Camp Crystal Meph has reopened but the curse of killer Johann Van Damme continues. Camp ‘Death’ has been given a new life as rehab center for mentally ill adults yet an unseen evil begins to murder campers and staff alike. Has Johann risen from the grave or is this the work of a copycat?
Camp Death III in 2D is what you’d get if Seth MacFarlane made a Troma movie. We good here? The review’s not long enough? Fine, let’s get into it.
The film is a spoof/parody of camp horror films like Friday the 13th, particularly Friday the 13th Part III in 3D. It’s direct by Matt Frame and written by 17 people, which I believe is the most of any film I’ve ever reviewed but didn’t come as much of a surprise after seeing it. It’s set at Camp Crystal Meph, which has fallen hard times after a failed attempt at being rebranded as a Jewish camp following multiple mass murders over the years. Camp director Todd Boogjumper ( Dave Peniuk ) hasn’t been defeated, though, and has one last idea to open the camp for the criminally-insane over the objections of his perpetually enraged uncle, Mel ( Darren Andrichuk ). They’re joined by his girlfriend Rachel ( Angela Galanopoulos ), who has her own history with the camp’s dark past and Barry ( Chris Allen ), a counselor whose defining character trait is that he’s in a wheelchair as they serve as the only line of defense against a hidden threat that is killing off campers for the third time. The campers themselves are a wide array of stereotypes from the quiet Asian girl to the Irish camper that carries around a box of potatoes.
This is not a classy film, but if you were looking for that, you wouldn’t have clicked on a review for Camp Death III in 2D, so the real question is how good is it at being trashy fun? Well, I’d say if you’re looking for something that brings back memories of the early 00’s when everyone was less on edge and a fat man chasing a dwarf on Jackass was the height of comedy. Nothing is truly offensive and in fact, the film doesn’t even have any nudity (maybe they’re going for a PG-13) so it’s still something you can watch with a fairly mixed audience without anything getting too awkward, but not everyone is going to be entertained. On the Troma meter, it’s not a Poultrygeist or Toxic Avenger, but at least it’s not A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, which despite its name is no Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, but really what could be? I’ll begrudgingly admit to occasionally still watching Family Guy of my own volition but even for me, Mel’s war against a squirrel puppet was still something of an exhausting non-sequitur.
Part of that I think comes from the fact that while it gets most of its laughs from being offensive, Camp Death III in 2D also plays it oddly safe in some areas. I’m not saying a recurring bit about a guy falling out of his wheelchair and then struggling to get back up will ever be particularly funny, but if you’re going to do that, at least let it run and give us some slapstick inside of getting bored of the joke and cutting after 10 seconds. There are some jokes that do work, like when one of the campers is trying to keep the squirrel from snorting too much coke (you had to be there) which is one instance where they actually do give the joke a chance to develop to its benefit. The kills are also well done at least half the time. Some are off-screen or obscured, which is understandable given their limited budget, but the ones they put the time and money on have a great combination of gratuitous practical gore and cheap CG that fit the theme beautifully. While the jokes didn’t always work, the kills usually managed to put a smile on my face. I don’t have to spell out the protocol for watching a movie like this and if you go in with the right mindset you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it, but Camp Death III in 2D still isn’t a top-tier spoof.