Trippin' DVD Review
Written and directed by Devi Snively
2011, Region 1 (NTSC), 88 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on April 24th, 2012
Nicole Buehrer as Jizz
Circus-Szalewski as Red
Heathyr J. Clift as Mickey
Midian Crosby as Martha
Ken Dusek Jr. as Joe
The words 'stoner horror comedy' are enough to instil terror into the heart of every horror fan. For every Tripper, there's a Shrooms or Bong of the Dead. Devi Snively's Trippin' is funnier and more inventive than most weed-inspired horror movies, but the level of your enjoyment will depend on one's tolerance for stoners and their wacky hijinks.
The film opens with a plea from pothead Zed, begging the viewer to bear in mind that the filmmakers didn't have much money to tell their story. It's an original opening, nicely turning the 'based on a true story' gimmick on its head. It's a very self-aware film, regularly toying with viewer expectations and skewing horror convention. At a first glance, the story appears to be very much Evil Dead crossed with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; a group of hippy kids take off to a cabin in the woods for a drug and drink fuelled holiday. On the road, they encounter a sinister hillbilly who appears to be carrying a dead body. This, and an urban legend which tells of a dangerous psychopath who once lived in those very same woods. As the beer begins to flow and pills get popped, the kids' holiday takes a turn for the worst. Does something sinister lurk in them there woods, or do our high heroes simply need to nix the narcotics?
What initially promises to be Cabin Fever redux instead resembles Tucker And Dale Vs Evil. There's a distinct lack of threat to Trippin' that really hurts its cause and very funny though it might be, it seems to go on for far too long. The script counts Kevin Smith amongst its inspiration, and the big man's influence is felt all over Trippin'. Too many scenes consist of the characters sitting around bickering. The level of smut is wittier than can be found in most straight to DVD horror movies, but it still has a tendency to grate. A particular source of irritation is the uptight girlfriend character, whining and screeching the whole way through the movie. Although I can sympathise; watching Trippin' whilst sober offers a very 'designated driver' experience. Everyone's off their face and having a good time; you just wish they'd shut up and let you go to bed.
But what works really works. There's an excellent animated sequence that lives up to the Evil Dead inspiration in its surreal anarchy and much of the humour really is very funny. There's a great moment with an unfortunate frog and the Zed character has some good lines. As far as dope smoking wasters go, he's as likeable as Shaggy from Scooby Doo or Jay of Jay & Silent Bob fame. It's just a shame that his friends are considerably less silent than Bob. There are times when it borders on unwatchable, thanks to one of the characters. Had a few of the excess scenes been cut and some of the less funny jokes lost, Trippin' could have been really fun. Like its drug addled characters, it's essentially likeable and good hearted, but it does have a tendency to ramble on a bit.
Audio & video:
The cheap look and sound have a rustic charm. It's hard to bear a grudge when the filmmakers come right out and admit that they didn't have much money.
The film comes accompanied with a 'making of' documentary. There's a second disc chock full of short movies by director Devi Snively. They're of varying quality, the best being one in which Eli Roth finds himself on the wrong side of some very disgruntled horror fans.