KILLER CAMPOUT (2017)
Directed by Brad Twigg
Written by James L. Edwards, Matt Hill, Brad Twigg
Starring George Stover, Nadia White, John A. Russo, Alex Neumeier, Jenny Jannetty, Luba Hansen, Roger Yawson, Gary Lee Vincent, Julio Bana Fernandez, Rosanna Nelson, Chris O’Brocki, Andrea Marie, James L. Edwards, Rick Jermain, Dakota Lynn, Frederick Cowie, Jason Delgado, Lindsay Lockhart, David Phillip Carollo, Matthew L. Furman, Daniel Johnson, Jesse L. Green, Maggie Hill, Nicholas Yoder II, Mariana Triantos, Erica Jones, Solon Tsangaras, with an intro by Herschell Gordon Lewis!
Find out more about this film here and @killercampout
I wasn’t expecting great things upon entering KILLER CAMPOUT, but I finished the film with a wide smile on my face. No this isn’t great cinema, but it is fun horror. KILLER CAMPOUT has everything that goes along with low budget horror; amateur acting, nonsensical plot, inane dialog, gratuitous gore and even more gratuitous sex and nudity. And that’s why I loved this film from start to finish!
It’s a pretty lofty honor for a film to be introed by the late great Herschell Gordon Lewis. It’s even harder to live up to that honor. But somehow KILLER CAMPOUT does it simply by being unabashedly in love with the genre. The story is simple—there’s a psycho killer killing, eating, kidnapping, raping, and raising offspring of his own in the middle of a heavily forested area. It just so happens that this is an area that seems to be riddled with couples camping, falling in love, having sex, getting lost, and just asking to be murderized. A group of troubled twenty-somethings are brought to that very forest on a camping retreat and find themselves picked off one by one by our camouflaged killer who goes by the name of Gene.
Gore, boobs, and tons and tons of gnats flying around everyone. That’s what you’re in for when you take this KILLER CAMPOUT for a spin. All of it is doled out in gratuitous quantities as every gal at the very least has to strip down to their undies (most of them, including the breathtaking Nadia White, are buck nekkid quite often) before they are killed in ways that require galloons of blood and guts being sprayed everywhere. In between these spicy and saucey moments are extended scenes of amateur actors going for Oscars and group therapy sessions that go on for way too long. Yes these scenes are tedious, but somehow the script, with all of it’s kooky 80’s references (the story is set in 1989) and surprisingly clever and funny dialog are not as hard to swallow as the usual scenes in films of this ilk. KILLER CAMPOUT knows what it is and even when it is trying to be serious, it still knows how to entertain.
A few items I noticed as I watched; the killer seems to like to dine on entrails. I don’t understand this. There surely must be more appetizing parts to feast on rather than the organs with poop in them. Nevertheless, these practical effects (as is often found in these low budgeters) are excellent as the filmmakers know where to put their money to please the goreheads. The film manages to pull off a decent little twist towards the end and despite the bad acting, the production values are surprisingly decent—reminiscent of the slashers of the 80’s that actually cared about the way their films looked. I was constantly reminded of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING as this involves a therapy group going on a camping outing, so it’s got a bunch of kids with mental problems being stalked by someone with obvious mental issues too. By far, my favorite character is Sampson Del Mar (James L. Edwards), a potbellied vigilante/Loomis type who is has been searching for the killer in the woods for years. His line delivery, porn-stache, and black slacks unsuitable for woodland exploring make his character so bad it’s amazing. Plus the killer is named Gene.
C’mon, that made me laugh every time someone said his name.
KILLER CAMPOUT is trashy fun and that is a compliment and I know the filmmakers will take it as such. I laughed out loud many, many times at this schlocky messterpiece. Any lover of those bad VHS Slasher films of the 80’s is going to flip for this (check out the homage to THE MUTILATOR on the DVD cover). It’s full of gore, sex, violence, boobs, blood, and nekkedness. Plus the song used in the film from the band VHS “From the Scrapyard to the Graveyard” is outstanding! For the right type of low budget horror fan, this is one must see film.