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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 36: The Tripper

The Tripper
Slashing the budget
Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone. Go Giants! If you're not a sports fan, it's best you avoid all social media today and instead curl up with some horror reviews. I haven't reviewed a slashed movie in a while, so what better way to celebrate than with a movie written and directed by David Arquette, featuring Jason Mewes, and a killer Ronald Reagan?

The Tripper stars Jaime King (Sin City, The Spirit) as Samantha, a sort-of hippie going to the Free American Love festival with her hippie friends in the woods. We learn that many years ago, a young boy brutally chainsawed an activist trying to protect trees from being chopped down. Samantha has a bad acid trip during a fight with her conservative (now ex-) boyfriend and is now permanently paranoid. The group is hasseled by local rednecks and the town sheriff played by Thomas Jane (The Punisher). Sam's friends and other concert-goers are being brutally picked off by a mysterious figure in a suit. Terrified that her ex-boyfriend is following her, Sam desperately wants to leave, but her remaining friends are too far gone on drugs to leave. The Ex is at the festival, but he's not the one doing the killing. The killer looks and sounds strangely like Ronald Reagan. How will Sam survive, what does this have to do with the young boy many years ago, why is he killing hippies, and how does Ronald Reagan fit into all of this?
There you go again
David Arquette does a good job of writing and directing The Tripper. The movie is pretty much an homage to other horror movies, including Wes Craven's and Sam Raimi's work. Even the Ronald Reagan character is similar to Michael Myers from Halloween. The premise is silly, but in an enjoyable way if that makes sense. The idea of an evil (or eviler if you prefer) Ronald Reagan is a very funny concept. The references to Ronald Reagan are particularly enjoyable, but if you're not aware of some of his sayings and mannerisms, the jokes might go over your head. Even the title of the movie is a play on Ronald Reagan's nickname, The Gipper. Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) is excellent as the sleazy, foul-mouthed concert promoter. Jason Mewes (Clerks, Dogma) plays a more toned-down version of himself, but if you're a fan of "Jay and Silent Bob" you'll still enjoy his performance.

There's a trickle-down theory in your pants

For the most part, The Tripper has a good mix of humor and horror. There is some fun kills and gruesome gore. Unfortunately, the humor takes a bit away from the fear of being hacked to pieces. While the movie opts more for sick humor and gore, it would have been nice if they took the goofiness down just a bit to help out the suspense. One problem I had was the relationship between Samantha and her ex-boyfriend. If he's such a hardcore conservative, why is he dating a hippie? And why is he infuriated that she's doing drugs? It really doesn't make any sense.

The Tripper is a horror comedy, thankfully not the other way around. There is a decent amount of violence and plenty of blood and guts. The movie does suffer from a lack of tension because of the humor, though. Good performances by the actors and good direction make this a fairly enjoyable watch. If you're a hardcore conservative without a shred of humor, this movie isn't for you. Otherwise, sit back, put on some Grateful Dead, and enjoy the movie.


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