Monday, December 23, 2013

Cannibal Campout (1988)

Four college students go to the woods for the weekend and run into trouble when they beep their horn at some slow driving hicks on a one lane dirt road.  The hillbillies get out of their car,  approach the van, and get in a confrontation in which they  express their interest in a sexual encounter with the women and pull a knife. At this point, the kids drive around them and continue to look for a place to pull over and camp.

Now keep in mind before they started on their trip, Jon was warned by a friend that there have been some disappearances and deaths in the woods they're planning on camping in. But Jon dismisses this by saying he's sure they'll be fine as there are four of them going.

As you can tell, these aren't the brightest kids. They don't seem to be able to grasp the simple concept that they should pack enough drinks for the weekend, and run out of soda while driving to the campsite. They aren't worried in the slightest about the crazy hillbillies, even though they are traveling the same way down a one lane dirt road which has no turn offs. Plus their ideal camping spot is near a bunch of abandoned cabins and they are thrilled by the sight of a large rock.

Needless to say the two hillbillies - and their mentally deficient brother who wears a flight helmet with face mask - stumble upon the campsite and decide to get even and get something to eat. As you can tell from the title, the hillbillies are cannibals. They're in need of a good meal, and there's four hunks of beef camping right in front of them.

Again our kids prove they lack cranial functioning when Jon finds a ripped piece of cloth with what appears to be blood, but quickly gives up on that premise when Chris suggests it's probably berry juice. Because you know how everyone in the woods gets their clothing and hands covered in berry juice. Damned juice is everywhere.

This is a shot on video movie and about as low budget as you get.  Seriously it's probably around a $500 budget.  The thing about '80s shot on video films is that unlike today - when anyone can make a movie since we all have computers for editing, and something that will shoot video - most people didn't have camcorders.  You had to be really committed and passionate about making a film in order to scrape together the means to do it.  Today any idiot can randomly think, "it would be cool to make a movie", walk out his door and start shooting immediately. Well I guess you could say that about the shot on video films of the '80s, but it's amateurish feel was often it's selling point.

Consequently, like many '80s shot on video films, this has some charm in it's ineptness.  What is amazing is that McBride was able to get a distribution deal for both his amateur videos.  So props to him for that.

While I was entertained by the over the top acting and other flaws of Woodchipper Massacre (Jon McBride's other SOV movie), Cannibal Campout is hard to sit through.  It's a plus that the dialogue is ridiculous, the acting non-existent, the musical score repetitive and sounds like a Casio, but there's a whole lot of nothing happening.  I don't particularly care about gore, but if that's something you like, then you're set. But you'll have to wade through tons of padding to get to it.  There's lots of walking, mullets, annoying hillbillies, stupid kids, and chatter that has no bearing on the plot, which is barely a plot anyway.

Also it boggles the mind that women are actually willing to get naked for films like this. What could possibly be the upside, unless you're an exhibitionist?

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