Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sickening Summer Cinema Part One: Killer Campouts

Ew, who beefed?
Since that beer, barbeque, B.O bus ride season is upon us (okay, let's be honest, it's always B.O. season in public transportation), I decided to make a short list of some of my favorite killer camp movies.  You won't find the obvious on here such as Friday the 13th or Sleepaway Camp.  Not because I'm painfully hip and non-conformist, but because everyone knows about those films simply because they are good.  In fact, anyone who cares enough to read a blog about shitty movies like myself, probably owns these on DVD already in some "Unhappy Camper" pack or something (and I do).  No, no my friends.  Here at TEC, we go for the gutter. 

Okay Tommy, truth or dare?
Actually, in an ironic twist of fate, I acquired my 3-Pack of Sleepaway Camp from an acquaintance of mine.  He borrowed it from a friend so we could drink some beers and watch the movies at my house some summer years ago.  That's of course not the ironic part.  The ironic part was that we didn't finish them all, so he left the pack at my house intending to pick it up at some point.  A month or so later, he was killed in a freak canoe accident on a lake.  Since I had no idea who his friend was that owned the movies, I still have them.  A camper's curse?  Probably not.  A devastating tragedy as opposed to actual irony?  Most likely.  Too much information?  Definitely.  I tend to do that a lot.

Anyway...back to the here are some of my favorite random killer camp/summer slasher flicks not a whole hell of a lot of people have seen.  Seek and enjoy.

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

Cheerleader Camp, which was originally titled Bloody Pom Poms (SO much better), stars Betsy Russell (Avenging Angel), Lucinda Dickey (Breakin' 1 and Electric Bugaloo), Leif Garrett (rehab and the seventies) and eventual porn star Teri Weigel (Anal Obsession, American Bukkake 7).  The story is fairly simple, cheerleaders, one of their boyfriends and a funny fat guy go to cheerleading camp so they can lay around in bikinis, have sex with each other and pass the spirit stick which is just having more sex with each other.  None of that happens in this movie except the bikinis part.  Alison (Russell) is plagued by strange nightmares in which she murders people.  After she arrives at camp, people start being murdered.  Is Alison the killer?  Is Leif Garrett balding in high school?  Spoiler alert: The answer to one of those questions is yes.

Berserker (1987)

If it's not fairly obvious, I love horror movies.  Especially if they cost $1.  I purchased Berserker (aka: Berserker: The Nordic Curse, to avoid confusion from fanboys) from my local Hollywood Video when they were clearing out their VHS section.  Turns out, it has nothing to do with Wolverine killing people and everything to do with Vikings.  Okay, not everything.  The premise is teenage or twenty somethings decide to vacation at a campground one of them went to a lot as a kid.  The campground is owned by full-of-the-ol'-gee-whiz Pappy.  Pappy is Norwegian.  This only matters because at some point, he tells some old timey urban legend about a Viking warrior that wears a bear poncho and kills people.  Sometimes you should listen to old people.  Especially if the story involves Vikings and knives.  Sidenote: Pappy is played by veteran in everything character actor, George "Buck" Flower.  He also plays "Pop" in Cheerleader Camp.

Blood Lake (1987)

Oh, old man maniac, you slay me!  Too soon?  Anyway, so a group of teenagers, some younger than fifteen, somehow are allowed to go camping unsupervised by parents.  This turns out to be good for the parents since if they had come along, they only would have been stabbed anyway.  This gem is filmed on a hand-held video camera so don't bother playing it on your HD VCR. I'm pretty sure the stars of this film, including the break out child actor portraying "Tony," never went on to become legitimate porno stars like Teri Weigel, (see Droppin' Loads 2) but sometimes in this business you just don't got it.  If you like water skiing and steak knives, check out Blood Lake (getting 12 year-olds drunk since that time they made it).

Edge of the Axe (1988)

Turns out, horror movies rip off other horror movies.  This happens a lot, but it's hard to avoid when almost everything has been done (until Human Centipede).  Rather than hurting your brain meats being creative, it's easier to just stick with a formula you know works.  Everyone is scared of a dude in a mask with an axe, right?  This movie was sort of a rip-off coleslaw of both Halloween and Friday the 13th.  The watchable difference with this rip-off is it opens with a lady getting axed to death in a car wash.  Watch worthy.  The story surrounds one summer in a peaceful little do-nothing town where the all American citizens are being cut up by an axe-wielding maniac, but WHO is it?  Is it the twitchy sheriff?  The bartender's daughter?  The escaped lunatic?  Or the scantily-clad man-voiced female bar patron?  Who knows.  What I do know is this movie has talking computers that invented instant messaging before it was invented.  Edge of the Axe just may have broken new ground in computer technology!  Also, there is a good twist ending (unlike Signs) I never saw coming.   

The Willies (1990)

So technically this film is not a traditional killer camp/summer slasher.  People are killed though and poodles are microwaved.  You actually may have seen this one, the toilet monster in it scared the shit out of me as a kid, and there are a couple well-known actors.  The Willies stars Samwise Gamgee Sean Astin (Encino Man) and Kimmy Robertson, favorer of refrigerator note film titles (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Don't Tell Mom, The Babysitter's Dead).  Three kids, related by blood, go camping out in the woods.  Whilst in the dark, rabid-raccoon-infested forest alone, they attempt to freak each other out by telling scary fictional and true (unconfirmed) stories about killer janitors (I always wondered what Steve Coozer kept in that broom closet) and exploding dogs.  Though it may not give you "the willies" as an adult, I still can't watch that dog scene.  Of course, that could just be because I'm a girl and we do things like a girl.  

Mosquito (1995)

Another treasure I acquired for a mere dollar (before tax), The Mosquito is an unexpectedly watchable movie.  It's also an orgy of genres including horror, sci-fi, comedy, romance and nature films.  The Mosquito starts with the crash landing of an alien ship in s possibly national park somewhere in America.  An average earthling mosquito decides to suck the alien blood from a dead, or I guess just dying, alien's arm.  Instead of the dead alien becoming Zombie Mosquito Man doing whatever a Zombie Mosquito Man can, the mosquito becomes a giant alien killer mosquito and begins sucking buckets of blood out of camping tourists!  Then more mosquitoes suck more mutating alien blood and more tourists get drained!  The film stars Gunnar Hansen better known as the original "Leatherface" of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series and some other people.  Some of the jokes are actually funny and the mosquito puppet is surprisingly good plus, alien mutant blood!

There you have it.  Now, instead of doing outdoorsy active things in that burning bright warmth called "the sun", stay cool indoors with a refreshing brew and enjoy these delightful turds available (probably not) at a video store near you.

Like a fine wine.
Or just download Teri Weigel's Masterbation Nation 4.

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