The Tripper (2007)
Director: David Arquette
Thomas Jane/Buzz Hall
A serial killer with a Ronald Reagan fetish and a particular disdain for hippies finds himself in slash-slash heaven when a flower power concert sets up in his neck of the woods. Its hippie carving time! NANCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Move over Jason, look Out Freddie. HEEERE'S RONNIE!
I’ve been jones-ing for David Arquette’s THE TRIPPER since I first heard of its inception. It just had a swell ring to it: hippies (70’s) versus a Ronal Reagan maniac (80’s); all wrapped up in a happy go “f*ck yourself” slasher motif. After its distribution fiasco (After Dark Films was gonna put it out – kept changing the release date – Arquette took the film back and self distributed) I was sure I wouldn’t get to toke this celluloid blunt on the big screen. Much like everything else in life; I was thankfully wrong.
The Tripper couldn’t have had a better title tagged to its flying ass as that’s what it came across as; a freaking drug trip. Being that most of the characters in the film were on one substance or another for the bulk of the running time; it gave Arquette the liberty to go buck wild with the visuals; and man did he run with it. The last time I saw a movie that managed to capture what its like to be on drugs this successfully was Natural born Killers. I had to double check my Pepsi (laced with rum) now and again to see if somebody had slipped me a roofy. No dice on that count; the flick’s imagery, kinetic editing and distinctive cinematography were just that tweaked up! By result; witnessing a typical slasher unravel within such an LSD inspired setting helped in making these familiar grounds feel somewhat novel.
The fact that good old Reagan came with creepy Reagan voice/mannerisms and a no bull approach as to doing the human laundry upped my enjoyment factor as well. He was one oddball and pissed off mofo that took great pride in hacking these dumb-dumbs to bits. I respected that! Wait till you see him crash a hippie party with an axe and a will to kill; FUN TIMES! On a deeper level, the flick did put out a handful of political statements, for better and for worse. Now I don’t know much or care about American politics (or politics in general), so the whole Liberal, Conservative jive went over my noggin. I did enjoy the random pokes at current president George Bush, the account on real life violence versus onscreen and the pros and cons of Flower Power (is a tree more important than a human life?). Double down on top of that clever and side splitting dialogue, scene stealing cameos (Paul Reubens owned!) an endearing rebellious attitude, and a cast that rocked it so hard that I was out of rocks; and you get fun times in a bong for the whole Addams Family.
On the bummer dude, I’m out of hash side of the spliff; the flick had some considerable pacing issues, especially during its middle block. I get it; people do drugs and hump like rabbits with strap on carrots; I got it; can we move on? The line “Less tripping more slashing” kept popping in my grey matter. It all became redundant after a while. Furthermore; most of the subplots at hand didn’t do much for me with the ex -boyfriend & hillbillies busting chops stuff being my least favorites. I would’ve traded every subplot in this film for further Reagan butchering hippies sequences in the blink of a blink. Sometimes simplicity can go a long way; this was one of them cases.
As the end credits rolled though, I felt content with this buzz. The Tripper wore its name well; cause that’s what it was for me; a slasherific, flesh filled, giggle heavy trip. Now you gonna hit some of this? Yes? No? Well make up your mind or pass it around! Hogger!
If I go by this flick; Ronald Reagan was a great President! Here he chopped heads/limbs off, eviscerated many and was as stab happy as the next guy! Entrails, guts, blood, surgery, chainsaw fun…VIVA REAGAN!
Jaime King (Samantha) was effective as the “final girl”. Her sizzling looks and hefty acting chops brought the part home. Jason Mewes (Joey) did his “spit fire – zany dialogue” shtick with gusto. Great shtick! Paz de la Huerta (Jade) didn’t have much of a part but her horny demeanor and incredibly round behind kept my eyes where they belonged; ON HER! Paul Reubens (Frank) stole the show every time he popped up to cuss like a sailor on leave. Funny! Lukas Haas (Ivan) was solid as the more “grounded” duder of the group while Thomas “the f*cking man” Jane (Buzz Hall) owned all with his “killer stache” and charisma.
T & A
It’s a movie about hippies getting sloshed…YES! We duders get melons galore, some bush, random bootie and some light girl on girl fun. The ladies get a schlep’s white ass and peanut dick.
If you ever wanted to know what drugs felt like this flick was has close as you can get. Arquette tripped out his movie hardcore, with LSD visuals, mind numbing scene transitions while retaining what makes a horror film work; tension, shock bits and dread filled mood.
We get some fitting trippy music (reggae and shit) and a sly use of an American anthem-ish ditty when Ronny popped up. And was it me or did the score sport some Friday the 13th type of ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma spiel? Good shit!
It’s Friday the 13Th on acid! The Tripper had all of the slasher ingredients heavily checked! Brutal kills, tits galore, groovy killer back-story and a creepy ass loony-tune bringing order the old fashioned way. And it gave us some bonuses along the way via its trippy visuals, “kiss my ass” manner, its out there humor and bitch slapping dialogue. Now, the middle section did drag like a bad lay, with too many subplots at play, drug/sex to the point of redundancy and not enough slashing going on. But fortunately the last block kicked the red grub into overdrive and had this slasher fan signed, sealed and mailed to Irak! Bring on the sequel! I wanna trip again!
Arquette's wife Courteney Cox has a cameo in the film and so does Balthazar Getty (Jimmy) and David Arquette himself.
It always bothered me that the tagline on the poster: "Move over Jason, look Out Freddie. HEEERE'S RONNIE!" miss-spelled "Freddy".
If this one does well on DVD expect The Tripper 2: Burning Bush to follow.
CHECK OUT THE TRIPPER MYSPACE HERE