Sunday, April 30, 2006

Camp Slaughter (2005)

“After the good time we're going to show you boys, I don't think you're going to want to leave.”

Here's how I assume the pitch meeting went for Camp Slaughter:

“You'll love this one! We cross Friday the 13th with Groundhog Day and a dash of Brokeback Mountain.”

“How could I NOT love it? Take this sledgehammer. Your budget will be whatever you can get out of the candy machine in the lobby. Oh, and grab me a Snickers while you're at it.”

Daniel, Jen, Mario, and Angela are on their way to Boston. They first notice something is amiss when they pass the same road sign twice. Even more telling is the fact that the sign says “Welcome to Maine.” The only way these characters could pass through Maine on the way to Boston is if they are coming from Canada–which clearly they are not–or if the film is shot in Northern California and no one bothered to consult a map.

The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the four are forced to spend the night in the vehicle. When morning comes the car is surrounded by the nauseatingly perky, short-short wearing counselors of Camp Hiawatha. They bring the four back to camp and offer to call a tow truck that any self-respecting horror buff knows will never arrive. Even stranger than the overly fun loving staff are the calendars, ancient magazines, and the cringe-inducing dialogue of Nichole the Valley Girl. Camp Hiawatha is doomed to repeat a single summer day from 1981 in which the campers and counselors are all brutally killed.

To the best of my knowledge this is the first Friday the 13th knock off with a homo-erotic subtext. The scenes of muscular bare-chested young men touching, patting one another on the butt, and embracing are too numerous to be misinterpreted. Strangely, this theme never moves beyond implication, so my Broke Back Mountain reference is admittedly overstated. The fact that the the main characters are driving a Hummer would make for a joke too lame even for me.

I will give the filmmakers credit, the idea of a summer camp in which the counselors are brutally murdered each and every day only to awaken the following morning to do it all over again has some merit. Anyone who has seen any of the Friday the 13th movies can tell you just how much these characters NEED to die. Allowing them to be slaughtered continuously for 24 years seems almost just. This, however, is where the accolades stop.

Despite a decent premise, Camp Slaughter is bad beyond redemption. There isn't a single likable or interesting character to be found. Some characters are referred to as campers, but they all seem old enough to be counselors themselves. The gore effects are amateurish and lack accompanying sound effects. Director Alex Pucci over-uses closeups, allowing us to explore the actors' pores and nasal cavities to distraction. Clever dialogue like “I know these roads like the back of my dick,” is just wasted.

Remove this from your Netflix queue. Seriously. It's for the best.

Camp Slaughter's entry at the Internet Movie Database.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

But the cover art looks sa-weet!

I think artists should refuse to do DVD cover art or posters until they have seen the movie. That way they know exactly what they're putting their prints on!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...