Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This unknown (to me) summer camp slasher flick from the early 80s exceeded expectations, due to my onscreen cable guide giving it only 1 star in it's little synopsis. Still, the idea of an early 80s summer camp massacre was too inviting to pass up, so I'm glad I ignored their diss.
It's certainly paint by numbers teen slasher stuff, but that's fun, right? And this is absolutely from the golden age, made about the same time as Friday the 13th, of which this one seems a blatant copy. A "factoid" on imdb claims that Harvey Weinstein (who wrote this script) had already written it before F13 came out, though, so who knows.
Among the fun here is seeing the screen debuts of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter in a blink-and-you'll-miss-her role. And this was also the debut of the Weinstein brothers in Hollywood, it seems. The lead here is also the debut of Brian Backer, who would go on the next year to star in Fast Times in a similarly annoying whiny misfit role.
The plot, as if that matters, involves the revenge of a mean camp caretaker who had been burned almost to death (in a prank gone wrong) by some campers years before. Now he's out of the hospital, horribly disfigured, and terrorizing a new camp with some garden shears.
There's the requisite amount of female nudity--including full frontal skinny dipping!--for those scoring at home. Horror flicks are often seen as inherently conservative, even reactionary, politically, and this movie is a textbook case. It's fun to see the old tropes of slasher flicks in action: any girl who gets her knickers off is sure to die. And literally, the big boy scout guy comes to the rescue.
Like most slasher flicks, this isn't a particularly scary movie. It goes for gore over suspense, and there's plenty of gore for aficionados. I wouldn't say it's one to seek out, necessarily, but if you're in the mood for some nostalgia, I think this one will hit home for most Horrorthoners, as we're all children of the 70s/80s.
Apparently some stink was made in Europe over the gore in an infamous "raft scene." So here you go--I don't see any need for spoiler alerts--they all die!