Awakening Passions at Camp Bleeding Dove
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 06/22/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Happy Campers" examines a group of summer campers at Camp Bleeding Dove, somewhere near the Carolinas.The focus of the film is found in the relationships between seven camp counselors. Wichita (played by Brad Renfro) wants to get through the summer by being practical and honest with the campers and without entanglements from the other counselors. Wendy (Dominique Swain) wants a more romantic and ideal environment, which includes having an enduring relationship with Brad. The other counselors eye each other, with a couple looking extra hard at Brad.The kids have their traditional issues: homesickness, bee-stings, epileptic fits, crushes, ogling, lampooning the other sex, reading porn magazines, and the like.I suppose the "R" rating comes from a few mild sex scenes, displays of condoms, and a bit of quasi-lesbian foreplay. After satirizing camp life, the immanent return to the outside world triggers some political correctness. [Though having the one gay counselor tell the possibly gay-to-be kid to wait until he is 18 before trying anything is not necessarily consistent with what the other kids get to hear.]The counselors' acting is pretty good. The standouts are Brad Renfro, Dominique Swain, and Justin Long (of "Jeepers Creepers"; here he is a geeky counselor with a hopeless crush on Wendy and is the buff leader of the kids' water condom-balloon attack on most of the other counselors).There is the usual hokiness (like an unexpected hurricane), smarmy emerging sexuality, and happy-enough ending. The DVD had no commentary track or behind-the-scenes materials. "Happy Campers" has a few interesting characters and segments in a familiar setting."
Great sleeper hit! WATCH This movie ASAP
John La Rocca | San Jose, CA United States | 11/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Today, teen comedies involve a lot crude humor and the kids just never learn anything. "Happy Campers" has BOTH, and mixes them well which will satisfy a wide audience. Why I never saw this movie get a national release is beyond me. This movie was ten times better then American Pie's or any of the other lousy and souless teen movies.What was written in this movie growing up I lived through. One character in the movie goes off on the same feelings I once had.
This story really taps into what kids go through today. This is a must watch folks, sit back and enjoy some laughs as well as somethings to think about from you youth or if you are in this age group of the kids in the film they might cover issues and feelings you are currently going through.Fantastic movie!"
A COMEDIC MASTERPIECE
Ryan Adams | North Augusta, SC United States | 06/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a wonderful flick that never made it to theaters. It should have been in theaters, and I'm not quite sure why it did not have a theatrical release. Happy Campers is a mixture between american pie and meatballs, about a summer camp that begins to go out of control.
If you are a fan of good teen comedies, you should without a doubt buy this movie. Trust me, you will not be sorry."
Was expecting much more
Chris | Bucharest, Romania | 01/02/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy watching teen movies because I'm ever so curious about how the director sees this particular age group and the misconceptions present in his view as much as in the teens' view of things.
This movie is unlike most teen "romantic comedies" I've seen, and not necessarily in a good way. First of all, the main characters are unlikeable and don't represent actual categories of people in real life:
We have the good looking rebel who's actually not so rebellious after all but then gets back to his old ways (stupid twist if you ask me), the nerd who can't get any (they picked the worst possible guy to play the nerd; he's actually pretty good looking and a funny guy...), the nerdy girl who hasn't grown up yet (ends up hooking up with the rebel but they break up), the gay guy (I have no idea what his role in this movie was), the aggressive victim of child abuse (...), the freaky nympho with a tint of lesbian (what the hell were you thinking Daniel Waters?) and finally the rebel's childhood best friend who falls in love with him and is rejected (the film focuses about 5 minutes of its total 88 on this character... I don't know why she's even here, she has no obvious role and her situation doesn't reflect at all in the real world).
Next up, I think the director is sexually obsessed or something. Ok, I know sex is an important part of a teenager's life but this movie is about lame 13 year old girls aching for sex and even lamer 19 year olds who have nothing else better to do. If I wanted to see hormonal imbalance, I would go watch Discovery Channel. There are more important things in life than sex, and this "masterpiece" definitely doesn't illustrate them. The characters' thoughts and actions are limited to the camp itself and the director focuses too much on useless stuff and tries to create stereotypes, but fails miserably. Most teen movies have a moral side to them, they teach the audience certain values, unlike "Happy Campers". This movie only taught me that it's so cool to be obsessed about sex, it's cool for 12 year old girls to think they're oh-so-hot women, that only the absolute best looking guys hook up (not true in the real world) and more [...]. Also the director makes completely ridiculous situations seem normal, such as the camp leader getting hit by lightning and then acting completely weird, the counsellors buying 47203 boxes of condoms (there's only so much sex you can have in 40 days...), the whole "Don't-touch-me Todd" thing, and so on and so forth.
This movie isn't worth the $2 I paid to rent it. Those who think this is better than the American Pie series should go out more. American Pie was a work of art, this is a piece of [...]."