan. In this film, we see what happens when an ax-wielding Gipper faces off against a forest full of stoners.

Although this film is considered a 2006 release, it did not hit a wide release until 2007. And in 2007, two horror icons released a new film: David Arquette and Rob Zombie. Zombie, a horror fan all his life, made the less-than-perfect "Halloween" where violence and wrestlers are all we get. Arquette, who has appeared in many, many horror films, combines gore, political satire, and an amazing cast (none of whom auditioned but were hand-picked) to create a fun, fast-paced and fresh film. (Arquette also wrote this, as well as stars in a minor role -- his brother gets a much larger one.)

Thomas Jane ("The Punisher"), James King (who I loved as Angela in "Slackers"), Jason Mewes ("Feast"), and Paul Reubens ("Blow") appear. I was just blown away with the cast here. Mewes, not known for his acting, really pulled it together for this film. King starred and was more lovely than ever. And Reubens was both evil and hilarious, a perfect combination -- not to mention almost setting a record for profanity in one scene.

Some of the gore was cheesy. The chopped off hand scene was a bit fake looking. Okay, a lot fake looking. But this comes from KNB effects, especially Howard Berger, and it is hard to criticize them. One of the crew, Tami Lane, heard of her Oscar nomination for "Chronicles of Narnia" while working on the film. (Berger and Lane shared the award.) Oddly, she is not listed in the credits for "Tripper".

I really do not like the drug vision camera shots. I have complained in other reviews (most notably "Snakes on Plane") how much I dislike using distorted vision to show the viewpoint of a monster, or in this case a high person. It just seems cheesy. But, at least, they did not need a dozen establishing shots of marijuana plants to let you know it was a drug movie (like "Evil Bong").

But the fun and action made up for all the flaws. And the political satire was brilliant. Maybe that was not from Arquette, or he is secretly smarter than he comes across. The discussion of Reagan's jellybeans and deinstitutionalization. Many other political and legal perspectives were presented (such as the debate of logging versus the environment) and I was just enthralled. This was a horror film with intelligence.

I met Arquette and Mewes in February 2007, and had been extremely excited since then to see the film. Despite my high expectations, I was not let down at all. Oh, did I mention the nudity? Yes, there is plenty of nudity, too. And a portable toilet scene that outdoes "Hills Have Eyes II". This may be one of the better horror films of 2006. Do not miss your chance to get a copy.

The DVD is loaded with bonus material, including audio commentary with Arquette, Reubens and Thomas Jane. We learn that Arquette wanted every little thing to be a symbol -- money, politics, violence, drugs. Exactly what everything symbolizes is unclear. But it is still a good commentary.
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An Acidic Trip
jamhorner2 February 2008
What do you get when you cross Republican president Ronald Reagan, hippies, hatchets, a homicidal maniac and a whole lot of drugs? You get David Arquette's The Tripper. Basically the movie is about a group of friends, who are hippies, that travel through the northern wood of California for an all night rock n' roll concert, similar to that of Woodstock. The problem is, people start dying and turning up in pieces by the hands of a lunatic dressed up like Reagan. This movie was an equally balanced horror flick in my opinion. I enjoyed the horror/scares; I loved the outstanding lighting techniques, but I somewhat enjoyed the acting and the plot structure. In fair's game, I enjoyed this film and I did not think it was a waste of time, and it is a very good average horror movie.

First off, I enjoyed the horror and the gore that is placed throughout this movie. It's easy to see that this film follows "standard serial killer guidelines," which is why it was such a good homage to slasher flicks of the 80's and 90's. in this movie "Reagan" wields a non-firearm weapon (hatchet), super human strength, brutal attacks and a scary mask, your typical Republican serial killer. We even have our anti-survival-girl (the heroine that does seem like the hero of the movie). There is a good amount of blood and gore that is NOT typical in slasher flicks, but when dealing with a hatchet it is very necessary to have that amount of blood. The killer does pop out of nowhere at the most inopportune times, which plays for an effective "jump-out scare." There is a good helping of all to familiar blood. The blood in this movie is not as clear as other movie blood, but rather thick and red-pinkish, similar to that of Tim Burton blood that we saw in films like Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd. All in all a good scare from this movie.

The lighting in this movie was a marvel; in fact, it was a huge component to the films genre and its drug themed story. The lighting provided a great mind expander to enhance the already intoxicated feel this movie has. There was a beautiful circular array lighting that had a tie-dye design to it whenever somebody was in silhouette, there were fantastic straight primary colors used and the natural coloring (green plants, blue sky, fire and blood) were amplified to give the audience the blinding feel of the mind on horrible drugs. Ultimately and curiously enough, these amped colors and tie-dye designs only seemed to be present when one of the main characters took a hit. The lighting, as funny as it sounds, played a huge part in the films genre.

