Directed by David Arquette [Other horror films: N/A]
As a critique on both the Reagan and, at the time, present Bush administration, The Tripper rather falls flat. As a slasher, with occasional splatter influences, the film fares a bit better, but not amazingly so.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what about this movie doesn’t entirely work. Part of it, in my opinion, is the somewhat inconsistent tone. At times, the movie is certainly tongue-in-cheek (though few scenes are outright comedic; this isn’t Broken Lizard’s Club Dread, people), but other times, the Tripper comes across a serious slasher, and hell, even between the characters Samantha and Ivan, there was a pretty sweet scene present.
What this movie somewhat lacks in tone, though, it makes up for in most kills. The first few kills are quick, clean, and efficient (a snapped neck and a decapitation) – these were perhaps my favorites. But some individuals get killed by multiple stabbings, or disembowelment, so there’s fun to be had all around. The final kill in the movie didn’t do much for it, as the special effects looked a bit worse for the wear. That could be said for more than a few kills, though, as it wasn’t uncommon for the blood to look more than a little brighter red than it should. Still, the kills overall were strong.
In the political realm, I certainly would have preferred more discussion of the character’s feelings on then-current president George W. Bush, as you would think a movie that hits you over the head with the idea that “Republicans are bad” would have a little more substance, but aside from some weak criticism of Bush and just stating some facts about Reagan’s actions while president (cutting off federal funds to mental institutions), we get little to really chew over. Perhaps that’s not the point, but when one is making a political satire, of sorts, I feel like no punches should be pulled. This movie could have had something to say, but didn’t attempt it.
None of the characters aside from Samantha (Jaime King) and the killer really stood out. The design of the killer was pretty cool – loved his straight-laced appearance and suit (even though the mask was ehh). Really, while the movie might be okay for a single watch, having watched it twice now, I don’t think there’s much to go back to it for. Not a particularly memorable movie. I’d never watch this one if I had the chance to re-watch Uncle Sam (1996).