THE TRIPPER (2006) Reviews and overview

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‘Move over, Jason. Look out, Freddie. Heeere’s Ronnie!’

The Tripper is a 2006 American comedy horror slasher feature film produced and directed by David Arquette from a screenplay co-written with Joe Harris (Darkness Falls); it stars Jaime King, Thomas Jane and Lukas Haas.


North California: A group of free-loving hippies attend a small-scale rock festival being held in a forest for a weekend of debauchery, only to be stalked by a radical-minded psychopath dressed and talking like Ronald Reagan…


“All credit to David Arquette for putting together a film that tries to do little but entertain and manages it admirably. But I’m still trying to work out whether wrapping it in apparently political ideas which aren’t actually there was a lucky mistake or a stroke of marketing genius.” Cult films and the people who make them

” The originality of the first half-hour of the film is gradually overtaken with a tepid second act, where the mechanics of the various killings are worked out in the woods, followed by a final act that looks more like the films Arquette is supposedly parodying than he’d probably like to admit.” DVD Talk

” …everyone seems to be going all-out, but they seemed to concentrate on the fun stuff and skimp on what was harder work: Making us care whether the potential victims live or die (or at least differentiating them enough that there’s a possibility they’re something other than slasher fodder), putting some teeth behind the satiric points the film ham-fistedly tries to make…”

“The first thirty minutes are quite good and the ending works very well, but there’s an entire middle section which is badly paced and packed with filler.” Film Threat

“The rambling story attempts to turn the genre on its head, but it ends up giving in to every slasher cliché (Arquette himself plays a backwoods redneck). The acting ranges from abysmal to barely adequate.” New York Daily News

” … some unpleasant bad trip scenes and plenty of gross-out shock value.”  Shirley Halperin, Steve Bloom, Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide

“Not particularly scary or funny, The Tripper at least moves along at a decent clip and throws in some ‘Sixties-style psychedelia and nudity (both male and female) along with the traditional slasher movie gore.” Sci-Fi Movie Page

“Arquette doesn’t reinvent the wheel with this flick, but he sure gets a lot of mileage out of it. He establishes a moody atmosphere, films the murders with gleeful abandon and puts the “Axe Cam” to good use. He goes a little overboard with the film’s many drug-induced “trip” scenes, but since this is David’s first time out as director, I’m willing to give him a mulligan on it…” The Video Vacuum

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“By the end, though, the film’s politics have become so muddled that the only thing remaining is the perfunctory slice-and-dice of a bog standard slasher. Ideology, presented here in the broadest of strokes, is just another grotesque mask to be donned and discarded at will – or a trip to be taken until the effects inevitably wear off.” VODzilla

Cast and characters:

  • Jaime King as Samantha
  • Thomas Jane as Buzz Hall
  • Lukas Haas as Ivan
  • Jason Mewes as Joey
  • Balthazar Getty as Jimmy
  • Marsha Thomason as Linda
  • Paul Reubens as Frank Baker
  • Richmond Arquette as Deputy Cooper
  • David Arquette as Muff – Scream franchise
  • Courteney Cox Arquette as Cynthia – Scream franchise
  • Christopher Allen Nelson as Gus / Ronnie
  • Paz de la Huerta as Jade
  • Redmond Gleeson as Dylan
  • Michael X. Sommers as Trooper Neatnick
  • Wes Craven as Hippie wearing a top hat [uncredited]

Film Facts:

The title is a play on Ronald Reagan’s nickname of “The Gipper”.


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