Bad horror movies are like watching a trainwreck. There are bodies all over the place and everybody is screaming in agony like a little school girl. And you can’t turn your head away. So imagine my complete enjoyment when I received the Tripper to review. I screamed like a little school girl, my rabbit fainted and my girlfriend actually was able to turn her head away several times. I understand why they are the stronger sex cause I watched intently and was considering therapy when my 90 minutes was up.
The Tripper is the story of Ronald Reagan gone wrong. The back story indicates trauma to a young kid named Gus (played by Noah Maschan ) who chainsawed a tree hugger who was preventing his father, a lumberjack from performing his job. One would assume he spent the rest of his adolescence in a mental institution and then re-appeared as an axe wielding, Ronald-Reagan mask wearing psycho killer (played by Christopher Allen Nelson).
Transfer to the present and we are in the middle of a hippie loving, drug taking rock festival hosted by Frank Baker (played by Paul Ruebens). The mayor Hal Burton (played by Rick Overton) has instructed Buzz Hall (played by Thomas Jane) to watch over the proceedings and make sure nobody gets killed like previous festivals. Enter six hippies including Joey (played by Jason Mewes), Jack (played by Stephen Heath), and Samantha (played by Jaime King). The six hippies and supporting cast would be involved in a mass horror slaying involving many episodes of gruesome death scenes and removal of any dignity that I might have acquired in my thirty plus years of life.
This movie is actually directed by David Arquette who also plays the role of Muff, a redneck lumberjack. It is also his directorial debut. I like David, heck he’s a former wrestling champion *sarcasm*. But directing movies and actually making movies like this are not his forte and he should probably stick to comedy movies. The movie is beyond horrible with little or no sense in the plot points and numbly moves from scene to scene. The gore doesn’t break any boundaries but even if it did, it probably would not save the film. The acting is deplorable for the most part with the exception of Jason Mewes, Paul Ruebens, and Thomas Jane. Paul Ruebens steals what little of the show there is to steal with his wonderful portrayal as leader of the festival. Out for himself and sarcasm to match; I only wish that his involvement was more in the film.
We are treated (translation: I wish I was mauled by angry dogs) to the presentation in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. The movie looks okay, nothing special or nothing too bad. The gore does actually look pretty decent and not too fake. But many far away shots have spots of grain and look very amateurish. It just feels low budget and not in an interesting we are trying hard way either. It’s just average.
The audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Again, it feels just average. The suspense is built up decently by the background music but the surrounds are only used minimally which is unfortunate for any horror film. It’s alright but nothing special. Subtitles are also provided for English, French, & Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: Wrong Turn 2, Lake Placid 2 & 28 Weeks Later
- Commentary with David Arquette, Richmond Arquette, Paul Ruebens & Thomas Jane: A real good commentary with a nice cast of characters. Thomas Jane acts like he’s kinda bored but provides a lot of funny lines. Paul Ruebens steals the commentary like he did the movie. It is quite interesting how much he doesn’t like gore.
- Behind the Spleens Featurette 10:41: Because the removal of Scenes and replaced by Spleens in a horror movie is so original. I think I’m missing my spleen actually after this film. The standard stuff but one thing you will notice throughout the extras is that the cast does seem to be having fun which is good because I sure wasn’t.
- The Making of Ronald Reagan :57: This very short extra goes over the makeup work into creating the Ronald Reagan killer. They took so much time to create the Ronald Reagan mask and then did so little with the actual film.
- The Missing Finger Incident 2:15: A little tale that goes into a finger they found at Big Basin Redwoods State Park while they were shooting the movie. I’m surprised they didn’t find somebody’s tongue for lack of taste throughout the movie.
- A Shitty Situation 1:44 : This goes over the gooey center of the public jon situation that involved Paul Ruebens. Interesting stuff and how they make food look like something less desirable.
- The Tripper Presidential Campaign Tour 6:52: David Arquette across America! I’m excited, mainly for the fact that I never attended any of the press tours when they came to Texas. I guess one could watch this extra for the fact that David decided to spell out The Tripper in his own urine. I’m not kidding.
- Presidential Campaign Tour Photo Gallery: Cause we also needed pictures to document the experience of David across America. Well at least they had the sense not to include pictures of the movie again. I don’t get paid enough for this, really I don’t.
- Deleted Scenes: Six good deleted scenes that touch on a drug reference chart and a certain character had he stayed alive. See, even though I don’t care for the movie; I’ll do my best not to spoil it.
- Goodtimes Blooper Reel 7:30: The usual blooper reel and brings home that they had a lot of fun making the film. It is good to see that, I just wish they had a better product.
- Theatrical Trailer & Trailers: Other trailers include Day Watch, Civil Duty, the TV Set, and Blind Dating. Day Watch looks awesome.
Cheesy horror movies aren’t that bad. Ones like Troma puts out, you can laugh cause they are just stupid and silly fun. The problem is when a director puts out a film that he thinks is funny and campy but doesn’t really get it. That’s what we have with the Tripper. The sad part is that the cast is filled with decent actors and actresses who given the right script might have made this film watchable. As is, we are saddled with an inept movie that makes me groan when even thinking about it. The dvd is actually a decent dvd. The extras great and to be honest should have been the main feature and the movie should have been the special feature. I do appreciate they had a good time making it; I just wish I had a good time watching it.
- DVDVerdict.com – David Johnson thinks that The Tripper just wasn’t funny. At all.
- Iconsoffright.com: Robg really enjoyed the entire experience of sharing this wacky, bizarre horror movie with his friends in theaters.