Halloween Disc-A-Day 2017: Days 1-3 Camp Blood Trilogy

Continuing from last year, this project is an attempt to help me get dvds that for one reason or another I’ve never seen off of my shelf and give them a watch.  I’m starting off this year with a slight cheat already.  I watched three movies, but they were all on one disc.  It’s the Camp Blood Trilogy.

IMDb: Camp Blood (Video 4 April 2000)
Out and about on a camping trip in the woods without a care in the world, four campers found themselves in an unknown world. With the death of their guide and at the mercy of a cold blooded killer, the trip of fun in the sun soon took a wrong turn. With friends slowly disappearing, so does the chance of getting out alive.

This is the first of three in the series written and directed by Brad Sykes.  He’s worked on the Witchcraft series and was a producer on the Joe Dante directed Burying The Ex which isn’t great but it’s Joe Dante.  He’s made some classics.  But on to the movie… The miniDV era of shot-on-video material is difficult to go back to.  VHS seems to hold onto color much better and the all around fuzz of the picture helps to hide flaws.  MiniDV on the other hand has the thin scan lines.  It looks much worse than it would otherwise.  I don’t have much to say specifically about this one because it’s such a standard slasher.  There’s value to be had in that for some people, particularly the ones making it, but I don’t think this has much to offer the standard viewer.  Surprisingly, it has five sequels and a prequel. I just wonder what makes these clowns so wicked?

IMDb: Camp Blood 2 (Video October 2000)
Smarmy opportunist filmmaker Worthy Milligan convinces traumatized sole survivor Tricia to work as a technical advisor on a film he’s making about the horrific events that occurred at Camp Blood. The cast and crew return to the remote woodland area to shoot the picture. Of course, the murderous machete-wielding Clown also shows up to commit more brutal killings.

Right off the bat, this is a big step up from the first one.  They were made back to back, but the meta element of the film adds a little something that keeps it moving much better.  It’s the small things.  The character name of the guy playing the clown for the recreation is the totally real name Shemp Mosley used to credit the clown in first.  Another example is a scene where actors are recreating a scene where one person trips starting an argument.  The recreation has a deliberate flubbed line just like in the original.  I know it was deliberate, because they shoot two takes of it.  It also links to the third when we see the script called Within The Woods.  Quality wise, it’s really not much better, but the storyline being more layered goes a long way into making it a better movie overall.

IMDb: Within The Woods (Video 13 September 2005)
Is the legendary Clown back, or is one of the group willing to kill for the prize?

What if you had the plot for House on Haunted Hill, but instead of ghost you had a killer in a rubber clown mask… and also no house?  You would have Within The Woods.  A reality TV producer tasks five people with staying at Camp Blood for 24 hours for a million dollars to be divided amoung the survivors then somehow murders start happening at this place notorious for murders.  I think I would say it’s the second best of these.  It’s progressed in acting and video quality, but there are some strange audio distortions is places where the sound is blown out.  It happens randomly in normal volume dialogue scenes and is very distracting.  This being the third one of these, you would think they would have found a solid signature look for the clown but it still just a generic mask.  They could have used makeup or even the same damn mask from film to film, but they didn’t.  For me, the highlight of the movie is early on someone uses the term “clam-slammer.”  I like that.  I have no idea how there could possibly be four more of these.

Check back tomorrow for something else.  I’ll figure it out then.  In the meantime, listen to Motion Picture Meltdown’s episode on Zombeavers and Sleepaway Camp II for more camp fun.

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