Camp Death III in 2D! clumps every moldering horror cliché into one cinematic spitwad and chucks it at the screen. For 80 minutes, it slowly slimes downward, leaving a goofy, gory, relentlessly nihilistic parody of old-school slasher flicks in its wake. Amusingly incoherent and unabashedly insensitive, Camp Death III is sure to provoke a range of emotions in its audience, from bewildered appreciation to outright repugnance. One thing’s for sure: You ain’t seen nuthin’ like it.
The plot of the movie serves mainly as a clothesline for the filmmakers to drape their blood-spattered satire. It almost defies description, but here goes: Camp Crystal Meph (yeah, we’re on that level of humor), a teen retreat that’s seen more carnage than the Battle of Shiloh, gets reopened as a rustic asylum for the mentally ill. Lead counselor Todd (Todd, geez what a dorky name) informs the campers of a knock-off Jason Voorhees who once stalked the grounds and may be lumbering out of the grave for more. Soon, people start getting picked off, leading to an inevitable showdown.
Trust me, that description makes the movie sound more stitched together than it really is. Camp Death III bounces in all directions, incorporating puppets, a musical number, an intermission, and a subplot involving a, um…what the hell is that thing–a malevolent chipmunk? I mean, they have different names for stuff in Canada, so maybe it’s called a tree hamster or something. It just…whatever. Anyway, the movie consistently whisks you in directions you don’t expect. Whether or not you want to go there is another matter.
In this age of tiptoeing on social eggshells, it’s fascinating to see a movie so blissfully unconcerned with being politically correct. Camp Death mines humor from the physically disabled, the mentally ill, and tree hamsters. Or, does it mock the movies who mocked those groups in the first place? The story moves with such frenetic energy that it’s difficult to pick out patterns in all the chaos.
The filmmakers cleverly subvert this confusion by acknowledging the movie’s crass, nincompoopery right from the get-go. Their tagline labels the film as “The Most Horrible Good Movie Ever Made!” This self-deprecation either offers insulation from criticism or invites harsher flagellation. Again, it’s tough to tell.
A comedian once observed that there are moments so shocking, the only natural response is to laugh. Camp Death III (and no, there isn’t a I or II, har-dee-har-harrr) goes so over-the-top, so inanely silly, that I’ll freely admit a few scenes made me laugh both with it and at it. My brain just didn’t know what else to do. Horror buffs may greet this bizarre spoof with a few similar chuckles. Everybody else, consider yourself warned.
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