By Sarah Phelan
When I saw David Arquette’s The Tripper at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, I was a tad grossed out.
The screening, which follows the classic Slasher Movie format, occurred three days after the Virginia Tech massacre, and I wasn’t in the mood for carnage.
Oddly, the usually non-violent Santa Cruz crowd kept cheering through scenes in which hippies came to violent ends. I was confused. Santa Cruz must have changed a lot, I thought, since last I was here.
Afterwards, during the Q & A session, things began to make sense. Many audience members were extras in the film, which was shot in the trippy, redwood-ringed Santa Cruz mountains, hence their mirthful excitement at seeing themselves being "hacked up".
Director David Arquette, who features in the film as a hippie-hating redneck, was on hand (dressed to the nines in a white cowboy outfit, with “the Tripper” shaved into the back of his head) to answer questions, which began with someone questioning whether all the chainsawing and ax-throwing in The Tripper was really necessary.
But as Arquette quickly pointed out, the only “real violence” in the film occurred in the opening sequences, and this real blood was thanks to the blood-thirsty policies if Ronald Reagan, who happens to play a recurring and very disturbing role in the rest of the film, which, while gory, is entirely fictional.
Ohhhh. I get it. It was a SATIRE!
But what excuse do the Republican presidential candidates have for invoking Reagan and trying to con this country yet again?
Meanwhile, Arquette's Tripper went onto win the Santa Cruz Film Fest's Best Feature Narrative award.
The Audience has spoken! Now let's hope the rest of the United States gets the bloody point about what Reaganism really means.