The Ranger. 2018. USA. Directed by Jenn Wexler. Screenplay by Wexler, Giaco Furino. With Chloe Levine, Jeremy Holm, Granit Lahu. DCP. 77 min.
Longtime Glass Eye Pix producer Jenn Wexler made her feature debut as a writer-director on this tongue-in-cheek throwback to 1980s punk-slasher movies, following a deranged, rules-obsessed park ranger who offers his victims—obnoxious teenage miscreants—sandwiches with the crusts cut off before cutting them to ribbons, only to meet his match in a feral girl from his past. “The film doesn’t take place in the actual ’80s,” Wexler notes, “but just to the left of reality, in a comic-book, fairy-tale-esque world that I dubbed ’80s Dreamland. In my mind’s eye, it was a world where ’80s punk movies like Return of the Living Dead, Smokey-the-Bear PSAs, and Lisa Frank colors collide.”