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Campfire Stories Can Be Deadly


Back of Box:  A family's mountain vacation is interrupted by the arrival of a disheveled man hauling a trailer behind an ancient Cadillac.  Pop, as he calls himself, tells the family a tall tale about the son he lost to illness.  The family feels sorry for him and befriends him...not knowing the danger that is soon to come to them.  In reality, his son Bernie is crazy and dangerous and kept straight-jacketed and chained up in Pop's trailer.  Pop lets Bernie out only to stalk and harm campers while Pop helps himself to their belongings.
Not far away, a group of young people are preparing for two weeks of wilderness training.  The camp is run by, Regis, and his crazy girlfriend, Marcie, who tells them that P.J., a new camper has disappeared.  We find out that P.J. is dead.
Meanwhile, the police are trying to piece together what happened to the tourist family when an old cop, Taylor, shows up.  He recognizes Pop, remembering how Bernie went on a murderous rampage years ago.  Unable to convince the others, he heads for the wilderness camp on his own.  By the time he arrives, it is too late.  Bernie has already done his dirty work.  As Taylor hunts for Bernie, it is a heart-stopping and frightening game of kill or be killed.  As the end comes near, a bizarre twist happens that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Plot:  The back of the box doesn't leave too much to the imagination, but what can you do?  I give it credit for trying.  The "camp slasher" well had pretty much dried up when this film was released.  Despite its obvious flaws and weaknesses, I think the premise carries the film pretty well.  It hooks you.  It's like a trailer park fashion show, you don't want to watch it, but have to incase anything epic happens.  Oh '80s, come back to me.
Acting:  The script is horrible and the acting is as expected, brain-numbing.  I give props to Pop (Tom Hamil), Debbie (Jill Foors), and Ron (Joe Balogh), that's it.  The rest were used as "body count," and did a very good job.  I couldn't wait until every one of them got killed.
GoreBody Count (23)  Now this film really went for the gold, putting up numbers worthy of a Friday the 13th sequel.  Does it achieve anything in the gore department?  A little.  There's some blood splatter, a few severed body parts, and a nicely done impalement.  Other than that, it's a lot of off screen action, axe chopping mostly.
Suspense:  When I review a film I write down little things as I watch the film and transfer them into coherent thoughts here.  You know what's funny?  I wrote absolutely nothing down about this film in this section, and that's exactly what I'm going to say.  Nothing.
Directing:  There's a few nice set ups and fun use of P.O.V.  Some decent, overall, camera work.  I think that if this film had more of a budget the camera work really could've boosted it. 
Tech:  Most of the soundtrack sounds like it came straight out of a porno.  However, sometimes it's okay.  The lighting works on a small level, but most of the time it's too dark.  However, some very nice blue lighting used throughout.
Other:  Yes, the fun section.  Bernie, is the worst name for a slasher ever.  The sound effect when Bernie uses his axe sounded like wood being chopped and was the same sound over and over again.  It makes me giggle.  Bernie does wear a mask, for half of the film, and it looks pretty sweet.  An off-shoot of Friday the 13th part 2, the mask is bag-like and has square holes over the eyes and mouth.  Lastly, I'd like to say that this film is set, not at a summer camp, but at a winter camp.  This is one of the only films I've seen, set at camp, that has people running around in big coats, hats, and gloves instead of really short shorts.
Final Word:  Deep down I absolutely love this film.  It was basically made for hardcore slasher fans.  It's got that cheese induced ambiance that only the '80s could provide.  Low budget fans might be interested in this one as well.  Otherwise, it's good for that one alcohol induced viewing.


Don't Move, Don't Breathe, and Whatever You Do...DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU!