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The Tripper (2006)

  Tags: Balthazar Getty, Brad Hunt, Christopher Nelson, comedic, Courtney Cox-Arquette, David Arquette, Jamie King, Jason Mewes, Lukas Haas, Marsha Thomason, Paul Ruebens, political, Rick Overton, slasher, survival, The Tripper, Thomas Jane

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David Arquette
93 minutes
David Arquette, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Jamie King, Thomas Jane, Balthazar Getty, Lukas Haas, Paul Ruebens, Jason Mewes, Christopher Nelson, Marsha Thomason, Rick Overton, Brad Hunt, Balthazar Getty

Actor David Arquette makes his directorial debut with The Tripper, a movie that has been dubbed the first "political horror film". Part political, part comedy, and all slasher, this film takes the clichéd horror premise and adds some interesting new twists to deliver a clever and fun watch. The movie was part of the After Dark Horror Films lineup last year, but was only shown one night. I would have seen it that particular night had my friend not gotten lost on the way to the theater, missing our showing. Originally given a wider April 20th theatrical release, After Dark Films attempted to change the date last-minute, before David decided to part ways with the company and release it himself. This meant that only 50 theaters would get the picture, which explains the disappointing $20-thousand take at the box office. Regardless, the movie will likely make back its budget on DVD sales when it's released in October of this year.

I enjoyed this flick, despite it taking a while to pick up. The first 30-minutes just follows the group of friends to give us proper character development before they all receive their inevitable deaths. A silhouette of a well-dressed killer bearing an axe is first shown, until we get closer to the hour mark and a man dressed in a Ronald Reagan costume is fully revealed. The Reagan killer was an interesting character who offs a lot of people pretty fast, leaving us viewers a little shocked at how little time the guy wastes taking care of his victims. Jason Mewes once again plays one of the lead stoners of the group, and offers one of the funniest lines in the movie. David Arquette has a cameo as one of a trio of annoying rednecks that harass the group early in the film, and his wife Courtney Cox shows up towards the end as a blonde quickly killed by Reagan, when he decides to crash the concert and starts hacking away at everyone.

So the story follows a group of friends/modern-day hippies as they make their way to a concert festival being held in the woods by Paul Rueben's (Pee-Wee Herman) character. After a night of partying with plenty of illegal substances, music, and boozing, a Ronald Reagan-obsessed killer decides to take his hatred for hippies a step further and pays the concert-goers a visit, killing anyone that gets in his way. The movie's pacing in the beginning is pretty slow and a lot of the satire and comedy didn't really do it for me, but the characters weren't annoying and kept my interest on the screen. As a writer, David Arquette needs more work, but he has potential as a director. Hopefully he'll stay within the genre since he seems to know what to give us horror fans.

The comedy and satire fell a bit flat, but as a slasher it was an entertaining watch. Interesting characters, deaths, and a decent amount of blood and guts. Worth a check.

Posted on December 8, 2010 - 11:52pm | FrighT MasteR