Texas Death Trippin’
Written and Directed by R. Lopez
Catherine Daisy Coleman, Bryan Slusher, Cody Calderas, Dakota Danger, Melesa Murphy, Rob Di Perna, Robert Robson, WRGIII, Todd Hughes, George Wang, D.E. Todd
Music for film provided by the following:
Spencer Jacob Grau
DJ Halo Dark
Buffalo Bud Buster
The Death Ray Angels
The Reefer Hawks
Mi Corazon Negro
Now I know if you are an avid visitor to my site you will be wondering why I’m reviewing the same movie twice. I’m not. The guys decided to add so much extra footage to this film that is really is a completely different movie than the first time around. The first version will soon be out of print and THIS is the REAL version of the vision these guys had for this film.
While the basic plot of the beginning of the film remains the same, that’s really the only part that they didn’t add something obvious to. In almost every scene there is new footage, new dialogue, new characters.
What we have is a group of stoners road trippin’ to see a music festival. And everything seems to be going perfectly as they make their rounds to grab everyone that is going on the trip. Three guys, two girls. (Someone is about to be the fifth wheel and they don’t even know it.)
So how about a few observations about the characters in the film. First off, Andy is a sexual assault charge waiting to happen, total perv. Not that the other guys, Muppet and Sidwell, are much better, but they are slightly. Sid is driving the 420 white box molester van. Muppet rides shotgun. Andy is in the back with the two chicks, Sheena Starr and her gal pal Teresa.
Now, think about the road trip those teenage fools took in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now merge that with Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 corpses. Then, throw in a creature that looks like Swamp Thing and Leatherface had a very ill-conceived child. Finally, add the smell of a landfill. This film is like a very whacked out version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre melded with House of 1000 Corpses.
One character, an old guy at a gas station, is the epitome of Otis from House of 1000 Corpses plus Leatherface from TCM.
We also have a character named Malakhy. This guy, wow. As soon as I saw him, I was like, OMG it’s the new Vince Neil! Except maybe a little creepier.
This movie also taught me a few lessons that I will live by until I die.
There is a point where Sheena proves she is one tough badass chick by opening a beer bottle with her teeth. Just watching that made MY teeth hurt. Then, at one point when she’s running from the mutant swamp thing monster, they show her actually RUNNING. Not that half-ass side step looking run that victims always use in movies so the killer has time to catch up. Sheena didn’t want him to catch up. She RAN ran. Thank you! Finally! A chick that can RUN in a horror flick.
This is a dark horror comedy. The guys meant for it to be funny and it is. I was laughing through most of the movie. The simpleton type of comedy, the dark comedic comments, the toilet humor, it’s all constant and perpetual through the whole movie.
Now, I watch a lot of horror. I watch a lot of true crime. I’ve seen an autopsy. Very few things can actually gross me out. I mean, to where I feel nauseated. Watching the guys eat food in this film is something I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to unsee. So, fair warning, food is involved and not always in the way you are thinking. Like Muppet’s insatiable love affair with cold, canned ravioli. I just, yechhh! Still the most disturbing ravioli interaction I’ve ever seen, but it was totally funny as hell.
Another thing they did so much better this time around are the kill scenes. The guys got a lot more creative and with the extra characters and added footage, that left a lot of opportunities for some really fun murder scenes.
Now, if you are looking for an A-List film with A-List Hollywood actors, this is not what you are looking for. If you love horror and comedy and want to have a good laugh and have some fun, this IS the film you are looking for.
The guys from The Toking Dead make a special appearance in this film too.
Also, this could be the new Reefer Madness except for shrooms not marijuana. That’s how outrageous some of it gets.
Some of the horror effects are truly disgusting and it’s obvious the filmmakers had a lot of fun with the gore factor of this movie.
There are some full range bird’s eye view shots of where the group decides to go camping. It really adds to the realization of the vastness and isolation of where they are. That, in my opinion, adds a certain chill factor to the whole film. Along with that, there are some very seriously high-pressure moments that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Even though it’s a horror film, the most disgusting part of the whole movie is, well, food. The things that involve food in this movie are going to be forever disturbing to some people, no matter how hilarious it is. And this is not entirely a comedy. Lopez pulls off a few truly eerie and creepy moments that would make anyone’s skin crawl. Mine did. (I have this thing about evil or creepy laughs. It’s such chilling to me.) Additionally, the flipping back and forth between the various character’s stories add a lot of body and heft to the film.
