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The Tripper is a 2006 American comedy slasher film directed by David Arquette and starring Jaime King, Thomas Jane, and Lukas Haas.

In The '70s, after seeing his father and lumberjack foreman being hit by a protestor against the deforesting and arrested by the police, the boy Gus kills the protestor with a chainsaw. In the present days, Samantha, who is traumatized after being abused by her former boyfriend Jimmy, travels with her pothead friends in a van to the American Free Love Festival, a rock-and-roll concert in the woods. Near the location, they are assaulted by three local hillbillies, before arriving at the festival, where Mayor Hal Burton and Deputy Buzz Hall are trying to give a minimum of organization to the event. However, a psychotic killer with a Ronald Reagan fixation stalks the festival killing attendees with an axe.

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Tropes:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Dylan keeps one that attacks Buzz and Cooper when they enter his cabin in search of evidence. Cooper can cannot bring himself to shoot it, and Buzz ends up locking it in a closet.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Joey loses his hand to Ronnie's axe very shortly before he loses his life.
  • An Axe to Grind: The killer's weapon of choice is double-bit lumberjack's axe.
  • Auto Erotica: When Samantha is looking for Ivan she slides the van door only to find Jade and Muff having sex. They don't stop while telling her that they haven't seen him.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Mayor Hal Burton is on the phone to Frank Baker when the killer smashes the window behind him, grabs him and drags him bodily out of the building.
  • Bear Trap: The redneck chasing Linda through the forest steps in a bear trap that breaks his leg. While he is screaming in agony, the killer arrives and finishes him off with a knife.
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  • The Cameo: Wes Craven makes a cameo in the film as a hippie wearing a top-hat.
  • Carved Mark: When Samantha finds the naked bodies of her fiends in the van, the killer has written 'JUST SAY NO' across the corpses. The words 'JUST SAY' have been carved into two of the bodies while 'NO' has been written in blood on a third.
  • Caught in a Snare: The first festival-goer murdered is a naked hippie who is caught in a snare while out collecting mushrooms. Cooper and the park rangers hanging upside down from a tree; having been mauled by animals.
  • Chainsaw Good: As a child, Gus used a chainsaw to murder the protestor who struck his father. The killer scores his last kill of the film with one.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: When Samantha is looking for Ivan she slides the van door only to find Jade and Muff having sex. They don't stop while telling her that they haven't seen him.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: When Samantha finds the naked bodies of her fiends in the van, the killer has written 'JUST SAY NO' across the corpses. The words 'JUST SAY' have been carved into two of the bodies while 'NO' has been written in blood on a third.
  • Corrupt Politician: Mayor Hal Burton is taking kickbacks from festival organiser Frank Baker to keep the festival open despite the murders.
  • Disconnected by Death: Mayor Hal Burton is on the phone to Frank Baker when the killer smashes the window behind him, grabs him and drags him bodily out of the building. Frank hangs up before he realises what has happened.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: Frank Baker hides from the killer in an out of order portaloo. The bowl is completely backed up with excrement. To escape the killer, Baker climbs into the toilet and completely submerges himself in the septic tank.
  • Drop the Hammer: During the final battle with the killer, Final Girl Samantha grabs a claw hammer and batters him repeatedly about the head.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: This seems to be the attitude of everyone attending the Free Love Festival. Plenty of intoxicants are available, either openly or covertly. There is even a booth selling nitrous balloons for people to inhale. Sam's friends spend the entire film smoking weed, taking ecstasy, and even snorting coke in Jade's. Even Sam, who is intending to stay straight, gets doused with acid and undergoes an involuntary trip.
    Joey: Welcome to Free Love Festival, where America's best and brightest come to celebrate...
    Jade: Freedom?
    Joey: Yes! Freedom to do drugs - lots of fucking drugs!
  • Fan Service Extra: A number of nubile young women attending the Free Love Festival decide to go topless during the concert.
  • Final Girl: Although not virginal, the blonde Samantha does not do drugs or have sex at the festival and is the only one of the friends to survive the massacre.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: The rednecks throw a bottle from their pickup that hits Ivan in the head and cuts his scalp open.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Frank Baker gets cut in half vertically with a chainsaw.
  • Heal It with Booze: Samantha cleans the cut on Ivan's scalp with alcohol before she stitches it shot.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dylan dies when he is attempting to escape from Deputy Buzz and falls into one of the Pit Traps he set in the forest and is impaled on the spikes at the bottom.
  • Jar Potty: During the van trip, Muff asks Joey to pull over so he can take leak. Instead, Joey hands him a jar and tells him to pee into that: suggesting that Jade can 'aim the cannon' for him. Disturbingly, the jar already has liquid in it; suggesting that Joey has been peeing into while driving. However, then Joey swerves to avoid a dog and runs off the road. Everybody takes advantage of the unexpected stop to pile out of the van for a comfort break.
  • Made of Iron: 'Ronnie', like most slasher movie villains. He gets shot multiple times by Buzz and goes down, only to get back up. Samantha then hits him the head with a claw hammer, and continues to pound his head in after he drops. His body then disappears from the crime scene, leaving his mask behind, and he turns up in the film's final scene to murder Frank Baker.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: A pair of naked hippies—one male, one female—wander through the festival with everything on display, as Deputy Buzz watches and shakes his head in disbelief. The man becomes the first person to die at the hands of the slasher.
  • Minor Kidroduction: The prologue shows Gus a child during the Vietnam War; ending when he murders a protestor with a chainsaw. The film then jumps to the presnt day with Sam and her friends travelling to the festival.
  • Mushroom Samba: Samantha has no intention of taking any drugs at the festival, as the result of a previous bad trip. However, one of the other festival-goers sprays her with LSD, causing her to start hallucinating, which does not help when she is attempting to escape from the killer through the forest.
  • Neck Snap: The killer murders the first redneck this way; running past him, grabbing his head and twisting it so his neck snaps, all without breaking stride.
  • Off with His Head!: The killer decapitates the old Mountain Man Wilson with a single stroke of his axe.
  • Pet's Homage Name: The Ronald Reagan-themed killer has a pack of attack dogs trained to attack hippies, one of whom is named 'George W.'.
  • Pit Trap: Dylan has set Booby Traps throughout the forest. He is eventually Hoist by His Own Petard when he falls into one of his pit traps while attempting to flee from Deputy Buzz and is impaled on the spikes.
  • Rain of Blood: while waiting in line for the festival, Samantha feels something dripping on her head thinks it is starting to rain. She touches her hand to her had and comes back with blood on her fingers. She then looks up and sees Wilson's decapitated hanging from the tree above her head.
  • Right Hand Attackdog: The killer has a pack of vicious attack dogs he has trained to attack hippies.
  • Searching the Stalls: When Frank Baker is fleeing from the killer, he hides in one of a row of portable toilets. The killer moves along the row, opening each door as as he comes to it. However, he is distracted by a patron exiting one of the other toilets before he gets to Frank's.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: The killer only speaks using Ronald Reagan quotes.
  • Stalker Shrine: The killer has one to Ronald Reagan in his Unabomber-style shack.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: During the prologue, child Gus kills the protestor who struck his father using a chainsaw.
  • Vanity License Plate: Jimmy, Samantha's conservative Republican ex-boyfriend, drives an SUV with a license plate reading 'REDST8'. This allows Sam to spot his car in the parking lot at the festival.

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