Happy Campers ended up exactly where I expected it to, in direct-to-video hell. After all, it had been sitting on the shelf for nearly two years, despite its recognizable cast of Dominique Swain (Face/Off), Brad Renfro (Apt. Pupil), James King (Slackers), and Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers), and that can only mean one thing. I usually try to avoid direct-to-video films at all costs, but this one had been collecting dust on my website for so long that I just had to see it. And, unfortunately, there is a reason why it went direct-to-video.
Happy Campers sucks. The first fifteen minutes are funny but after that it just spirals downhill. It tries to be dramatic but fails miserably. It tries to be funny but just isn't. It tries to be sexy but lacks the one thing that could have made this movie better... nudity. After all, it is a teen comedy with beautiful people and an R-rating, so what else should one expect? There is some sex and romance going on, but everything is muted; there are only a few small shots of James King's breasts.
I don't mean to sound shallow, but sex and nudity were the only good things I was expecting from the film, and I was deeply disappointed.
It doesn't help that the rest of the movie is so terribly boring, lame, and cheesy that even if there was sex and nudity it would be hard to watch.
Writer/director Daniel Waters obviously was trying to do some kind of deep-meaning thing through a teen sex comedy, but forgot that first he has to make a good, enjoyable movie. The narratives the characters give are just plain cheesy, and everything is worse from there.
Happy Campers is a direct-to-video movie. Be smarter than I was and stay away.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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