So if you haven't noticed, I've been dropping little "hints" about this particular day in the 30DHCSB. I find it represhensible that the film from which this character hails is only available on VHS or YouTube. While I consider its only tangible media release outlet, VHS, as somewhat of a cult status granting issue, it remains underexposed.T his film is a must see for this generation. Why? Because we are in an 80's retro time warp renaisannce portal thing. Look at the clothes the kids are wearing these days. Have you ever seen so much neon or so much (fuck) teal!? What about the pop music? Lady Gaga is damn near ripping off Madonna at every turn. Don't get me wrong. I like the Ga just as much as you do (alot, right?) but the music is near similar on both pop and indy/college fronts. Complete materialistic obsession. All the classic muscle cars have been completely been done over and re-released (where are my fucking T-Tops!). So how is it that this 80's classic has gone unreleased on DVD or Blu-Ray even!?
Before we answer that question let's address the 30DHCSB question so we can safely say we put a check mark next to it and divulge the "mystery movie" of which we are speaking.
Day 26: Character that makes you laugh –
Stanley Runk (Runk the Punk) from Summer Camp Nightmare. Yes. Summer Camp Nightmare makes me laugh. Runk the Punk makes me piss myself. If it isn't the accent. Maybe its the hair. Maybe its the F.E.A.R. cover. Maybe it's just how whiny he is in the face of Franklin, anarchy and his own freedom staring him down...Fell on his knife? My ass! Oh he's great. He's made me laugh since I was a kid. Not much more to say on this one.
Maybe we should talk about what else Stuart Rogers has been in... Cagney and Lacey. Vamp (as "student"). Buckeye and Blue (as Tony the Mechanic). The Wizard TV show as (Grinder). Was that futile? That was like trying to find the Vicodin you just puked up after drinking half a bottle of Jose Cuervo so you could take it again.
Now that we've exhausted the 30 Day Horror Challenge aspect of this let's do a little talking about the question: So how is it that this 80's classic has gone unreleased on DVD or Blu-Ray even!? (remember we asked it before we talked about Stanley Runk?). I'm going to tell you a bit about this flick and then we're going to talk about why this film is so god damn important and why you need to dust off your VCR and pick this fucker up STAT.
Think of your favorite summer camp movie. Envision the cover/poster art in your head. Is it also known as the Butterfly Revolution. Does the cover look like this:
No it doesn't. It's probably Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th (or any sequel there of), maybe it's more like the Burning. Guys, these movies are all excellent. Their sequels are worth watching as well. Chock full o' the horror we love, the slashing and killing we need and the scantily clad teens that fulfill our FDA requirement of Vitamin B (for boobs). These movies are fine. I would not knock them. I would say that Summer Camp Nightmare must be added to your summer viewing iteninarary.
Think of camp. You went to camp, right? After all the movies you watched underage you still got up the cojones to get into a cabin in the middle of the woods with other kids and strange teenage counselors trying to make a buck. My memory of camp is brief. Let me recant: I went to a religious camp for three days. We sang religious songs other than "Kumbaya". I tried to fish in the lake and my ugly stick's reel got tangled so badly that I couldn't even cut the fucking thing loose. The food was bad. Ham steaks. I don't think I can eat hamsteaks without thinking of Johnsonburg (supposed original site for Friday the 13th before the camp pussied out). I remember some kid stepped on a nail and screamed and cried after he had previously paraded around like the king shit of the camp. I remember being forced into a swim class that was way below me because they need to "test" me. I was a fine swimmer... no one tests the DOCTOR (or doctor to be at that point). Let me think... TRAUMA. Not the kind that ends with a hand down your pants. The kind that forces you to hum religious songs that were pounded into your bloody brain over and over and over and over. That was camp for me.
Who trusts camp counselors with their kids anyway? After all our horror favorite camp movies were released would you let your kids go to camp? Even a reputable one? Think of the kids that work at camps. They either can't get a real job or they take the job to make out with co-eds all summer (based on what they've seen in movies). I've known a few summer camp counselors. Do not send your kids to summer camp. Trust me. Don't ask why. If you've already sent your kids to summer camp this summer... go pick them up. Now. If you insist on having your child stay at said camp, breathlize all those motherfuckers and have them show you their chastity belts!
Camp was lacking in my opinion (Everyone must have been wearing their chastity belts). My camp experience lacked a few common threads amongst all camp related horror pictures. Let's list them here for ease.
1. No boobs. - none of any kind. Not even making out with a girl behind the bunk. Nada.
2. No drugs. - while I may have been too young to appreciate what drug use might have been going on, my counselors weren't partying down. Not properly. A camp goer should feel insecure. They need to feel that the person watching over them isn't a goody too shoes (lest you have Angela Baker as your camp counsler).
3. No dance. - We didn't have a camp dance. We didn't listen to bad 70's/80's vinyl and play slow dance.
4. No murder. - barely any blood at all really. If it wasn't for that asshole kid stepping on that nail and getting what he rightfully deserved nothing would have been noteworthy in the violence category.
