Directed byPhilip Shih
Produced byAlejandro Salomon
Frederic Cipoletti
James Jurdi
Screenplay byJames Jurdi/Mark James
StarringDanny Trejo
Vinnie Jones
Jake Busey
Shayla Beesley
James Jurdi
Linda Mendez
Christopher Judge
Music bySean Murray
Edited byNic Hill
Distributed byEntertainment One
Release date
  • October 6, 2014 (United Kingdom)
  • June 6, 2015 (United States)
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Reaper is a 2014 American horror/crime film directed by Philip Shih and written by James Jurdi and Mark James. The film stars Danny Trejo, Shayla Beesley, Vinnie Jones, Jake Busey, James Jurdi, and Christopher Judge. It was released in the United States on June 9, 2015 by Entertainment One.


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A former cult leader escapes the electric chair and returns as a supernatural serial killer named Reaper, wreaking havoc on a small county and targeting those he believes to be sinners.

Natalie, an attractive hitchhiker, gets picked up by alcoholic salesman Bill, but his car breaks down and they wind up at a motel. Bill and Natalie check in as newlyweds and get intimate. She spikes his cup of Jack Daniels with a sleeping pill, ties him up, and takes his wallet and car keys. The Reaper kills Bill with a scythe. Natalie calls her mother and finds out that her mother needs money for her surgery, or else the bank will cancel her hospice. Natalie says to her that she will get the money and pay for the operation.

She stops in at a diner. Rob, a mob boss, realizes that his young protege Brad has been botching his tasks. Rob gives Brad a final chance and throws him some money to finish up a pending deal. After witnessing Brad tip a waitress handsomely, Natalie sets her sights on him, first tampering with his wheels, then running him over. Feigning concern, she runs out of the car and offers him a ride. Some sexual foreplay ensues, but she convinces him to get her a drink from a liquor mart, then zooms off with his money and gun.

Natalie finds out that Brad is a drug mule, and his dealer, truck driver Jack, is at the same motel she stayed at with Bill. Two hit men enter the motel and are killed by the Reaper. The motel owner tries to rape her when she tries to call the police. The Reaper kills him. Jack and Brad decide to help Natalie. A policeman named Banks arrives and takes them into custody. The Reaper lures Banks to follow him with a shotgun. Rob, fed up with Brad's inability to close the deal, goes after him. Natalie and the others are locked in a supply closet for their safety. After searching the motel, Banks is killed by the Reaper. The trio escape from the supply closet, and decide to work together to fight the Reaper.

They try to escape in Jack's truck, but she removed the distributor cap. Brad and Natalie decide to put their differences aside and locate the money and the drugs. Brad is cornered by Rob, but Natalie drops a fire extinguisher on Rob's head. Rob survives and slaps Natalie around. Brad kills him with his own knife. Jack pulls up in the truck. Brad shoots Jack, intending to take the money and the drugs for himself and strand Natalie as payback for robbing him earlier. He is killed by the Reaper.

Natalie is captured by the Reaper, then taken to a church where he brings his victims. He starts to torment her, planning to send her to hell. Jack (who survived his gunshot wound) returns and drowns the Reaper in a bucket of water, saving Natalie's life. Jack tells Natalie to start her life all over before dying. She calls her mother to let her know she's on her way to see her. Natalie takes off in Jack's truck, then picks up a female hitchhiker who asks about Natalie's story. She smiles, asking how much time she's got.

The Reaper survived and rises to his feet, on his way to continue reaping.


  • Danny Trejo as Jack
  • Vinnie Jones as Rob
  • Jake Busey as Bill
  • Shayla Beesley as Natalie
  • James Jurdi as Brad
  • Linda Mendez as Natalie's mother
  • Christopher Judge as Officer Banks
  • Justin Henry as Caine
  • Ian Fisher as Vagabond


Much of the film was shot at the Tudor-style getaway 'The Glen Tavern Inn' in Santa Paula, California.


