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  Camp Death III in 2D Perfectly Terrible CrimesBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Matt Frame
Stars: Dave Peniuk, Angela Galanopoulos, Darren Andrichuk, Emma Docker, Chris Allen, Starlise Waschuk, Terry Mullet, Cynthia Chalmers, Gerald Varga, Hans Potter, Katherine Alpen, Jason Asuncion, Andrea Bang, Stephanie Bally, Léonie Armstrong, Niall King
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Trash
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1979, at Camp Crystal Meph, there occurred a heinous set of crimes that made it notorious throughout New Jersey as the site of one of the worst mass murders the state had ever seen. Fortunately, there was a sole survivor of the carnage who brought her ingenuity to bear and confused the masked mass murderer with a hand puppet, then smashed his head in, and that seems to have been that, with no trouble since. Only joking, there have been over four hundred murders since, and somehow people keep going back - the latest endeavour is by counsellor Todd Boogjumper (Dave Peniuk) who wants to make the place a haven...

A haven for the criminally insane, that is, in this spoof of the nineteen-eighties heyday of slasher flicks which even back then were already being spoofed (see Wacko or Student Bodies for proof). It made sense this was a Canadian production, since Canada was the source of many a so-called Canucksploitation horror which sought to cash in on the lucrative American market by dint of featuring cast members, no matter how unknown, who sported North American accents and therefore did not prompt the need for dubbing or (heaven forfend) subtitles. Mind you, no matter how irreverent those spoofs were, they didn't treat the genre like this.

Taking his cue from a whole bunch of slashers, thus proving his credentials should you care to play "spot the reference", director Matt Frame mostly followed the Troma model, so any joke deemed to be too tasteful had evidently been dumped in favour of getting as crass as they possibly could, "they" including around twenty writers credited with the screenplay, including Frame himself and a bunch of cast members. You certainly couldn't accuse them of lacking enthusiasm, as every scene played out with the actors barely containing their hysteria: the energy levels were sky high as if each of them were downing multiple cans of energy drinks in between takes.

What could laughingly be called a plot saw sensitive Todd try to do the best for a collection of characters so broad they couldn't be called caricatures, they were on their own particular level of dedication to a rage-filled performance as they endlessly antagonised one another. Look for a normal person here and you would be disappointed, as even the less violent had their bizarre quirks, as did the script, which took a near-sketch-like approach to delivering their scenes, so if you could detect a storyline you were obviously paying too much attention to the structure and not enough to the barrage of ludicrous gags. There were limits, of course: there was no racism, no nudity and the targets of the mentally ill were so preposterously drawn you would have to go out of your way to be taking this seriously.

That was not recommended, and the creative swearing in every other line of dialogue contained a certain focus that your average Troma effort was too lazy to give over much time to. With nods to the Friday the 13th series most blatantly, but also anything eighties from The Burning to, er, Caddyshack (?!) to, um, Return of the Jedi (??!!) there was an air of tribute, if planting a custard pie right in Jason Vorhees' hockey masked face could be deigned a tribute, but the effort here that went into being truly terrible made it rather difficult to assess: was it playing at being terrible or was it authentically terrible? Was it smarter than it seemed, was it 10/10 at being 1/10? It was assuredly critic-proof: remember the British censor's reaction to John Waters' no budget trash as they had no idea how to classify deliberate bad taste? Well, that definitely applied here. There had been a Herculean effort on slender means to be this dreadful, and they were having a whale of a time. Whether you in the audience did likewise depended on how much of this exuberantly scattershot idiocy you could take.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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