THE RANGER (2018) Reviews and overview

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In a nice retro touch, The Ranger has been novelized by Ed Kurtz (The Rib From Which I Remake the World). The 197-page tie-in book version of the slasher horror movie by Jenn Wexler and Giaco Furino is now available in paperback and e-book versions from Twisted Publishing/Haverhill House. The cover art is by Dyer Wilk.

Meanwhile, The Ranger soundtrack is available on vinyl in two versions from Creep Records and Cinepocalypse. It features punk rock songs spanning four decades, including Fang, The Grim, The Avengers, Dayglo Abortions, and Rotten UK.

Pressed on pink vinyl and limited to 300, it costs $24.99. There’s also a double-LP version that includes the film’s score by Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson, which is limited to 200 and costs $34.99. Both editions come in gatefold jackets. They are released on June 14, 2019.

Here’s our overview of the film itself:

‘Each year, millions visit our national parks. Not everyone gets to leave.’

The Ranger is a 2018 American slasher horror feature film co-produced and directed by Jenn Wexler (director of shorts: Halloween Bash; Slumber Party and producer of Psychopaths) from a screenplay co-written with Giaco Furino.

The Glass Eye Pix Hood/River Entertainment production stars Jeremy Holm, Chloe Levine, and Amanda Grace Benitez.

When Chelsea and her friends get in trouble with the cops, they flee the city and go on the run. Fueled by a hallucinogenic drug called Echo, they hope to lay low and get high in an old family hideout in the woods.

However, Chelsea has reservations about going back to nature and secrets she’s not sharing with her friends. When a shot rings out, her past comes crashing back, and the punks find themselves pitted against the local authority- an unhinged park ranger with a real axe to grind…

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“Regrettably, The Ranger can’t keep its juggled balls of satire, slaughter, and introspective drama circling smoothly in the air. Kills lazily lapse in logic when a series of serendipitous teleportations makes Friday the 13th Part VIII look reasonably sequenced by comparison. There aren’t enough motivated jabs for social commentary to resonate.” Culture Crypt

“As The Ranger, Holm is funny and deadpan (until he isn’t), cutting a menacing figure while knowing exactly how to play into the joke. Levine is completely on the other side of the spectrum, giving a soulful, wounded performance almost entirely through her eyes.”Daily Dead

” …although Wexler’s movie isn’t an all-out comedy, it definitely contains some delicious dark humor. In addition to this, the plot is quite interesting. Chelsea’s childhood storyline regarding her uncle is quite engaging and ties in very well with the involvement of the Ranger’s presence within her life. […] The Ranger is a pleasant slasher that should be viewed by all.”

” …it takes a terribly long time to get going, during which we have to endure the antics of a group of annoying punk youngsters before the title character turns up to start bumping them off to everyone’s relief. There’s a swing into comedy (at least I hope it was intended as such) and then it all ends up turning rather silly.” House of Mortal Cinema

“While there are certainly some wild kills and gruesome practical effects, The Ranger isn’t a scary film – nor is it trying to be. It’s fun without being overly comedic and plays out more like a traditional slasher flick than anything else – only instead of a masked antagonist hunting teenagers with a machete, there’s a twisted park ranger with a gun and a flare for one-liners.” Modern Horrors

“I can still give it a solid recommendation for fans of low budget indie horror, and not that hi-falutin’ artsy fartsy stuff. This is a solid throwback with a killer soundtrack and enough solid kills in its 77 minutes (was that on purpose? if so, kudos) to sate spiky haired gorehounds everywhere.” Screen Anarchy

Cast and characters:
Chloe Levin … Chelsea – DepravedThe Transfiguration
Jeremy Holm … The Ranger
Granit Lahu … Garth
Jeremy Pope … Jerk
Bubba Weiler … Abe
Amanda Grace Benitez … Amber – All Cheerleaders Die
Jeté Laurence … Young Chelsea
Larry Fessenden … Uncle Pete [also a co-producer] – DepravedWe Are Still Here; Body; StakelandWendigo; et al
Clay McLeod Chapman … Alley Cop
Jim Johnson … Cop
Nicholas Tucci … Flesh

Running time:

The movie had its world premiere at the SXSW festival on March 12, 2018, in the Midnight Section and was shown at the 2018 Arrow Video FrightFest in London on 23 August 2018.

The Ranger was released in North America on Blu-ray + DVD by Uncork’d Entertainment on January 4, 2019.

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jenn Wexler, Co-Writer Giaco Furino, Producer Heather Buckley, Actors Chloe Levine and Jeremy Holm
Troublemakers: Meet the Cast
Five Making-of Documentaries Featuring Cast and Crew
Origins: From Script to Screen
The Style: Getting the Look
Up the Punx: The Music of The Ranger
Glitter in the Blood: Moments From the Set


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