There are some days when I just want a Big Mac. Sure, I know that there isn’t much nutritional value in in it, but I am familiar enough with them that I know it will make me full, and at the same time know exactly what it will taste like, satisfying a craving. Movies can have the same effect on me, and this month, Camp Massacre was that Big Mac.
I sometimes crave the movies that Troma made during the 1980s, such as The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘Em High. These were junk food flicks with no nutritional value, but you felt very satisfied after. The films didn’t take themselves too seriously, and had liberal amounts of gore and nudity sprinkled around its campiness. Filmmakers Jim O’Rear and Daniel Emery Taylor have managed to tap into Troma’s secret sauce, and lathering it all over a new burger, and not skimping on the cheese. Here is the recipe they used:
Let’s start with the sesame seed bun. Originally titled “Fat Chance,” Camp Massacre centers around a group of overweight men at a fat camp, competing on a reality show to lose the most weight for a million dollar prize. What they don’t know is that there is a psycho killer among them, knocking them off one-by-one. Jeremy (Nicholas Huntsman) is a likable enough lead, seemingly normal amid the slew of ridiculous stereotype characters, such as a goth whose name is “Darc Ness;” a hillbilly who has an easier time pooping in another man’s hand than in the woods; the ultra-flamboyant gay man who is never without a lollipop to suck on; a New Jersey mafia crime boss; a 50-something year old gangster rapper; a couple of immature class clowns; and a Mexican guy who does not speak a word of English.
Underneath the bun, we have lots of delicious cheese. The killer, for example, wears a fried chicken bucket on his head, and wears a barbecue apron emblazoned with a six pack of beer, reading “Six Pack Abs.” The two clowns, played by T.J. Moreschi and the film’s writer/co-director, Daniel Emery Taylor, provide much of the movie’s humor, and play off each other very well. Taylor delivers his lines like a red-haired Drew Carey, and you can’t help but want to see more of him on screen. Jim O’Rear adds to his directing job as well, by playing the main sleezeball of the movie, the reality show host, who is puffing on an electronic cigarette in every shot he appears in, including a sex scene(!). Ava Cronin plays his foil, Natalie, whom I recognized from Tim Ritter’s segment in the digital gore anthology, HI-8. The humor comes at you from all directions, mostly with fat jokes, and I found myself giggling more than once. I was really hoping that there would be a chase scene with a fat guy, resulting in his stopping twenty feet away, gasping for breath as the killer simply walks up and snuffs the dude effortlessly.There is one funny kill, which I will not ruin here, but comes straight out of a Road Runner cartoon, and another scene of a lady who apparently likes bigger guys, as she just happens to carry a turkey leg and defibrillator in her purse when going to a bar. One more favorite involved a character facing off with the killer, when they start throwing cookies and snack cakes at each other. Great stuff here, folks!
Underneath the cheese, you get to the meat of the movie. This is where the talent really shines. We the viewers are treated to cameos by former WWF superstar Al Snow, Human Centipede 3 and adult film star Bree Olson, Ghost Hunters International investigator Scott Tepperman, legendary stuntman Dick Warlock (who also played Michael Myers in Halloween II), and YouTube celebrity, Shawn C. Phillips. The music used is perfect, and helps to make this feel like an eighties film. The opening credits scene is an animated segment not unlike the opening of Grease, and is a hoot to watch. Another actor I loved to watch was Megan Hunt, who plays Stefani: she is such a great casting choice, and did a fantastic job with her role as the show’s nurse. I hope to see her in many more roles in the future. As for extra features, the disc is loaded with them. There’s a blooper reel, a behind the scenes documentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, and a video diary.
The lettuce, pickles, and onions would be the bits that some people do not care for, and leave off. In this instance, the few problems I had with Camp Massacre included a plot motive which left me wondering how and why the opening kills happened, and an after-movie segment which left me confused. I was also wanting to see more gore. There was some decent scenes of grue, but not enough of the red stuff to satisfy my big appetite.
Overall, this is a damn fun movie that you can watch with friends after checking your brains in at the door. Lots of blood, nudity, and even a hilarious montage. The movie is just over two hours, and that’s a hell of a bang for your buck. I give this one three stars.