5. Bad songs... ok, we did have these, but they were fucking religious, Christian dogmatic rambles. I want "Hail to Bus Driver" and the "Happy Camper Song" motherfucker. Jesus has no place at camp. I want hatchets and archery not a bible reading contest. Fuck!
6. Girls showering naked - at least none that I saw. Where was the tit patrol? Nowhere to be seen because the guys and girls were kept so segregated I wouldn't know how to find them. They might as well have blindfolded us before sending us to bed and then fed us salt peter at morning mess.
Enough for you... lacking right?
Our movie of the day... Runk's movie... is Summer Camp Nightmare. Group of kids go to camp with a fairly strict leader in charge of camp operations. This leader gradually takes away everything the kids have come to love about camp. Pornography, graphic punk rock sex songs, freedom of speech. Chuck Connors basically plays Mr. Warren, Nazi for Hire (in Franklin's eyes). So what would any wholesome group of a campers do? They take over the camp. Install their own government (which one might describe as leaning toward facsism, bordering on anarchy). And then... well, chaos just takes over, the campers learn why the adults are in charge and the good kids (the "Uncle Tom kids we might call them) survive and win the day.
Summer Camp Nightmare, in part, dealt with some of the same issues my summer camp experience lacked, but tried really hard with a PG-13 rating to make up for. It's hard right? No blood, full on boobs... cancel the word fuck. Summer Camp Nightmare was playing against a deal with a loaded deck. Still it prevails by subsituting some very clever plot devices in place of the camp goodies we're used to.
Can't say "fuck" in a PG-13 movie; Go get Runk the Punk (remember him... this blog is about Runk). Have Runk the Punk and friends cover "Beef Balogna" by F.E.A.R. You don't need to say "fuck" when you have men singing cock affirmative songs about giving ladies the hot beef injection in a clever but funny manner. Especially when said song is done in front of the head of the camp and all the little kiddies (gotta teach 'em sooner or later).
Can't show violent deaths with hemoraging organs, brains and implements of distruction hanging from appendages? Show strange obstacle course like set ups that must be crossed in order to gain control of the summer camp. Show that people have died crossing the rope bridge (which is strictly forbidden). It's like having Jason Voorhees pop out of the forest with two machetes instead of one. It's like Angela Baker stuffing Ally down that pit toilet and then actually dropping a deuce on her. Ok, no it's not, but it is a clever way to get around explicit violence. Creative, suspensful obstacles. It's like Double Dare only no Mark Summers. No slime.
Can't show boobs/bush... much... Segregate the camps! Girls on one side, boys on the other. Make some room for the holy spirit. The film takes place at Camp North Pines for Boys. Fright Rags: Can we get some shirts printed up ala those nifty Camp Rolling Hills T's floating about the net. We could even do a Camp Arowak vs. Camp Rolling Hills vs. Camp Crystal Lake vs. Camp North Pines for Boys battle royal! Who will win?! What will be left of them!?... moving on.
The other thing you lack when you make a PG-13 horror flick is a budget. You need to keep everything on the cheap which pretty much turns your killer into a guy with a sack over his head or a girl in a Camp Rolling Hills T-Shirt...OR A BUNCH OF GUYS WITH COMMANDO UNIFORMS ON CONTROLLING THE LIVES OF CAMP MEMBERS! Brilliant cost savings in the face of adversity.
Let's see what else? Oh yea... you can't show rape so just accuse individuals of rape and then they will be forced to take whatever consequences are dealt to them. The audience barely knows what's real. I mean... I guess there's the word "NO" over and over. It's like reality only the accused doesn't get justice (death) in reality... only in Summer Camp Nightmare (spoil this! it's from 1987!)
The reason to watch Summer Camp Nightmare, be it on VHS or YouTube (or DVD motherfuckers! Get on that shit!) is because it plays off traditional camp horror while restricting itself to its rating and getting creative to do so. I don't know that it was intended as a horror movie, but murder at camp is an automatic qualifier in my book. If Meatballs had murder in it... HORROR MOVIE! You've got some truly memorable characters, some funny dialouge and really some not so bad acting in general... even for the 80's. This is prime for a remake if somebody remembers the film exists.
Here's the first of several parts of the post on YouTube. Download it. Burn it. Love it. It's a VHS rip so don't expect quality. That's why we need to give it the Popcorn treatment ala Kristy Jett (go donate to her labor of love!).
All I want is a double dose of my...
-Dr. James the Punk (Terror)
Tagline: "Dear Mom, The camp director is dead. The counselors are locked up. And the kids are out of control. Having a wonderful time. Love, Marvin" ... but as IMDB points out... NO CHARACTER NAMED MARVIN IN THE MOVIE, BITCHES! Spoooooky.
Buy the VHS on Amazon