Director Matt Frame’s feature horror-comedy Camp Death III in 2D!, out now on Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand, is certainly a very weird one. Weird is a selling point for me, which is why I wanted to review this. But the film is also quite mean-spirited and morally bankrupt. To tell the truth, I very nearly turned the movie off after the first twenty minutes.
The poster’s tagline reads, “This movie is stupid,” which is true, but this certainly doesn’t make it criticism-proof. Though, annoyingly, it does open up the opposite possibility: You were warned, weren’t you? What are you complaining about? You some sort of PC libtard or something? Well. But there are all sorts of stupid. Some stupid things don’t continuously jam their thumb in your eye.
I mean, if you’re okay with jokes that mostly occur at the expense of the mentally ill and the physically handicapped, this one’s for you. In fact, a guy in a wheelchair gets his ass kicked mere minutes after the opening credits! Now tell me, who wouldn’t enjoy that? Ah, and who can forget the dialogue, with phrases like “scurvy retard” and “two dead tardos” scattered liberally throughout the film. And fecal humor. Plenty of that, too.
Now, believe it or not, I’m actually okay with all of this, even the language. But I had a hard time figuring out why there was so much punching down. I mean, the worst character (who is, believe it or not, someone other than the psychopathic killer) does finally get his comeuppance, but it’s all very perfunctory and anti-climactic. In the meantime, there are plenty of jokes about mental illness, animal abuse, and there’s plenty of absolutely pointless violence. I suppose it does soften things a bit if you consider that the “criminally insane” trope was something that was quite overused in 80’s slashers, the genre that Camp Death III in 2D! is parodying. With that in mind, I did warm to the film after a while. But only a little.
So Camp Death III in 2D! is the third film in a trilogy where the first two movies don’t exist. Naturally, this gimmick takes me back to my childhood, when I saw a Bill Cosby movie called Leonard Part 6. But we don’t talk about that anymore. Anyway, the movie starts with a recap, as a lot of 80’s horror flicks used to. In that recap, we see our killer, Johann Van Damme (Terry Mullett) tricked by the final girl into thinking that a puppet she’s manipulating is actually his mother. This is only the first indication that things are about to get really weird. From there, we’re all caught up and ready for the bus full of crazies from the local mental institution to arrive at the aforementioned camp as fodder for Van Damme, long thought dead.
Frame is an incredibly talented director, in a technical sense, especially in the editing, which he did himself. My only gripes are with the story (of which it looks like half the cast had a hand in writing). Frame seems to be attracted to films with this kind of humor, judging from his IMDb filmography. So at least he’s following his passion. I wonder how many audience members will share his vision.
Well, yes, so this film will certainly surprise you. Frame creates a surreal world all his own, though it’s definitely not the kind of weird I’m into. To tell the truth, I wanted to yell, “Slow down!” at the screen several times. This movie is only for people who have a very, very immature sense of humor. Hey, at one time I thought that definition applied myself, but Camp Death III in 2D! has a way of testing just how many poop jokes you can actually tolerate. Turns out I can take about three.
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Either I'm in the minority, or this film -- and its hyperactive and off-color humor -- will only appeal to a niche audience of fecal humor enthusiasts.
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