Bad films, what would life be without them ? Probably pretty boring, since there are atually bad films that can be fun to watch. It all depends on the director´s, the cast and of course the budget of the film. I have seen a lot of bad films, going back as far as back in the 80´s, when you could easily find bad films on VHS at the rental store. All you needed to see on the VHS cover was sexy bikini girls, machine guns, 80´s hair style and beer cans of course. If you were lucky you got some nudity as well, or even surfing nazis in the Troma classic Surf Nazis Must Die ( one of the greatest movie titles of all time ). The 90´s continued the legacy of bad films, and they made sure that we could still be entertained, in films such as the 1994 B action movie Cyber Tracker. This is one of those films you can watch, just to get some cheesy dialogue, bad special effects and action scenes that probably did not cost a lot, but is entertaining to look at. In the lead role you have Don " The Dragon " Wilson, who those of you who grew up in the 90´s probably remember as a martial arts action star, and in a film like this he actually managed to do better than in a lot of his B movies. There is a sequel as well, and actually not to bad. But if you want to watch a fun bad B movie, then Cyber Tracker is a great choice to pick up on DVD. Even if you can enjoy some bad movies for what they are, there are some bad films that you can´t enjoy, simply because they are not even entertaining. I could easily say a whole list of films that are terrible, but i came to think about one specific title. And that is the 2010 ( horror ? ) film known as Camp Hell, directed by George VanBuskirk. This is one of those films i decided to check out back when the film was released, knowing nothing about the film, other than the DVD cover had actor Jesse Eisenberg on it. I have not seen the film in quite some time, so i decided to see if it is still as bad as i thought it was on the DVD release, many years ago. Is it possible that Camp Hell have gotten better over the years, or is it still trash that should end up in the nearest trash can ?
Troubled teen Tommy Leary ( Will Denton ) is sent to a summer camp organized by his strict convenant Church, where he recieves advice from Father Phineas ( Bruce Davidson ) on the iportance of a sin-free Life. Unfortunately, he is tempted by cute fellow camper Melissa ( Valentina de Angelis ), and his actions incur the wrath of a demon to whom Father Phineas has already lost one soul.
One of the biggest issues i have with Camp Hell, is that this is supposed to be a horror film. There are very few scenes where you can feel that there was an attempt to make a horror film, but Camp Hell is not scary or works as a horror film. If this was their best attempt to make a horror film appreciated by the horror community, i can easily say that they failed big time. There is really nothing here that will leave a bigger impact on you from a horror perspective. One thing that this film at least manage to do, is having 2 characters that fit in well. Let us begin with the character Christian ( played by actor Christopher Denham ), who is a true asshole. Not only does he try and control the young men at this ( sort of a bible camp ), but he also need to tell them how to behave, the way he thinks it should be. And Christopher actually manage to do this character in a way, that makes him feel more interesting than many of the other characters, since he is such a douchebag. The second character that at least feels a bit more interesting is called Jack, played by actor Connor Paolo, who is a rebellion at this bible camp ( for good reasons ). I actually wish that this film would have been more focused on the character Jack instead, and it could have been more interesting. So what are we left with ? Well, a story that is supposed to make sure that we feel scared of doing any sins. And it does not work, because the horror elements does not match very well with the story itself. I suppose that this film is meant to be a bit friendly, especially for Christians, not to be too scary. But if the point was to make people with faith to feel scared, then this film does not really do this with any attempt to feel scary. Director George Van Buskik have only directed one film, and that is this one. Perhaps we will not see him direct again, and maybe it is better that way, considering what he brought us with this film. Camp Hell is about exciting to watch as seeing a teapot boiling water, and that should be enough of a warning sign, why you should not watch this film. I really hope Jesse Eisenberg regret being in this film, if i was him, i would regret it.
P.S. If you really want to see Camp Hell without getting the DVD, it is available on Amazon Prime. Maybe i should not have said that, i might actually have done my first big sin.