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  • nalobcram30 December 2001
    As a child of the 1980's I remember this movie vividly, although I haven't seen it in years. Michael J. Fox, (right before "Back to the Future") and Nancy McKeon, ("The Facts of Life" still had 'life') were romantically linked. Robert Klein has always been an underrated comedian, Adam Baldwin has gone on to many film roles since, ("Independence Day", "Predator 2") and young Carey Guffy was the little tyke in the Spielberg classic "Close Encounters". The rest of the cast is good and so's the whole pacing of the nominal story, ("This is color war! Your friend could be your enemy!"). It's a curious little movie, although I doubt Mr. Fox would like it if some talk show host dragged the footage out! Forget "Meatballs", if you can find this on video or TV, (Ted Turner used to run this a lot during the summer as I remember), it will be worth your time. If you like summer camp films, that is.

    Final rating: 6.75/10 "An above average film. Well made and enjoyable, but nothing to 'write home about' (get it?)."
  • jdollak22 May 2002
    There are lots of other 80s movies that I enjoy. But this one is something special. I always feel like the "summer camp" genre of movie has been ruined by certain other ones...Meatballs...Party Camp, and so on. Poison Ivy accurately captures the sense of humor a young camper has. From a logical point of view, there's some real nonsense (why exactly does Disbro dress up like that?) but it still provides perfectly clean fun.

    There are a few problems. Most of them are technical (sound mixing) and directorial choices, but those problems don't detract from the enjoyabilty of the movie.

    This movie is also noteworthy for two other things: 1 - This captures the essence of the 80s Michael J Fox. Those glittering closeups on his face really just say it all and 2 - It's highly quotable. I have two friends who also saw this when they were younger, and it's a ball to exchange quotes with them periodically.
  • ZoeBean7 August 2001
    Poison Ivy is a funny story revolving around a counselor (Michael J. Fox) and his five campers at a boys' camp called Camp Pinewood. Dennis Baxter (Fox) is looking for love in all the wrong places, until he meets the beautiful Rhonda (Nancy McKeon), the assistant camp nurse. The trouble is, she's already engaged to be married and isn't interested. Dennis's 11-year-old campers each have adventures of their own -- one wants to escape from camp, another tries to woo Rhonda (and takes a romp in poison ivy in order to spend more time in the infirmary with a certain someone), and another devises a scheme to get all the camp goodies into his bunk's possession. It's one adventure after another for these kids, as they learn about loyalty and standing up for what's right.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A reviewer here asks why Jason Bateman is credited, but cannot be found in this TV movie. Allow me to propose an hypothesis: someone made a crediting mistake early on, because the actor (Joe Wright) who plays the central character (Jerry Disbro) looks so much like Bateman at the time. (Bateman is almost exactly one year older than Wright, and to my eyes, they could almost be twins.) If I had to guess, I'd bet it was the bureaucrat who put Bateman's name on the 1987 VHS release box. The rest is (flawed) history, I suppose. With Bateman's earlier featured appearances on shows like Little House on the Prairie ("He Was Only Twelve", 1982), he likely wouldn't be playing a background camper in this film, hence would be noticeable in viewing it today.

    As for a review of Poison Ivy, the first half or more is pure Summer-Camp-film formula reflecting what the writers think the audience wants to believe summer camp was like, more than any reality, particularly with regard to the girl-crazy boys and the fashion-model-wannabe girls. The last half hour, on the other hand, is a rather well-done treatment of boy-overcoming-fears and stealing the spotlight from the pointless and counterproductive "Color War" competition. Even camp director "Big Irv" agrees in the end that Timmy's personal victory is a better example of "the Pinewood spirit" than the all-out-warfare of the camp's "Color War" tradition.

    Given the schlocky setup of the film's first hour, this pleasant little moral at the end almost comes as a surprise. Overall, the film is still a mundane audience-pleaser designed to get ratings for advertisers (it was a TV film, after all), albeit with decent performances in the main characters played by Michael J. Fox, Nancy McKeon and the great Robert Klein.
  • It's been a long time seeing,and my VHS tape is messed up where I had it taped. I think it would be fun to have. Has cutesy little things happen,and I love the little boy who is 'in love' with nurse Rhonda at camp. I think people of all ages would enjoy it. Nancy and Michael have nice chemistry, and are a cute couple. I wish it would show on t.v., along with a few others I can't find again. Like Rags to Riches,with Joseph Bologna. Or Bad Manners. These are some I would love to see come to t.v. again,or make VHS still for them. Maybe even to DVD . But if you get a chance, check it out. For the most part, I believe here and there,you'll have to smile.I think you'll like it.
  • Just your typical summer camp movie that follows the basic formula of a little romance, a few troubled youths, and some sort of friendly competition near the end. Well not all that friendly as one team tries to rig one of the events in a very unfair and mean spirited way. I would try to talk about the plot more, but it has been forever since I saw this movie as a kid. I figured I would review it though as I am not really keen on tracking this movie down and seeing it again. From what I remember though it is a better summer camp movie than say Meatballs 2, but not as good as the original or as different as say white water summer or that kind of creepy one where the kids take over the camp and everything goes berserk. What you basically get is the same old clich├ęs and story lines. The only other parts that stand out other than the boy who learns how to do the backstroke is the story of the man who lives by himself in a cabin and has what appears to be blood on his hatchet.
  • Poison Ivy is one of my favorites.I just realized that Jason Bateman is credited with being part of the movie.The fifth credit on the box of the VHS copy, released in 1987.I cannot find any info on why he is not in the movie.Why he is credited?Anyone know why?The funniest thing about this mistake is that everyone seems to be printing the same info over and over to fill space on the web pages.You might notice this quote is just about in everything you might find on Jason Bateman.

    "During this period, Bateman also found time to star or co-star in a handful of feature films, such as the 1985 made-for-TV summer-camp comedy Poison Ivy, Teen Wolf, Too, and 1991's Necessary Roughness. However, none of the projects were successful enough to give Bateman a springboard to big screen stardom."