#7. "The Tripper" -- Even back in the Sixties, when every other kid had long hair and a zest for recreational mind expansion, nobody much liked real hippies. You know, the chanting, glassy-eyed, guru-loving dharma bums from another dimension. Bummmer.
In the Eighties, pretty much everyone liked Ronald Reagan to some extent. His policies may have been vile at times, but we got to blame the evil geniuses who worked for him. Ronnie had that befuddled grandfather thing going along with a two-term supply of Teflon. The prez took a bullet for us and cracked jokes while at death's door. Heh-heh-heh.
Reagan vs. hippies. Death match. Yeah.
Put these icons from two decades together and you have "The Tripper," David Arquette's hilarious old-style slasher pic about an ax-wielding Gipper returning to most righteously harvest our current crop of hippies. Arquette's liberal politics are right there to the end, but it's all just good old mean-spirited fun.
Arquette's wife, brother and pals such as Lukas Haas, Jason Mewes and Balthazar Getty populate the woods. Our screamin' hot hippie chick is Jaime King. Lots of entrails and boobs move the exploitation meter to 9.5.
The story begins when a sleazeball promoter (Paul Reubens) brings his American Free Love Festival to redwoods country. The civic boosters are thrilled with the revenue. The cops are cool and bemused, especially our hero Sheriff Buzz (Thomas Jane).
As the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll get under way, a naked hippie finds himself ensnared and filleted. Another guy loses his head. Prime suspect: a local whose life was destroyed by dumb-ass treehuggers back in the day. But then there are those black jellybeans at the murder sites ...
"Ronnie?" a longhair asks just before the ax falls.
Arquette's directorial debut unites the twitchy twosome of horror and comedy, which few films ever got right. Look to it as a great party film for the big night. Just put the flower children to bed early.
The Fox Home Entertainment DVD's images are pop-art colorful and there's a playful 5.1 sound mix. Two hours of decent but routine extras and a commentary with Arquette and pals.
More gore: In this killer year for horror movies on disc, your minion the DVD blog kept track of all the releases. Check out this unholy trio of posts: Halloween I, Halloween 2 and Halloween: The Final Chapter.