All you can do is step back in time

campdazeCAMP DAZE

1.5 Stars  2005/95m

“The only way out is death.”

A.k.a. Camp Slaughter (DVD)

Director: Alex Pucci / Writers: Alex Pucci & Draven Gonzalez / Cast: Anika McFall, Joanna Suhl, Matt Dallas, Eric McIntire, Jon Fleming, Kyle Lupo, Miles Davis, Bethany Taylor, Ashley Gomes, Jessica Sonneborn, Jim Marlowe.

Body Count: 45+

Direlogue: “Backwoods…scary noises… Haven’t you heard of Jason?”


Idea. Excellent. Setting. Perfect. Costumes. Authentic. Execution. Uhh… Can I grab a hall pass?

On paper – or indeed the webpage – Camp Daze reads flawlessly: a quartet of teenagers driving to Maine find themselves stranded at kooky Camp Haiwatha, which is stranded in the summer of 1981, perpetually reliving the night when a psychopathic killer went on a bloody rampage. Fucking awesome.

As an homage to a certain groundbreaking summer camp slasher film, complete with a block-like title card smashing through a pain of glass before it was renamed Camp Slaughter for DVD, mixed with a Groundhog Day riff, this takes some amusing pot-shots at the most famous franchise in slasherama but ultimately chokes on its shoestring budget, which make it look unwatchably cheap and badly made. Y’know, worse than the films it apes.

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Most of the film’s problems lie in the visual: careless edits and amateurish gore effects work don’t pack a punch and appear odd under the impressive orchestral score. Slot this in next to terrible acting and poorly conceived characters who suck the fun out of it all, with no real central figure to root for. The eventual sole survivor, Jen, is the sassy black girl who says ‘fuck’ a lot and keeps bringing up Jason, much to the confusion of the camp counsellors.

Even with the strange, not-quite-sure homoerotic undertones and a ballistic body count – possibly a sign of a poorly thought out script – nothing stands out and the obnoxious twist ending just induces rage at the laziness of the plot.

With a better collection of actors and shot with more care, this could’ve been a minor classic but it’s destined to become just one more post-millennial DTV slasher film that claimed it was recapturing the old school methods but failed miserably.

Blurb-of-interest: Jessica Sonneborn returned to camp in Bloody Bloody Bible Camp; director Pucci and actors Fleming and Taylor all contributed to Frat House Massacre.

3 comments

  • I was so annoyed this wasn’t better than it is. Agree with you on every count!

  • The director has made another slasher called Frat House Massacre. Is it anywhere near the level of the film whose title it is aping? I dunno, though reviews I’ve read indicate it’s better and gayer (unsurprising, considering the setting) than this one (which was crap, but still miles ahead of that Swedish slasher that was also called Camp Slaughter).

  • Weirdly, somebody sent me Frat House Massacre just this week, so soon I’ll be able to let you know!

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