REVIEW: CAMP BLOOD 1 & 2

CAST

Jennifer Ritchkoff (Spartan)
Michael Taylor (Private Lies)
Tim Long (Little Nicky)
Betheny Zolt (Serum)
Courtney Taylor (Prom Night III)
Meredith O’Brien (The Notebook)

A quite unique experience. The first point is that ‘Camp Blood’ is more or less a straight forward slasher so if slashers aren’t your thing then best look elsewhere. The second is that technically it is an appalling film. The budget must have been minuscule, the picture is a travesty all washed out colours (according to the trailer originally filmed in 3-D) and paper thin story wise.


That said I suprisingly thought the acting was ok bar one short lived and annoying character and notwithstanding the mandatory badly staged ‘stumbling over whilst being chased by machete wielding maniac’ parts. The weapon of choice of the killer clown protagonist was either capable of decapitation with one fail swoop or incapable of cutting through butter illustrated best in the scene whilst chasing the girl down the highway slashing away at her causing mildly nasty looking scratches and torn clothing (great homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre though if that was the intention). The special effects were home-made standard. The camera would film the swing of the machete then switch to the machete already in the victims arm, the ‘special’ effect involving part of the machete having been cut out and then machete fitted around the actors body part a la joke shop arrow through the head type. Still looks good though, not knocking it just simplistically done.


Continuity was occasionally a problem also as when the clown was run over (or rather rubbish looking dummy/scarecrow was run over) You clearly see the body going underneath the car with the car still moving as the camera cuts but then the next scene the car has stopped and the body is several feet in front of the vehicle. Although uneventful for a large part of the film there were quite a lot of slayings, it was very funny in parts, particularly the fisticuffs along with added ‘punchy’ sound effects and although like a poor mans ‘Friday 13th’ I salute low budget endeavors such as this which put some effort into entertaining their audience. Would I recommend this? Not really, it is a very subjective experience. It was fun, ran with its shortcomings and really rather managed to pull off a slasher on a shoestring.

CAST

Jennifer Ritchkoff (Spartan)
Garrett Clancy (Dread 7)
Missy Rae Hansen (Suicide Watch)
Mark Overholt (Quality Problems)
Patrick Thomas (Addams Family Reunion)

One has to keep in mind when viewing the Camp Blood series that they are by no means big budget, widely released films, but low-budget, direct-to-video films that are geared toward a specific sub-group of horror fans….those who will watch anything horror, no matter its budget or production values. Lord knows that this series lack both.

Borrowing elements from “Friday the 13th”, “Scream”, and numerous other slasher films, the Camp Blood series focuses on a mad slasher in a downright creepy clown mask who terrorizes Camp Blackwoods. The first was mildly entertaining.

Being suspected of the murdering her friends in the first film, a money-hungry independent film maker talks her into being his “technical assistant” on the set of his very low-budget take on the murders. To top it off, he wants to return to the same spot, Camp Blackwood, where her friends were butchered. Well, needless to say, the clown returns to wreak havoc on the film crew. The murders in this film will please any gore fan…they are very over the top and extremely gory and there are some interesting characters for being a DTV slasher. It’s fast paced, and if you can get past just how poor the production values are, you might actually enjoy it. Again, the lead gives a decent performance and some of the more annoying characters are dispatched in gruesome ways. Overall, “Camp Blood 2” is better than the first. The pace is faster, there are more kills, the clown is creepier and more unrelenting this time around, and the premise, as flawed and ridiculous as it is, doesn’t seem like a clichéd “Friday the 13th” rip-off like the first one did.

It is just a decent film for what it is…an extremely low-budget, independent, direct-to-video horror film. The plot is ridiculous and unbelievable, which is the film’s biggest problem…yeah, let’s take a suspected murderer  back to the woods where she apparently butchered her friends and let her roam around. The production values will immediately turn many off. The acting is as you would expect, particularly from the supporting characters. The ending is hokey and somewhat disappointing for several reasons that I won’t get into because of spoilers.But I try to be objective with any film that I watch and it is always a good thing when there is no point in the film where I want to turn it off. “Camp Blood 2” kept my interest and, with the same director, managed to be better than the first. That is always a plus.

Advertisements