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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Campers

Faithful readers, here is my Christmas gift to you: warning you never to watch Happy Campers, an execrable summer camp movie released in 2001. Summer camp movies are usually bad to begin with, save maybe Meatballs and for some, not me, Wet Hot American Summer, but that film is a masterpiece compared to Happy Campers, which is incompetent at nearly every level.

Directed by Daniel Waters, who wrote Heathers, the film was sent straight to DVD for good reason. Although it has a number of recognizable names, none of the acting is good, and it appears to have been photographed and edited by blind people.

The setting is Camp Bleeding Dove, where a group of kids will spend 40 days. There are six counselors, each one a basic type--the jock, the cool guy, the overly cheerful girl, the hippie chick, the nerd. They will attempt to get into each other's pants. The only adult is the camp director, Peter Stormare, who gets struck by lightning, heading into the woods like Tom O'Bedlam, leaving the counselors in charge.

In the cast are Brad Renfro, barely articulating his lines as the supposedly suave guy, who ends up with Dominique Swain (who says things like "Isn't fun great!") and the jock Jordan Bridges, who at first hates the hippie girl (James King) but then lusts after her. The nerd is Justin Long, who would later be the face of Apple computers, but he doesn't get anyone.

The film has no laughs and was probably shot on a minuscule budget--at least that's what it looks like. It does look like a nice camp, with cabins with actual walls (when I went to camp we slept in tents). But the film is a complete waste of time. Avoid at all costs.

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