But, here’s the kicker. Even though we can see the killer, up close and personal, it’s still hard to determine what the hell it is exactly. This creates the fear of the unknown which is a natural human response to things we feel are out of our societal “normal” range.
To top it all off, an ending fit for any horror lover. Nice and quick, concise, easy to understand and entertaining. The guys really did go balls to the wall when refreshing this film and adding all the extra stuff.
A definite win and a fantastic dark comedy horror film for the avid horror lovers.
Directed by Robert Altman
Screenplay by Al Hayes
Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Robert Downey Jr., Daryl Hannah, Tom Berenger, Robert Duvall
Budget $25M Box Office $1,534,569
IMDb 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 58% Metacritic 65/100
Today when I got up, I happen to catch this movie from the beginning. My lucky day. So, with coffee and cigarette in hand, I embarked on waking up to this thriller. I have to be honest it was the description of the film that was on the info on cable and the cast. I mean, I’ll watch almost anything with Robert Downey Jr. in it. Except the Iron Man movies. (Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I’m the only person on this earth that doesn’t like those movies. Don’t get all twisted about it. The franchise isn’t going to go down because I don’t watch it.)
This was one interesting film. First off, this is the first time I’ve seen Robert Duvall have so few lines. I mean he barely speaks at all in this movie. But he does have a certain creep factor about him. I think a lot of that has to with his character and appearance rather than the actual script. Next, Robert Downey Jr. was quite the piece of work in this film. He pulls off this great accent and plays the drunkard private investigator to damn near perfection. This was in 1998, during the height of Downey’s drug use and failing career. So, it doesn’t surprise me that he can pull off a drunk when he’s drunk and stoned all the time himself.
So, here’s the set up for the film. A young woman meets a divorced lawyer with a questionable reputation at a party that he’s attending and she’s waiting tables. He expects to have a one-night stand but develops feelings for her rather quickly. She shares with him that her father is stalking her and threatening her, that he’s done things like steal her car and hang her cat to its death. Seeing as how this lawyer has a personal interest in this gal, he offers the support of his small practice and resources to help get her father committed to a mental hospital for evaluation. They succeed.
Unfortunately, Daddy breaks out of the hospital, with some help, and starts stalking not only his daughter but her new lawyer friend and his kids. Things start getting violent and crazy. Next thing you know, people are dying, being abducted, being terrorized and threatened.
So, what do they do? Does she make it? Does the lawyer? And why is Dad all crazy anyway? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
I will say that I didn’t have any trouble staying interested in the film. It was easy for me to watch. I haven’t read any other reviews on the movie, but the ratings seem to label this film as average. What really surprises me is the horrible Box Office numbers compared to what the film budget was. I mean, I don’t think a lot of that budget went to the actual making of the film.
At the time this film was made, Downey Jr. had had so many problems with drug arrests and failed drug tests as part of his sentencing that it was almost impossible for the studio to insure him. It ended up costing over $1 million dollars to insure the actor and filming had to begin with no insurance for Downey Jr.
The screenplay writer, Al Hayes, is actually director Robert Altman. However, after all the time he put in to write this screenplay, the initial test screening was terrible. The studio, Polygram Films, decided to go outside the film crew and hire an editor to re-work the film. This editor criticized Altman’s version of the film, saying that it basically lacked punch and suspense and had an ailing film score. The new editor made changes and the film was screen tested again. This time it went over worse than the original Altman version.
Still, when the film released it got decent reviews, a vast amount praising Altman for his touches to the film, citing that it would have been just mediocre fodder without his contributions to the film. The initial reviews also praised main character star, Kenneth Branagh for his role in the film and attributed a lot of the films interest to his acting as well.
Overall I liked the film. There were a few times I was rewinding the DVR to catch something small that was said or something like that. I liked the story. I liked the way it all came together and I like that it’s definitely more realistic in the end than a lot of stuff spewed out of Hollywood. I do think it’s gonna be a film that I’m going to have to watch a time or two more to really be able to follow all the little ins and outs of how it came together, which doesn’t bother me. It’s a movie I’m willing to watch again. In fact, it might be one of those that grows on you.