Critical responses[edit]

The film was hyped for its pairing of 'indie film icons Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones,' said David McNary of Variety Magazine.[1]

Steve Barton of Dread Central wrote 'Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones. If ever there were a magic pairing of violence and machismo in cinema, this is it. Putting these two together is a no-brainer, and now thanks to this new film, appropriately titled Reaper, that’s just what we’re getting!'.[2]

Ryan Miller of wrote: ' We can't possibly ignore the fact that two of cinemas most badass mother will be sharing the screen together, now can we!'[3]

Matt Wavish of Horror Cult Films wrote: 'Now here is a damn fine paring up of movie hardmen if ever there was one!'[4]

Upon its release, the film was met with favorable reviews from critics. Ben Gummery of Battle Royale With Cheese wrote: 'the film features a strong cast..' then added that 'I found the characters in this film really well developed; especially for a genre where there is usually more attention paid to killing off characters than giving them believable stories. Trejo plays a character he has played many times before and easily masters; the toughened criminal with morals. He even brandishes a Machete in tribute to his best known role. Beesley is a revelation as Natalie and we see her character jump off the screen and delve to new depths as the story develops. Busey; despite only making a brief appearance is electric as Bill and really helps to kick start the film; following his success in the From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. I also really enjoyed Jurdi’s performance as self-interested criminal Brad.' Gummery ended his review by writing 'as a stand-alone movie it is enjoyable and a must see for fans of this horror sub-genre'.[5]

Horror Cult Films wrote 'it’s crime narrative and the performances from Busey, Beesley, Jurdi and Trejo make it an entertaining watch of sorts' also adding that 'The Last Chance hotel is also one of the stars of the film in its own little way. The hotel, much like Psycho’s The Bates Motel, is home to a creepy receptionist named Caine Justin Henry, who’s religious talk and peak cap eblazoned with the word ‘Repent’ should have been enough for the characters to think twice.. The hotel acts as a prison for the film’s survival scenes to take place and in that respect it does a decent enough job.'[6]

A review on Realm of Horror wrote that 'I was pleased to find it actually exceeded my expectations.. Its quite different in that no one in the film can actually be classed as a “good guy”. Everyone has a dark side., overall, I found the film to be thoroughly entertaining.[7]


  1. ^McNary, Dave (22 July 2013). 'Danny Trejo, Vinnie Jones Starring In 'Reaper' (EXCLUSIVE)'. Variety. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^Barton, Steve (26 July 2013). 'Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones Don't Fear the Reaper'. Dread Central. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^Miller, Ryan (26 July 2013). 'Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones battle the Reaper'. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^Wavish, Matt (27 July 2013). 'Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones to battle the 'Reaper' in new horror film'. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^Gummery, Ben (22 October 2014). 'Reaper (2014)'. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^HCF Reviews, Bat (24 October 2014). 'REAPER (2014)'. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^Angel, Dark (25 September 2014). ''Reaper' - UK DVD review'. Awesome Inc. Retrieved 22 August 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

  • Reaper at IMDb
  • Reaper at the TCM Movie Database
Retrieved from ''
Typical 20th-century reaper, a tractor-drawn Fahr machine

A reaper is a farm implement or person that reaps (cuts and often also gathers) crops at harvest when they are ripe. Usually the crop involved is a cereal grass. The first documented reaping machines were Gallic reaper that was used in modern-day France during Roman times. The Gallic reaper involved a comb which collected the heads, with an operator knocking the grain into a box for later threshing.[1]

Most modern mechanical reapers cut the grass; most also gather it, either by windrowing it or picking it up. Modern machines that not only cut and gather the grass but also thresh its seeds (the grain), winnow the grain, and deliver it to a truck or wagon it are called combine harvesters or simply combines; they are the engineering descendants of earlier reapers.

Hay is harvested somewhat differently from grain; in modern haymaking, the machine that cuts the grass is called a hay mower or, if integrated with a conditioner, a mower-conditioner. As a manual task, cutting of both grain and hay may be called reaping, involving scythes, sickles, and cradles, followed by differing downstream steps. Traditionally all such cutting could be called reaping, although a distinction between reaping of grain grasses and mowing of hay grasses has long existed; it was only after a decade of attempts at combined grain reaper/hay mower machines (1830s to 1840s) that designers of mechanical implements began resigning them to separate classes.[2]

Net radar dsp

Mechanical reapers substantially changed agriculture from their appearance in the 1830s until the 1860s through 1880s, when they evolved into related machines, often called by different names (self-raking reaper, harvester, reaper-binder, grain binder, binder), that collected and bound the sheaves of grain with wire or twine.[3]

Hand reaping[edit]

A reaper cutting rye in Germany in 1949

Hand reaping is done by various means, including plucking the ears of grains directly by hand, cutting the grain stalks with a sickle, cutting them with a scythe, or a scythe fitted with a grain cradle. Reaping is usually distinguished from mowing, which uses similar implements, but is the traditional term for cutting grass for hay, rather than reaping cereals. The stiffer, dryer straw of the cereal plants and the greener grasses for hay usually demand different blades on the machines.

