The Tripper is a play on words sort of title as a reference to not only drug usage, but also The Gipper. Ladies and Gentlemen we have a Ronald Reagan slasher film here!
The Tripper is directed and partially written by Mr. David Arquette and features performances by: Thomas Jane, Paul Reubens, Jaime King, Jason Mews, Paz de la Huerta, Lukas Haas, Balthazar Getty, Stephen Heath, Marsha Thomason, and Christopher Allen Nelson. David Arquette and his brother Richmond also have roles, along with a cameo by David’s wife Courtney Cox.
The plot for the film is something along the lines of: A Ronald Reagan-obsessed serial killer targets a bunch of hippies at weekend-long concert in the woods.
So, how does actor David Arquette do in the director’s chair? The film is as erratic as his humor and behavior tends to be. It is quite a messy job, however, mixed with all of the acid being dropped by characters and the themes being messy isn’t exactly bad. Some of the scenes are over-the-top cool fun, some you need to be on drugs to appreciate, and then some are just stale.
What keeps The Tripper from being lame? The cast, or most notably the powers that surround Thomas Jane and Peewee Herman, er, I mean Paul Reubens carry this thing. Jason Mews brings a good deal of surprising energy to his role as well. These three guys are just magic to watch on the movie screen for some reason, regardless of plot or film. The concept is also a part of that magic: Ronald Reagan running through the woods killing hippies with an ax; what about that doesn’t sound cool?
The story seems to branch off a bit too much at times, with the focus on the Ronald Reagan killer needing to be the main draw. A sideline of hillbillies stalking the hippies, along with a side story involving a bad acid trip and an ex boyfriend, really take away by being added into the mix and stealing away from Ronnie’s screen time.
The Dvd is worth getting if you are a fan of any of the actors mentioned above, because the Special features includes a commentary by the Arquettes with Thomas Jane and Mr. Reubens. There are also many other inside looks at things including the tour Arquette did with Myspace around the country for the film.
The opening of the film is great, the ending is a bit too horror cliché, and the middle is a bit too much like a luke-warm acid trip. The Tripper is not rip-roaring party hard fun, but it is solid enough fun in enough places not to trip out over and get too critical on. The Tripper is worth a one time rent for any horror fan, especially if they’re the kind to experiment a bit with certain substances while watching television.