A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Summer Camp Nightmare or a.k.a Who the Hell is Marvin?
Summer Camp Nightmare is another one of my "Holy Grail Movies." You know the films that you have wanted to see forever but could never find. Now I wish it had remained lost in the archives.
Don't let the advertising fool you, this film is not a slasher film. It's a very boring rehash of Lord of the Flies sans the pig head and latent homo erotic themes. We visit your typical '80s summer camp full of teenage counselors who want to drink and bone. There's a "mean" counselor named Mr. Warren, who of course, stands in the way of their summer debauchery.
One Manson-in-training camper named Franklin stages a bloodless coup and manages to lock up all the adults. Hooray, the counselors can finally drink and bone, expect for the scant few who still remember that they have small children to tend to. One of the children, Donald serves as a narrator recording the events onto a seemingly endless supply of blank cassettes.
Without rules, chaos prevails Mr. Warren is killed trying to escape and a rape occurs. Franklin, who now refers to himself as a General lets the rapist off the hook. The girls revolt and carry him off to the woods and according Donald he is never seen or heard from again. It seems like a cop out, the movie was fine with showing a woman getting raped but not with showing the rapist getting his comeuppance.
Eventually the cops show up and thanks to Donald's tapes, Franklin faces punishment for his misdeeds. The movie tries to paint him as a poor neglected teenager towards the end but it's too late, the character is just simply unlikable.
This movie is just boring, nothing really interesting happens until the middle of the film. The first part of the film tries and fails to flesh out the characters. The cast is relatively unknown save for soap star Melissa Reeves and Tom Fridley who is John Travolta's nephew.
There are huge plot holes throughout the film like why would a camp have so few adults in the first place? What about the rapist? Not to sympathize with the character but he was murdered by a group of "innocent" teenage girls. Are they going to be able to live with what they did? Do they hope his parents will simply forget he existed? What prompted the cops to show up at the end? How is it that no one even attempted to break out and get help? It's not like they were being closely watched. And why is there a letter on the poster from Marvin and no one named Marvin?