Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crappy horror movie reviews Thursday: Camp Utopia (2005)

Camp Utopia
In 1969, in a small hippie commune in Northern California, Timothy Bach — a self-proclaimed guru — maintained a hypnotic hold on his followers. On June 23, something went terribly wrong in the free love and peace commune. In an apparent drug-induced frenzy, Bach began slaughtering his followers. He then disappeared into the night, never to be heard from again. More than thirty years later, five teenagers return to the site of “Camp Utopia.” And now, what happened back happening again. Has the evil cult leader returned? Or is it something far worse?

Aside from the very brief T n' A, the only good parts of the movie was the opening "Timothy Bach massacre" sequence, and the beheading in the tent. Ranger Rogers was funny, but stupid. I suppose he was suppose to be the "Crazy Ralph" and the "Officer Dorf" all in one. The story could have worked, the budget killed the movie, and quite possibly the direction. The actors weren't great, but they were tolerable.

Whoever (Robert Madero or Skippy McGriff?) wrote the script really needs to rethink their career. They took a neat idea and destroyed it with bad dialog and a stale plot. There were no "Red Herrings", false clues, suspense, plot twists, false scares, there was nothing that makes a great suspenseful slasher movie. The kills were very cheap and boring, the directing lacked, the camera angles did not work, and the killer was very obvious from minute one. Note to screen writer; If you are going to have a surprise killer, don't give her away in the first scene by talking about her "past" and how bad it was. DEAD GIVEAWAY.

Another independent slasher film with a minuscule budget. I really expected a lot out of this movie, I really enjoyed certain scenes, but it wasn't a movie I could really get into. The killer (as I stated above) was very obvious, and they did nothing to make you think anyone else could have been doing the killings. I think the in the director's mind, he thought the pre-credits sequence of the "Timothy Bach massacre" would lead viewers to think he was the culprit, but most fans know that would rarely be the case. This movie is an obvious attempt to sell DVDs with the camp slasher moniker, T n' A, and cheap kills.

Watching the movie you can tell the screen writers at least did their homework with the carbon copy "dumb" law enforcement, in this case it was Ranger Rogers. They inserted the campfire scene where the local legend it told. They even let it be known that there would be no contact with civilization. They didn't bring their cell phones! Watching this movie, I wasn't completely disgusted, I just really didn't get into it. Some low budget movies may be badly produced, but they still play well-- this didn't. The movie dragged, and was anti-climatic. The ending was predictable, and when the credits rolled I felt relief.

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