Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most influential horror movies of all time. Texas Death Trippin’ from Crude Comics Cinema pays homage to the Tobe Hooper classic without seeming like a complete knock off. Mixing some great comedy, a cool soundtrack, and some familiar horror tropes, the 2019 film is a fun bit of stoner horror.
Texas Death Trippin’ is a very typical horror story. A group of friends sets out on a road trip to Texas to attend a three day stoner rock fest. We have the requisite members of the group such as the guy the others like to make fun of and the online model everyone drools over. There is also the last minuet uninvited guest to even out the male to female ratio. Along the way, they stop to camp overnight in order to rest up for the rock festival that may be more difficult to make it to than they first anticipated.
The story is not one that will win awards for originality. That is not a problem since this is a horror movie. It also falls into a a very niche subgenre. Texas Death Trippin’ makes it clear from the outset this is a stoner horror movie. Much like the Evil Bong series, this is a movie that does not make the stoner a character that dies early, but the star of the movie. Unlike Evil Bong, it works here.
Texas Death Trippin’ lets its audience know immediately that it does not take itself too seriously. This is nothing more than a fun horror movie involving characters who enjoy smoking marijuana. There is no deeper subtext or important message. The writing gets to the point of what films were originally about. A way to spend some time to forget about the seriousness of the world.
To that end, the movie is filled with so much comedy, that it may be more correct to call it comedy horror than a straight horror movie. The humor comes off natural and does a great job of conveying an actual road trip. This is not like National Lampoon where the group experiences a series of wacky misadventures. This is the kind of road trip that many in the audience have actually been a part of. Essentially, you have a bunch of friends hanging out and going all out. This adds an unexpected relatability of Texas Death Trippin’.
There is one major drawback to having this much rapid fire comedy in one movie. Every joke is going to be hit or miss. Now, this is true of any comedy, but it is especially true here – especially since some of the jokes are very particular. Because Texas Death Trippin’ is a stoner movie, there will be many jokes that relate to drug culture that some people may not find funny or even understand. Robbie Lopez’s script is also fond of using random comedy. This brand of humor is very polarizing, as some people enjoy the, “that’s so random!” moments while others will just roll their eyes.
Texas Death Trippin’ actually hits a nice mix for the most part. The main characters are stoners, so they will say some things that are off the wall. Somehow, even some of the most random moments fit into the context of what is happening. The movie walks a very thin line, but it is able to pull off the laughs it is looking for more often than not.
The story has a great atmosphere. In any film in which stoner play a prominent role, there has to be a scene in which the audience is taken into the mind of one of the drug users. Texas Death Trippin’ does a great job of this. Instead of one scene filled with colors and psychedelics and disorienting visuals, the film subtly has little moments the entire time. Sometimes, it is subtle like a particular camera angle or a comment. Other times, it is very clear like an animated sequence or a weird cut scene. By the time, the friends are hallucinating in the woods, the movie has done an excellent job of giving the entire movie a trippy feel.
Texas Death Trippin’ is a surprisingly enjoyable film. Stoner humor can only take the audience so far before it gets boring. There are so many horror movies nowadays that watching one can almost be a chore. This one defies all the odds. Not every joke lands, but they do not have to. The horror tropes used are more comforting than tedious. Texas Death Trippin’ is something audiences do not see enough of today: good mindless entertainment.