Camp Blood 1999 Review

Camp Blood 1999

Directed by: Brad Sykes

Starring: Jennifer Ritchkoff, Michael Taylor, Tim Young

65657687989899877687

Review by Luis Joaquín González

I have mentioned Camp Blood a number of times on a SLASH above, but never actually got round to reviewing it. I picked it up back in the early noughties on big-box VHS and it was possibly the first no budget slasher of the new age that I got to see. 6565768798988776768787Since then, I always thought of it as the quintessential example of a bad dime-store take on the slasher template. Over a decade has passed since I last watched it and the genre has seen its fair share of features that were financed on even smaller pocket books. This left me wondering if Blood would still maintain6576878798989809 the status that I bestowed upon it on first viewing.

Two couples head off to explore a secluded woodland called Camp Blackfoot. Locals have named it Camp Blood due to the fact that a betrayed husband killed his cheating partner and her lover with a machete before disappearing into the wilderness. Legend states that he still roams the hills and murders anyone that is unfortunate or stupid enough to roam his region…

 

It was a strange feeling sitting in front of Camp Blood again after so long. Part of me was reminiscing the stack of VHS that I used to trawl through in my room when I’d just turned twenty and the other part was proud of the patience that I possessed to ‘appreciate’ so many turkies. Make no mistake about it, Blood isn’t like a bottle of fine wine. What I mean by that is my ten-year 45657687879898877676768787hiatus from exposure to it hasn’t turned it into Halloween. With that said, I did find things here that made me smile, which was most definitely more that I’d expected.

Brad Sykes, for all his obvious signs of amateurism, does understand what people enjoy about slasher movies. It takes less than five-minutes for the inevitable boob shot (what a pairing) and the next sight that we are treated to is a lumbering maniac in a clown mask. The kill scenes are deftly edited considering the budget and for the un-trained eye (i.e. my Mrs), the various splashings of blood and an imposing menace could be considered as generally effective. To give you an example, there’s a sequence that starts dumbly, because our sympathetic hero type guy chases the assailant into the forest when there was absolutely no logic in him doing so (the killer was actually fleeing the scene). Anyway, it results in a fight sequence on a cliff that’s well staged and then we get a smartly crafted gore shot that was surprisingly audacious. 4576768787987767676878There are countless ‘tributes’ to Friday the 13th of course, with the most obvious being the film’s title, which was what Camp Crystal Lake became known by after Jason and his mum’s rampages.

I guess the above paragraph may look like I am about to take back all the mocking things that I’ve said previously about Brad Sykes’ addition to the stalk and slash family. Well in honesty, my experience was less painful than I’d anticipated, but I won’t be adding this to any top slasher lists in the near future. You see, the few bits and 456576878776544345767687pieces that are classic slasher fun are punctured by some of the worst and most bizarre filmmaking decisions I’ve ever seen. We spend what feels like a lifetime in the clutches of a group of poorly acted and whiny campers and when the killer finally turns up and starts chopping through them, we’ve completely lost interest in their plight. Our final girl sinks to levels of rancid dramatics that had me reaching for the vomit bag and the patently cardboard machete can only appear so many times without beginning to look comical. There’s a really good and creepy score that often borders on building a menacing tone, but just when I was about to write a positive comment, something dumb kept happening and 643763873873983983I felt like the guy in the picture to my right >>. It’s strange, because Camp Blood includes all the ingredients to become a trash-slasher hit. It’s just that it somehow puts them together awkwardly, like trying to build a flat-pack wardrobe without the instructions. I guess the fact that I had prepared myself for something awful meant that I could better handle the unbelievable levels of amateurism when I put it on this time. I went in knowing that there was going to be a mountain of goofiness, which made it easier than when I initially saw this and had less of an idea of what to expect.

There’s no doubt that Blood was filmed on the smallest of budgets, which was obvious because the same actors were re-used to 456576879809876565768798play different characters with minimal effort to disguise their identities. It was bizarre seeing faces returning to the screen as Police Officers or Nurses when we’d witnessed them get slashed just moments earlier(!)  I’m sure that back in the day, I noticed this stuff and found it easy to criticise, whereas now I kind of appreciated the cheesiness, if that makes sense. In my opening paragraph, I called this the quintessential example of a bad dime-store take-on the slasher template. Whilst I stand by that statement, I feel now that I can add the word ‘fun’ before bad in that statement. Either I’ve developed a sense of humour over the past decade or I’ve just got used to sitting through so much worse. At least this one has its heart in the right place. So yeah, as discussed, Camp Blood is a (fun) bad dime-store take-on the slasher template

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise: √√√√

Gore: √

Final Girl:√

RATING:a-slash-above-logo11a-slash-above-logo-211

4565767687987665654545

Posted on May 16, 2015, in Slasher and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. haha I know what you mean, I find myself complementing films that I would have trashed years earlier. As your knowledge of cinema expands so does your tolerance for trash

  2. I liked this one enough to try its sequels, but not enough to lose any sleep for it. In case you will try the sequels, beware the dreaded fourth…

  3. Camp Blood is obviously the nickname of Camp Crystal Lake. Camp Blackfoot is the camp from the beginning of The Burning.

  1. Pingback: Killer Campout 2005 Review | a SLASH above...

  2. Pingback: Chill: The Killing Games 2013 Review | a SLASH above...

  3. Pingback: Memorial Day Killer 1999 Review | a SLASH above...

  4. Pingback: Smiley 2012 Review | a SLASH above...

  5. Pingback: Fatal Pulse 1988 Review | a SLASH above...

  6. Pingback: Psycho Ward 2007 Review | a SLASH above...

  7. Pingback: Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader 2000 Review | a SLASH above...

  8. Pingback: Blood Reaper 2004 Review | a SLASH above...

  9. Pingback: Berserker: The Nordic Curse 1987 Review | a SLASH above...

  10. Pingback: Fright Flick 2011 Review | a SLASH above...

  11. Pingback: Night Ripper 1986 Review | a SLASH above...

  12. Pingback: Blood Slaughter Massacre 2013 Review | a SLASH above...

  13. Pingback: Girl House 2014 Review | a SLASH above...

  14. Pingback: Porkchop 2010 Review | a SLASH above...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: