The film is a nostalgic homage to the exploitation films of Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper that follows a group of free-loving hippies who escape to a modern-day Woodstock for a weekend of debauchery, only to be stalked by a radical-minded psychopath dressed and talking like Ronald Reagan.Jaime King as Samantha
Thomas Jane as Buzz Hall
Lukas Haas as Ivan
Jason Mewes as Joey
Balthazar Getty as Jimmy
Marsha Thomason as Linda
Paul Reubens as Frank Baker
Richmond Arquette as Deputy Cooper
David Arquette as Muff
Courteney Cox Arquette as Cynthia
Christopher Allen Nelson as Gus / Ronnie
Paz de la Huerta as Jade
Redmond Gleeson as Dylan
Michael X. Sommers as Trooper Neatnick
Director Wes Craven makes a cameo in the film as a hippie wearing a top-hat.
The film is directed, produced, written by and stars David Arquette. Arquette's then wife, Courteney Cox Arquette, is also a producer and actor in the film. The title is a play on Ronald Reagan's nickname of "The Gipper".
In August 2007, writer-producer Fritz Jünker sued the Arquettes' production company Coquette Productions, Inc. for copyright infringement, claiming Jünker's 2001 film, The Truth About Beef Jerky, was the basis for The Tripper. The case never went to court, and was eventually dropped, because Jünker could not afford to take the case to court. Coincidentally, or not, both films were shot at the same state park north of Santa Cruz, California, The Truth About Beef Jerky in 2001, and the Tripper several years later.
The premiere was held in the Del Mar theater in Santa Cruz (the predominate location of the picture). David Arquette and fellow cast members were there to answer questions. The Canadian premiere of The Tripper was at Fantasia Festival in 2007. Arquette was there to answer questions. It was shown as a bonus film as part of 2007's 8 Films to Die For. The release date of the film, April 20, or 4/20 is a reference to 420, a number of prominence in cannabis culture. The MPAA rating system gave the film an R rating for strong horror violence and graphic violence, drug content, language and some sexuality/nudity. It was part on October 13, 2007 of the (Screamfest Horror Film Festival).
The DVD was released on October 23, 2007. The DVD is Unrated and runs for 97 minutes; 4 minutes longer than the original cut. The DVD includes:1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio commentary by director David Arquette and stars Thomas Jane, Paul Reubens and Richmond Arquette
Behind the Spleens featurette
The Tripper Presidential Campaign Tour
B-roll music provided by The Black Math Experiment
Image Comics in conjunction with Raw Studios published the Tripper comic adaptation David Arquette's the Tripper during May 2007 in its 1st Edition. David Arquette is accredited with story alongside Joe Harris who adapted the concept for the comic medium with artist Nat Jones.
The film has received negative reviews. The movie has received a 36% "rotten" rating by the review aggregators Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews, and 2 negative reviews on Metacritic respectively.