Movies that imitate the style of sleaze master Herschel Gordon Lewis are inherently problematic. KILLER CAMPOUT starts out with a montage of all of the killings that take place throughout the movie, narrated seemingly from the grave by Mr. Lewis himself. Lovers of the ultraviolent stuff might want to check out after about two minutes into the film, because Mr. Lewis practically divines that there is nothing else to see beyond this incoherent prologue of carnage.
The remainder of the movie plays out in the overused style of FRIDAY THE 13TH, as a group of wayward teens get lost in the woods of West Virginia and one by one encounter a hulking, cannibalistic man monster who systematically butchers the cast. You can forget about well-developed characters. Acting also suffers, with mostly unknown performers that can barely articulate the trite dialogue.
In a revealing bit of perhaps autobiographical screenwriting, one of the characters complains that even though he loves watching the most violent horror movies he is in his heart a non-violent person who was put on medication because of his anti-social attitudes. Could explain where these filmmakers are coming from.
In a scenario such as this, the only purpose of these witless characters is to line up for slaughter in ways that in some cases seem physically impossible. Wailing stabs of electronica intended to wake us up prior to the killings is also very 1980s by design. The movie's emphasis is on the killer, but he is a run-of-the-mill head bashing, drooling maniac played by an actor who seems to be enjoying it all too much. The director, Brad Twigg, can't construct a scene unless it is supposed to make you wretch.
Film historians will note there are cameo appearances by fan magazine editor George Stover and John Russo, the man from Night of The Living Dead. While Stover has made a marginal career of appearing in schlock, Russo should know better.
The most interesting aspect of KILLER CAMPOUT is the critics' reviews from apparently different websites that are in some cases use the same verbiage and push unconvincing gushing admiration for the director. A bit of promotion that didn't quite come off.
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