The Tripper

David Arquette

BY Scott A. GrayPublished Nov 22, 2007

A quasi-political horror farce, The Tripper is David Arquette’s wacky little long-gestating brain baby. The actor’s debut as director and writer is both more and less ridiculous than it seems. Commencing with archival footage of dead bodies in war zones while Ronald Reagan voices policy in the background, this view of real death is actually effective in contrast with the ensuing cartoon-ish slaughter. A little boy obsessed with Reagan and reared on TV chainsaws the throat of a logging protester preventing his father from working. Flash-forward to the present and a stereotypical hippie music festival is scheduled to take place in that same forest. Paul Reubens, looking like Gene Wilder, is the festival head; Thomas Jane plays the investigating sheriff; and the pack of central stoner kids includes Jason Mewes, Jamie King and Lucas Haas. An axe wielding, Reagan mask wearing lunatic with a blood vendetta against hippies crashes the party, severing limbs and spouting quotes. The gore is hilariously phoney and over the top. Typical druggie banter fuels the humour but the irreverence is dialled up by the jovial cast improv. Kudos to Arquette for spinning some horror conventions — there’s at least as much hippie wang as there is nubile young bosom displayed. Deleted scenes and "Behind the Spleens” have some chuckles for fans of Jason Mewes and his pervy idiocy. There are also features on Arquette’s poorly planned grassroots promotion campaign; the composition of the fake shit Paul Reubens gets covered in (peanut butter, cocoa and corn); the face make-up for Reagan; and the "Missing Finger Incident.” Apparently, a production assistant actually found a human finger on set and the authorities have yet to find the matching hand. A commentary track with Arquette, his brother, Reuebens and Jane rounds out the features.

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