The acting was sort of a bittersweet thing for me because by a normal eye, the acting was great but I can see that the emotion and the reactions didn't fit the characters or the situation. Jamie King, who plays the main actress, does a good performance but she tends to overreact to the most subtle things, but when the killer comes, her performance lowers. There were okay performances by Lukas Haas and Balthazar Getty. Jason Mews did not seem like the pot-smoking-foul-mouthed bad boy in this movie, I enjoyed that, he performance was good but I don't think that his character should have been so "light." And Paul Reubens, who plays Frank Baker the owner of the concert, was an obnoxious character who swore too much and seemed like a plot device to set up the ending.

Overall, this movie had a great homage to slasher movies with some good scares and amazing lighting, though the acting and the plot seemed a bit unorthodox, ultimately giving this movie a good average rating. I do recommend this movie for people who enjoy a good slasher flick as well as humorous political satire. Though, I would not recommend this film to those who don't like comedy-horrors like Cabin Fever or Slither. I enjoyed it but I did not like it, basically I have a bittersweet relationship with this movie.
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Not bad
jason_1330 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Tripper is a movie, directed by the famous actor David Arquette. It's about couple of teens, heading to a concert when their plans change direction. A serial killer is on the loose.

At least for me, Arquette's directing skills are much more interesting than the movie itself. Whether the good old Dewey Reily is good behind the camera, or he is just wasting his time, after having already achieved pretty much everything.

The Tripper's directing is completely casual. There is absolutely nothing original or surprising in terms of direction, editing or even writing. Cheap dialog, fast paced chase scenes, everything, you'll find in slashers today. However, The Tripper manages to keep all slasher rules. Despite the first impressions, the movie is far from being ambitious. That turns out to be a big plus later on, when you realize The Tripper is a perfectly bearable horror film.

The cast deserves a look. Thomas Jane, Jamie King, Jason Mewes and of course David Arquette. Most are average at best, but their popularity does bring refinement to the picture in some weird way. There is even a ridiculous Courtney Cox cameo near the end of the film. I appreciate her acting skills, she's a good actress, but that was pathetic. It's like, her and David were having an argument whether she deserves a role in his movie and their decision is a brainless, ten seconds cameo.

Apart from the eccentric cast, The Tripper is a fine, contemporary slasher. The killer appears to be a fan of president Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, the opening scene shows us the background of the villain and there is a complete lack of mystery and suspense during the final 15-20 minutes. This is the movie's major flaw. You really do have to think twice before trying to trick the audience in such a naive way. There is a scene where we are supposed to believe that one of the chicks's ex-boyfriend is the killer. I mean, this is dumb. What's the point of the first scene? The killer's profile is good. I liked it. As I said, we know who he is, but that doesn't affect his image though. There is a very high amount of death scenes. Slasher fans, such as myself, won't be disappointed. Althougt most of the gore is used in a comic way, it's still graphic.

Overall, The Tripper is a positive surprise, horror fans should view. Not flawless, not great, but quite watchable and entertaining for what it is.
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ALERT this movie is politically motivated
fred3f23 October 2007
This is not a review of the artistic or entertainment qualities of the movie. This is an ALERT or warning, for those who care about such things, that the movie is politically motivated. It is an attempt to subconsciously persuade the audience that certain political figures and views are "dangerous."

There is a movement in Hollywood to make movies are don't seem "political" but are based on political assumptions. The idea is to make the audience agree with the assumptions in order to go along with the movie which is (in this case) an suspense action flic. When the audience walks out of the movie they now believe the assumptions without actually thinking about it. It is a propaganda tool which was invented in Nazi Germany and is now the M. O. for too many Hollywood productions. It only works if it is done repetitively and without discussion of the actual issue. The viewer is given the idea that "everyone knows that there are crazy conservatives out there who are nuts about Reagan and one of them could become a killer." Since Hollywood is predominately liberal you probably won't see a movie about a Clinton fan who goes nuts and kills church goers. But if such a movie ever comes out I will warn against it also.

The movie is entertaining, so go to it if you like this kind of entertainment, but be aware you are being politically manipulated and if you are aware, that will be enough to negate the effects.

Hollywood needs to stop trying to manipulate the public. There is nothing wrong with a political film, but it should be boldly political, not a manipulative political film that pretends to be an action/suspense film.
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