Summer Camp full movie review - Where's Jason Voorhees when you need him?
Remember the eighties? Remember when horror movies set in summer camps featured gruesomely deformed and masked killers ? or their deranged mothers ? that slaughtered dozens of scantily clad and hormone-overloaded teenagers?
Oh, how I miss those days? I don't want to sound too much like a dinosaur, but good slasher movies practically aren't made anymore nowadays and apparently now even the throwback/tribute movies don't even properly qualify as slashers anymore! Based on its title, film poster and brief plot description, I went to the premiere of "Summer Camp" at the Brussels' International Fantastic Film Festival and I was fully energized to watch a homage to 80s slasher flicks, but what I got was actually a zombie/virus- infected people flick instead! Due to the massive oversupply of bad and derivative zombie movies during the past decade and a half, I try to avoid them as much as possible so I'm pretty irked that I got lured to the theater thinking it was a slasher! "Summer Camp" is an American-Spanish co-production and you may take that very literally since it stars American students that spend their summer vacation in Northern Spain to work as English language counselors. With only one day left before the children arrive the conditions are far from optimal: there are tensions between the four camp leaders, the tap water is still cut off, there's a massive amount of pollen in the air, a bunch of freaks set up an improvised drug laboratory in the woods nearby and one of the camp's pet dogs had to put down because of rabies? Then suddenly, the teenagers alternately get struck by a murderous rage that causes their mouth to froth and their eyes to turn black, but ? and here's the big surprise ? the rage/infection is only temporary and the effects wear off leaving the victim without any recollection of what happened! Seriously, instead of a slasher throwback we get a film in which zombie infection turns out to be some kind of bad drug trip?!? In spite of being written, produced and directed by a couple of supposedly talented Spanish horror experts, Alberto Marini and Jaume Balagueró, "Summer Camp" comes across as very amateurish. There isn't any character development (one of the girls has personal problems but they never get clarified), the timings are all wrong (all horrendous stuff takes place before the children arrive at camp) and of all the possible clichés there's hinted at in the script (pollen, rabies, water, mushrooms?) they chose the most dreadful one as cause of the infection. I can easily imagine that, during the development process of the film, the main idea that every character in the story gets his/her turn to be the murdering maniac as well as the terrified victim must have sounded very refreshing and original, but outcome is merely just idiotic and far-fetched. The gore and make-up effects are quite disappointing as well, and the only thing I'm remotely enthusiast about is the acting job of the young protagonists, particularly the naturally beautiful actresses Maiara Walsh and Jocelin Donahue.