The reaped grain stalks are gathered into sheaves (bunches), tied with string or with a twist of straw. Several sheaves are then leant against each other with the ears off the ground to dry out, forming a stook. After drying, the sheaves are gathered from the field and stacked, being placed with the ears inwards, then covered with thatch or a tarpaulin; this is called a stack or rick. In the British Isles a rick of sheaves is traditionally called a corn rick, to distinguish it from a hay rick ('corn' in British English retains its older sense of 'grain' generally, not 'maize'). Ricks are made in an area inaccessible to livestock, called a rick-yard or stack-yard. The corn-rick is later broken down and the sheaves threshed to separate the grain from the straw.

Collecting spilt grain from the field after reaping is called gleaning, and is traditionally done either by hand, or by penning animals such as chickens or pigs onto the field.

Hand reaping is now rarely done in industrialized countries, but is still the normal method where machines are unavailable or where access for them is limited (such as on narrow terraces).

The more or less skeletal figure of a reaper with a scythe – known as the 'Grim Reaper' – is a common personification of death in many Western traditions and cultures. In this metaphor, death harvests the living, like a farmer harvests the crops.

Mechanical reaping[edit]

A mechanical reaper or reaping machine is a mechanical, semi-automated device that harvests crops. Mechanical reapers and their descendant machines have been an important part of mechanized agriculture and a main feature of agricultural productivity.

Mechanical reapers in the U.S.[edit]

The 19th century saw several inventors in the United States claim innovation in mechanical reapers. The various designs competed with each other, and were the subject of several lawsuits.[4]

Obed Hussey in Ohio patented a reaper in 1833, the Hussey Reaper.[5]Made in Baltimore, Maryland, Hussey's design was a major improvement in reaping efficiency. The new reaper only required two horses working in a non-strenuous manner, a man to work the machine, and another person to drive. In addition, the Hussey Reaper left an even and clean surface after its use.[6]

Reaper Drone

McCormick's reaper at a presentation in Virginia

The McCormick Reaper was designed by Robert McCormick in Walnut Grove, Virginia. However, Robert became frustrated when he was unable to perfect his new device. His son Cyrus asked for permission to try to complete his father's project. With permission granted,[7] the McCormick Reaper was patented[8] by his son Cyrus McCormick in 1834 as a horse-drawn farm implement to cut small grain crops.[9] This McCormick reaper machine had several special elements:

  • a main wheel frame
  • projected to the side a platform containing a cutter bar having fingers through which reciprocated a knife driven by a crank
  • upon the outer end of the platform was a divider projecting ahead of the platform to separate the grain to be cut from that to be left standing
  • a reel was positioned above the platform to hold the grain against the reciprocating knife to throw it back upon the platform
  • the machine was drawn by a team walking at the side of the grain.[10]

Cyrus McCormick claimed that his reaper was actually invented in 1831, giving him the true claim to the general design of the machine. Over the next few decades the Hussey and McCormick reapers would compete with each other in the marketplace, despite being quite similar. By the 1850s, the original patents of both Hussey and McCormick had expired and many other manufacturers put similar machines on the market.[11]

Reaper recording software

In 1861, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a ruling on the invention of the polarizing reaper design. It was determined that the money made from reapers was in large part due to Obed Hussey. S.T. Shubert, the acting commissioner of patents, declared that Hussey's improvements were the foundation of their success. It was ruled that the heirs of Obed Hussey would be monetarily compensated for his hard work and innovation by those who had made money from the reaper. It was also ruled that McCormick's reaper patent would be renewed for another 7 years.[5]

Although the McCormick reaper was a revolutionary innovation for the harvesting of crops, it did not experience mainstream success and acceptance until at least 20 years after it was patented by Cyrus McCormick. This was because the McCormick reaper lacked a quality unique to Obed Hussey's reaper. Hussey's reaper used a sawlike cutter bar that cut stalks far more effectively than McCormick's. Only once Cyrus McCormick was able to acquire the rights to Hussey's cutter-bar mechanism (around 1850) did a truly revolutionary machine emerge.[12] Other factors in the gradual uptake of mechanized reaping included natural cultural conservatism among farmers (proven tradition versus new and unknown machinery); the poor state of many new farm fields, which were often littered with rocks, stumps, and areas of uneven soil, making the lifespan and operability of a reaping machine questionable; and some amount of fearful Luddism among farmers that the machine would take away jobs, most especially among hired manual labourers.[13]

