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fantasia 2004
films + schedule

Canadian Premiere

2005 | 100 min | video
English language

none click here to watch the trailer
screening times
July 25th, 2005
7:40 pm
Hall Theatre
tickets available through... Admission Ticket Network

Reeker opens with a happy family driving an ozone-snuffing SUV out on a country road. A somewhat spectacular "vehicular mishap" causes them to step out and walk around an unfamiliar stretch of land. The outside air smells bad, in a most unnatural way. We know that things will not fare well for them when the last we see of the father, he is missing half his face! Roll titles! After this incredible opener, we are introduced to a young man by the name of Trip, who rips off fistfuls of experimental ecstasy tabs from a clearly borderline chemist. He then hooks up with a mixed assortment of friends to take a… trip… to an out-of-state party. When his friends find out he’s effectively become a drug smuggler, they flip. When they run out of gas and have to spend the night at a seemingly abandoned hotel, they are not exactly thrilled. But what’s that strange smell? And why can’t any cell phones get a signal? Things are about to get very nasty. Before the sun rises, all innocence and many a body part will be lost.

Writer/director Dave Payne has carved a wildly thrilling film out of a series of strategically familiar genre elements, and you are in for one hell of a treat. Reeker is an edgy black twin to commercial horror cinema, cleverly directed, punctuated with highly original bursts of gore and sparkling with equal doses of affection for its characters and the audience. Payne knows how to toy with viewers by using the traditions of horror’s visual language to work against the expectations it constructs. His characters, while being "types," are engaging and smart. The film’s comedy elements are refreshingly witty, arising from situations rather than gracelessly stopping them dead. And Payne has created a freakish new screen monster—a semi-invisible, space-hopping killing machine with an affinity for outrageous industrial weaponry and a stomach-turning death scent which is often the only clue victims may have to its presence. In the filmmaker’s words, "It’s the type of horror film I’d like to see. No one seems to be making them fun, smart and scary." Payne certainly has done it. Exciting, grotesque, atmospheric and imaginative, Reeker is a ton of ferocious fun and a welcomed breath of fresh pungent air.

—Mitch Davis

"Horrific… surreal… Blacker-than-black humor… You've never seen anything like Payne's note-perfect, middle-of-nowhere nightmare" – Marc Savlov, AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"F*cks with the conventions of horror to provide plenty of really cool surprises and twists" – Eric Campos, FILM THREAT

"Earns a top spot among horror films that are as self-aware as they are creepy, spooky, mysterious and kooky. There's nothing vaguely mild about this movie" – John Anderson, VARIETY



Director: Dave Payne
Screenplay: Dave Payne
Cast: Scott Whyte, Tina Illman, Michael Ironside, Eric Mabius, Derek Richardson
Producers: Dave Payne, Tina Illman, Amanda Klein


Dave Payne
Reeker (2005), Just Can't Get Enough (2001), Adam's Family Reunion (1998), Under Oath (1997), Alien Terminator (1996), Showgirl Murders (1996)


Dave Payne studied at the Iowa Writer's Workshop before moving to Los Angeles. He began his career interning for Roger Corman and went on to helm several features for the legendary producer. With Reeker, Payne set out to blend his love of movie monsters, slasher flicks and eccentric storytelling. Reeker is also the first film from The Institution, a production company founded by Payne and producer Tina Illman.

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