The Tripper (DVD)

A Ronald Regan obsessed serial killer who kills hippies has crazy charm to it and a certain amount of originality. But the result of David Arquette’s directorial debut is somewhat of a mixed bag or semi-rotting organic vegetables.

The story follows a group of teenagers (headed up by Jamie King) on their way to an outdoor Love Festival where they are determined to take a lot of drugs and have lots of alfresco bonking. That is apart from King’s character Samantha, who, after a bad acid trip, is just along for the fresh air. Only there’s a killer lurking in the woods and he’s got a natty blue suit, some dodgy facial prosthetics and a big, sharp axe.

The Tripper isn’t half as funny or satirical as it thinks it is (although it’s firmly aimed at an American audience of a certain age) but at least it takes a wild and not particularly subtle stab at it. It’s basically Arquette and his mates (Thomas Jane, Paul Reubens etc) getting together and having a laugh. But that in itself doesn’t guarantee laughs from the audience. The scares aren’t there and the gore is, deliberately it seems, to be of the dumb and obviously fake-blood, kind, which is unlikely to really cut-it with the Saw generation.

The extras are mainly a cringing sycophant parade of the cast talking about how great Arquette is, although it’s amusing to see Jason Mewes (of Jay and Silent Bob fame) desperately trying to suggest that the wisecracking stoner he plays is somehow a different part for him. Be proud Jay, be proud. It’s silly, but just about watchable. Although be advised, there is a naked ginger hippy in this movie… picking mushrooms. You have been warned. here

EXTRAS * Just the theatrical trailer and a featurette, The Cast on The Tripper

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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