Another strong competitor in the industry was the Manny Reaper by John Henry Manny and the companies that succeeded him. Even though McCormick has sometimes been simplistically credited as the [sole] 'inventor' of the mechanical reaper, a more accurate statement is that he independently reinvented aspects of it, created a crucial original integration of enough aspects to make a successful whole, and benefited from the influence of more than two decades of work by his father, as well as the aid of Jo Anderson, a slave held by his family.[14]

Reapers in the late 19th and 20th century[edit]

Champion reaper, trade card from 1875
Horse-drawn reaper in Canada in 1941

After the first reapers were developed and patented, other slightly different reapers were distributed by several manufacturers throughout the world. The Champion (Combined) Reapers and Mowers, produced by the Champion Interest group (Champion Machine Company, later Warder, Bushnell & Gessner, absorbed in IHC 1902) in Springfield, Ohio in the second half of the 19th century, were highly successful in the 1880s in the United States.[15] Springfield is still known as 'The Champion City'.

Generally, reapers developed into the 1872 invented reaper-binder, which reaped the crop and bound it into sheaves. By 1896, 400,000 reaper-binders were estimated to be harvesting grain.[clarification needed (number for the US only?)] This was in turn replaced by the swather and eventually the combine harvester, which reaps and threshes in one operation.

In Central European agriculture reapers were – together with reaper-binders – common machines until the mid-20th century.

Reaper Leviathan


Adriance reaper, late 19th century
  1. ^Chuksin, Petr. 'The History of the Gallic Reaper'. History of Gallic Reaper.
  2. ^McCormick 1931, pp. 59–60 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMcCormick1931 (help).
  3. ^McCormick 1931, pp. 67–72 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMcCormick1931 (help).
  4. ^McCormick 1931 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMcCormick1931 (help).
  5. ^ abFollet L. Greeno, ed. (1912). Obed Hussey: Who, of All Inventors, Made Bread Cheap.
  6. ^Colman, Gould P. (July 1968). 'Innovation and Diffusion in Agriculture'. Agricultural History. 42: 173–188.
  7. ^Bowman, Jeffrey (2006). Cyrus Hall McCormick.
  8. ^U.S. Patent X8277Improvement in Machines for Reaping Small Grain: Cyrus H. McCormick, June 21, 1834
  9. ^Daniel, Gross (August 1997). Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time (First ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 27. ISBN978-0-471-19653-2.
  10. ^'Agricultural Machinery in the 1800s'. Scientific American. 75 (4): 74–76. July 25, 1896. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican07251896-74.
  11. ^Canine, Craig. Dream Reaper: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Inventor in the High-Tech, High-Stakes World of Modern Agriculture. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. Pages 29-45.
  12. ^Olmstead, Alan L. (June 1975). 'The Mechanization of Reaping and Mowing in American Agriculture'. The Journal of Economic History. 35 (2): 327. doi:10.1017/s0022050700075082.
  13. ^Pripps, Robert N.; Morland, Andrew (photographer) (1993), Farmall Tractors: History of International McCormick-Deering Farmall Tractors, Farm Tractor Color History Series, Osceola, WI, USA: MBI, ISBN978-0-87938-763-1, p. 17.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  14. ^'Jo Anderson'. Richmond Times-Dispatch. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  15. ^'William N. Whiteley'. Ohio History Central. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2012-08-04.


Works Cited[edit]

  • McCormick, Cyrus Hall, III (1931), The Century of the Reaper, Houghton Mifflin, LCCN31009940, OCLC559717.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hutchinson, William T. (1930), Cyrus Hall McCormick: Seed-Time, 1809-1856, 1, Century Company, OCLC6991369.
  • Hutchinson, William T. (1930), Cyrus Hall McCormick: Harvest, 1856-1884, 2, Century Company, OCLC1651671.
  • Winder, Gordon M. (2016) [2013], The American Reaper: Harvesting Networks and Technology, 1830-1910, Routledge, ISBN9781317045151, OCLC940862197.

External links[edit]

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
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