Five youthful explorers make their way to the Burning Man Festival only to find the stench of death and blood instead. This tongue-in-cheek horror film is a throwback to the 80’s slashers of the past with five friends running for their lives from a sadistic masked villain. Finding that the highway is no longer open these five partiers stop off at a no-tell motel for gas, repairs, and food only to find someone waiting for them (Moviefone).
Another man joins these collegiates at the motel and tells his story of his missing wife and of a bizarre accident. Night falls and the prankster, surfer, easy lay, and blind man must work together to survive the night or die fighting off the attacks of a cloaked stranger that exudes an awful smell (Moviefone).
Rating: Restricted for gore, violence, sexuality, and some drug use.
Release Date: October 21, 2005 (Screamfest Film Festival).
Starring: Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside, and Eric Mabius.
Director: Dave Payne.
Writer: David Payne.
The comedic approach of Dave Payne to “The Reeker,” is what makes this film a lot of fun to watch. Several of Trip’s lines including; “I saw a trucker. Half a trucker…,” and a scene where Trip screams like a girl after someone taps him on the shoulder are memorable and hilarious. While being a horror film “The Reeker,” seeks to entertain and succeeds by allowing viewers to laugh at the movie. The gruesome deaths in the film are a bonus.
Possibly, following some of the slasher films of the 80’s, with an unstoppable male protagonist attacking several young couples “The Reeker,” is somewhat formulaic, but not without some creative plot twists and devilish dialogue. Dave Payne is no stranger to the small budget horror flick with several previous action/thriller films to his name and his natural writing ability for comedy/horror/thrillers shows in “The Reeker.” The visuals of the villain use CGI enhancement and create a monstrous figure who is not easily put to rest.
Probably due to the low budget of “The Reeker,” the film primarily takes place within one motel set and the acting, from a group of relative unknowns is balanced. The motel environment is put to good use with several action scenes taking place in an outhouse and throughout several bedrooms. As well, the dark lighting of most of the film creates shadows that accentuate the vicious features of the killer and create a true horror experience.
A unique ending provides one final twist that even with hints throughout the film is a shocker. Fun, full of suspense, and original “The Reeker,” is a film that truly is underrated and worthy of at least one viewing if not several more. Find it on video/DVD/Blu-Ray as it worth the price of a rental or even a purchase.
Trailer for “The Reeker,” at 28dayslateranalysis.com below: