Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blood, Mayhem and Hunks...80's Style (sorta)

I'll be reviewing movies I recently watched and/or rented all this week. This is my review for the much-anticipated (on my part) Camp Slaughter. I prefer the original title of Camp Daze, but I guess the PR people thought "Camp Slaughter" would rent/sell better.

Here's a brief synopsis of the film: A group of kids break down while driving down a remote forest road. After a disturbing night alone in the woods, they stumble upon Camp Hiawatha in full swing and packed with seemingly happy teenagers. However, the teens and the camp itself are strangely trapped back in 1981. The clothes, the music, the hair, and the attitudes are 24 years back in time. The campers are forced to relive the same day and night over and over again. The night when a silent killer stalked the camp silencing campers and counselors one by one. The kids from the present struggle to understand and help the teens from 1981 break free of the curse.

The movie had its pros and cons, depending on whether or not you're an 80's slasher movie fan, which I am. On the plus side, I appreciate the movie and what it was trying to do; pay homage to the 80's slashers via cliches, body count, music, sets, etc. It's obvious that the people who made the film were lover's of the genre. I just don't know how successful they were at translating that concept into an actual film.

The shot-on-video look of the film didn't help, I don't care what kind of spin you put on it ("It gave the movie a retro, more authentic look", etc.), it was more distracting and left the movie without the polish it needed to engage the audience. The "80's" wardrobe wasn't up to par either, though I'm sure the people responsible for the movie would say that the wardrobe was meant to be campy, it didn't seem deliberate (anything can be justified after the fact). It seemed more like an unsuccessful attempt at capturing a time period in which the wardrobe person was just not familiar with. I'd be very surprised if the person responsible for the wardrobe was even a teen in the 80's. An Olivia Newton-John headband and some basketball shorts do not the 80's make.

And last, but not least, the acting. It's about what you'd expect from a shot-on-video movie. Like any ensemble piece, some actors/actresses were better than others, but for the most part more often than not, the acting was pretty heavy-handed and about par, considering the material.


Now for the best part about the movie: The eyecandy. Oh man, if you like hot guys, then you'll dig this movie. Of course the irony is that they flipped the whole male/female dynamic usually associated with slasher flicks (i.e. the T&A factor) and the male bods were a lot more prominent than the females. It was almost like watching one of David DeCoteau's straight-to-video "horror" movies. For those who aren't familiar with DeCoteau, he's an über gay director whose horror flicks are basically a bunch of Abercrombie & Fitch wannabe twinks (AKA "himbos") in their underwear dealing with some kind of supernatural or horror-related crisis. His movies are FILLED with hot guys, while most of the actor's heads are probably filled with cotton. The movies and the "effects" generally suck (CGI), but the mancandy hovers (no pun intended) somewhere near homoerotic and softcore with a bodycount (not surprising considering he started his career "directing" gay porn). If you want to rent one, here's how you watch a DeCoteau movie:

• Press "Mute"
• Keep your finger hovering over the "Forward Wind" button on the remote
• Enjoy

And speaking of hot guys, the one MAJOR saving grace of the film was the lead actor who portrayed the camp director, Ivan (Jon Fleming). Damn! He was smokin' H-O-T! He has those Vince Vaughn eyes I love so much and a bod that can only be described as perfection, especially the legs. I'd like to sink my teeth into that manwich! ROWR! I'd buy the movie completely based on his appearance, and I will too...once it goes on sale previously viewed at Hollywood Video. I defy you to not agree with me! I double-dog defy you! Hot, I'm tellin' you!

Overall, worth a rental if you like the 80's slasher genre and/or hot, shirtless guys who are obviously a product of the times and definitely not the 80's. Today's generation of guys now have the obligatory abs, etc. Very Abercrombie & Fitch, and definitely not Izod.

P.s. For those concerned that the stills from the movie shown here somehow spoil the movie, trust me, they don't. Things aren't always at they seem at Camp Slaughter.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Cheryl said...

I dunno if I agree with you about the guy. I think he kinda looks like Perry Smith.

http://www.ljworld.com/specials/incoldblood/psmith.html

Perry was a body-builder before it was 'cool' too. :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Cheryl-
I knew when I double-dog defied people to disagree, someone would take me up on it. LOL! That's okay, it'a all relative. Personally, I don't get the whole Orlando Bloom thing, but people seem to think he's dreamy. Meh

I have to admit I don't see the Perry Smith parallel, though he is kinda dreamy and you know how I likes me some bodybuilders! ROWR!

Isn't it interesting how everyone is different in their perception of what does and doesn't appeal to them? Not being sarcastic, I seriously find that interesting. Makes me wonder what aspects of our upbringing carves out that niche of what we each designate as "attractive."

Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:13:00 PM  

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