Every now and again, the topic for Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, hits too close to home. Take this week, for example. We're talking all about summer camps. Here's the deal: I've really been in camp all summer since that's how I keep ends meeting when school is out. Most days I have lots of fun with all the tykes I get to hang out with all day. You know what I don't want to do for the next couple months? Come home and watch a movie about summer camp. With that in mind, here is a trio of terrible movies on the subject that you should avoid.
Meatballs Part II
(1984)Lots of people love the original Meatballs which stars Bill Murray as the head counselor at a cut-rate summer camp. Many of these same people have no idea this sequel even exists. There's damn good reason for this. It has absolutely nothing to do with the first movie except the title. This one involves competing summer camps who operate on the same lake and decide to settle things with boxing. Okay, fine. I guess that's not too bad. Sounds like it needs another subplot, though. I know, let's add a story about a girl camper trying to see a penis for the very first time. She doesn't want to do anything with it, mind you. She just wants to see it. Um, 'kayyy. Still needs more. Something's missing. I got it. We'll make one of the campers an alien from another planet and have the kids running around trying to hide him from the adults who work there. Imagine the shenanigans. Or don't. Sigh.
Ernest Goes to Camp
(1987)I hate Ernest. I mean I really hate Ernest. More than that, I hate the Ernest movie franchise. For those of you not aware of how this particular plague came to be unleashed, Ernest was a character created and played by actor Jim Varney in a handful of shitty television commercials that somehow got so popular they gave him a movie deal. The "films" that came out of this...worse than the commercials. In this particular installment, Ernest is working in a summer camp for juvenile delinquents. Full disclosure, I started watching this one time years ago at the insistence of a so-called friend. I didn't laugh at all during the early parts of the movie before passing out from total boredom. Never bothered going back and don't plan to.
American Pie Presents: Band Camp
(2005)Here's another sequel that absolutely no one was asking for. This one is the first of four straight-to-DVD sequels to 1999's American Pie. They were all released between that film's theatrical sequels American Wedding and American Reunion. Don't worry if you somehow missed them. They all suck. I will say that at least the idea for this one is really good. The original gets a lot of mileage out of talking about what happened "This one time in band camp." Why not make a movie showing us what went down in band camp? It could be great...if any of the characters we gave a flip about were in it. They're not and nothing funny happens. We get a bunch a low-rent knock-offs played by inferior actors. I mean that quite literally as our hero is Stifler's younger brother and portrayed by some dude doing a terrible Seann William Scott impression. His mission in life is to get into the porn business like his big bro (huh?) and he plans on starting right here at camp. The only other tangible link to the theatrical films is the presence of Eugene Levy, still playing Jim's dad even though Jim is nowhere near this movie. I think he appeared in all four of these things. I can only assume times were damn hard for Levy or he committed a murder and the people who made these movies know where he's hiding the body.