Color, 2011, 88m.
Directed by Devi Snively
Starring Zed Wilson, Nicole Buehrer, Circus-Szalewski, Heathyr J. Clift, Midian Crosby, Ken Dusek Jr., Bill Redding
Camp (US R0 NTSC) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9) / DD5.1

Trippin'The unkillable subgengre dubbed by Joe Bob Briggs as "spam in a cabin" gets a modern, whacked-out workout in this feature-length debut for horror short filmmaker Devi Snively, the woman behind such titles as "Teenage Bikini Vampire" and "I Spit on Eli Roth." Sort of a shaggy dog story shoved into the template of a slasher film for stoners, it's a multi-layered construction beginning with a guy named Zed (Wilson) meeting Snively in a bar (with Argentoesque lighting), where a question about the very vivid scar on his leTrippin'g leads to an offer involving a case of brew and the chance to turn his wild story on film.

Cue the tale of six buddies heading out to the woods, armed with enough illicit refreshment to fill up the Mystery Machine. As they chit chat, get baked, hook up, and wander around outside the woods, they begin to feel that something's amiss when they start finding bloody little surprises lying around, such as a maggot-infested animal carcass and bits of human bodies. On top of that, there may be a legendary local psycho on the loose. But how much of it is real, and how much is in their own drug-addled heads? Either way if you try to guess where it's all going to lead, you'll probably be wrong.

From a certain perspective you could almost think of this as a much more comedic (and thankfully better) pot variation on the now-forgotten horror film Shrooms, mixed with a little Tucker and Trippin'Dale vs. Evil for good measure. The execution is certainly more original than that though as it pays tribute to Sam Raimi and Tobe Hooper, albeit more in concept than execution. There's a surprisingly limited amount of the red stuff on display here (though what's here could make you wince); instead it's driven more by the characters, who love to yap and yap. Thankfully it's pretty good dialogue and fully in spirit with the unreliable storytelling concerns of the initial setup.

In an ambitious movie, Camp's DVD release comes spread out over two discs with the main feature obviously taking up most of disc one. The anamorphic transfer is obviously limited by the very scrappy nature of the video shoot, who looks like it was done in SD by all appearances. It's colorful and bright enough (with a deliberately artificial sheen in many Trippin'scenes), but don't expect much in the way of razor-sharp clarity here. Audio is available in either two-channel stereo or a fun 5.1 remix, which really pops to life during a third act trip scene (complete with animation and even a felt puppet) that must be seen to be believed. Apart from a "Welcome to Deviant Pictures" promo piece, the only real extra here is a 10-minute featurette, "High Hopes," showing some behind-the-scenes footage (including a hilarious skeleton bit) and chats with the cast and crew.

Disc two is devoted entirely to Snively's short films, which have made the rounds at various cons and horror fests for the past few years. Some of them are basically homemade quickies, though the most elaborate of the bunch, "Death in Charge," is technically on par with the main feature and serves as the probable highlight of the set. On the other end of the spectrum you get the gory camcorder diatribe mentioned above, "I Spit on Eli Roth," a sentiment probably shared by anyone who's seen him try to act. Anyway, it features some female filmmakers deciding to unleash their frustration with his films through bodily harm. Also included are the musical pastiche "Teenage Bikini Vampire," the goofy "Confederate Zombie Massacre" (which also gets a separate and surprisingly long making-of featurette, "CZM! The Making of a No-Budget Zombie Flick"), "Last Seen on Dolores Street," the Universal horror salute "Raven Gets a Life," and a bunch of trailers for the label's other releases like Shock-o-Rama, Red River, and Bacterium.

Reviewed on April 8, 2012.