Reeker is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Dave Payne. The plot centers on a group of young adults who are stranded in a desert oasis where they fall prey to a horrific decaying creature.
|Directed by||Dave Payne|
|Written by||Dave Payne|
|Music by||Dave Payne|
|Edited by||Daniel Barone|
|Distributed by||Primal Pictures|
A family is driving down a desert highway when they hit a deer. The dad gets out and comes back with half his face gone. The family is attacked by something.
In a lavish apartment, Trip meets with a dealer, Radford, who provides him with pills for a rave in the desert. Trip steals all of the pills. He meets with his friends Cookie, Nelson, Jack, who is blind, and Gretchen. The group notices an overturned car on the highway, which they dismiss as an abandoned accident.
Gretchen discovers that Trip is carrying drugs and stops the vehicle to kick him out. While parking at the side of the road, the group notices a short, but strong tremor. Gretchen agrees to take Trip back to a diner, which has been abandoned. The car runs out of gas and breaks down, so they decide to stay at the Halfway Motel. Learning from the radio that the highway has been closed, Trip decides to walk down the road for help. Jack and Gretchen pitch camp and sleep outside. After a haunting experience with the drug dealer Radford, Trip escapes and meets a man named Henry driving an RV, who is looking for his missing wife. He goes with Trip to the motel and sets up camp there. Trip doesn't tell his friends about his run-in with Radford, but warns them to be careful.
Looking for signal reception for his mobile phone, Trip releases from a rubbish skip the still-living head, torso and arms of a truck driver who then crawls away. Henry then meets Trip and discovers they both are seeing the dead people. While in his camper, Henry collapses, suffocating as a dark figure moves through the trailer. Still looking for reception, Trip is attacked on the roof by a hooded figure. Cookie is killed while sitting in an outhouse by being dragged into the hole.
Nelson is almost dragged under his bed, but pulls himself back up and jumps on top of the bed. He takes his sneaker off and drops it on the ground, watching as it is shredded. He then tries to escape by jumping through the window, but fatally cuts his throat on a shard of glass. Gretchen and Jack discover Nelson's and Henry's bodies, prompting Gretchen to look for Trip. Jack encounters the creature but escapes when Trip shoots at the figure with his gun. Trip is overpowered by the creature and loses his arm, then dies.
In reality an RV crashed into Gretchen's car after Trip stepped out to call for a ride, at the moment when they experienced the tremor. None of the group had noticed the RV, whose driver was Henry. His wife, Rose had explained that he was suffering a heart attack and lost control. The car that the group saw leaving the diner was in fact their own.
Each of the deaths at the hotel were reflected by their own deaths in the car: Cookie died from internal bleeding, Nelson cut his neck when he was thrown through the windshield, Trip's arm was severed gripping the cell phone and he died from blunt force trauma. Gretchen survived the crash because she was wearing her seat belt and Jack, despite receiving a massive head injury, also remained alive in the car. Radford, who had been stalking Trip, witnessed the accident and attempted to assist; hence the visions of him at the motel and highway.
In the final scene, Gretchen and Jack briefly discuss the fact that neither has any recollection of the accident, and no mention is made of the incidents at the motel. Jack comments that, for a moment in the crash, he thought he could see Gretchen, offhandedly mentioning the color of her eyes.
- Devon Gummersall as Jack
- Derek Richardson as Nelson
- Tina Illman as Gretchen
- Scott Whyte as Trip
- Arielle Kebbel as Cookie
- Michael Ironside as Henry Tuckey
- Eric Mabius as Radford
- Marcia Strassman as Rose Tuckey
- David Hadinger as The Reeker
- Les Jankey as Trucker
- Carole Ruggier as Mom
- Paul Butcher as Kid
- Steven Zlotnick as Officer Bern
- Christopher Boyer as Officer Mansfield
- Wesley Thompson as Officer Taylor
- Alejandro Patino as Velez the Medic
Reeker premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 13, 2005. It was later screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19th that same year, as well as the Screamfest Film Festival on October 21st.
The film was released on DVD by Fox on Oct 23, 2006. It was later re-released by Showtime Entertainment on Sep 25, 2007.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 54% "Rotten" based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. Variety critic John Anderson wrote called it a "glossy, gory takeoff on the teensploitation slasher flick that might just shock skeptics by scaring up crossover success." Peter Bradshaw from The Observer gave the film a negative review, awarding the film 1 out of 4 stars, stating, "You'd be a millionaire if you had a pound for every low-budget horror like this in existence, photographed like this, in this desert locale, and with this ending". Kim Newman from Empire Magazine awarded Reeker 4 out of 5 stars, praising the film's characterizations, and well used setting, old fashion monster. In his review he writes, "Despite the title, this is no stinker, the opposite, in fact, offering superior scares to recent offerings from the likes of Rob Zombie and even Eli Roth". Dread Central also offer the film similar praise, stating, "Reeker is worth both a look and a buy. Even better? Dave Payne is back and working on No Mans Land: Reeker 2 so hopefully there’s some more smartly written gore soaked hi-jinx in our future! Let’s hope that lightning can strike twice". Marc Savlov from The Austin Chronicle complimented the film's direction, acting, writing, "If all rave preparties were this much fun, Fatboy Slim might still have a career". In their book Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide, authors Chris and Kathleen Vander Kaay praised the film, calling it "A clever supernatural film that takes the conciet of the slasher framework and uses the set-up in a fresh and original way."
A sequel titled No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker was announced on July 15, 2008. It was released on DVD in the U.S. on October 14, 2008.
- Savlov, Marc. "SXSW Film Reviews: Reeker - Screens - The Austin Chronicle". Austin Chronicle.com. Marc Savlov. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "Reeker". Tribeca Film.com. Tribeca Film. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "Reeker (2005- Dave Payne". AllMovie.com. AllMovie. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "Reeker (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Anderson, John. "Reeker 1 & 2 - Reviews by David Nusair". Reelfilm.com. John Anderson. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Bradshaw, Peter. "Reeker". TheGuardian.com. Peter Bradshaw. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Newman, Kim. "Reeker Review". Variety.com. Kim Newman. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "Reeker (DVD) - Dread Central". DreadCentral.com. Dread Central. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Chris Vander Kaay; Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay (19 January 2016). Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide. McFarland. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-7864-9837-6.
- "First Official Stills From 'Reeker' Sequel - Bloody Disgusting!". Bloody Disgusting.com. Bloody DIsgusting. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 March 2016.