|Cannibal Campout (1988)|
|Director:||Tom Fisher and Jon McBride|
|Starring:||Jon McBride, Amy Chludzinski and Christopher A. Granger|
|The Plot: Cannibal Campout is the story of four college students who head out into the woods for a weekend of camping. However, the kids run into trouble before the partying can even begin. The location that they have chosen for their camp-site also happens to be centered in the same area as a deranged family of lunatic cannibals who regularly hunt human beings for their food. This group of three brothers quickly spot the college teens, and soon enough they are making food out of anyone who wanders off into the woods alone. Can this group manage to escape the woods or will they inevitably wind up as dinner.|
Considering that this was shot on a home video camera, the audience will no doubt build up several preconceived notions about the film. That is to say… they can imagine the movie being utterly terrible. Most of these notions of course turn out to be true, but Cannibal Campout does have a few standout elements that defy the odds. Albeit, there are few. No matter what, the movie was running its race with a handicap right from the beginning. For one, picture quality will always be an issue with movies that were shot in this format. The images captured with home video cameras are almost always putrid. The quality of tape recording was an abomination to the world of cinema and no matter how filmmakers might have tried to “pretty” it up, it still looked like muddy garbage. Cannibal Campout is no different in this regard. The filmmakers do try and tie together a few engaging shots throughout, but there is very little one can do to make this video stock look like a real “movie.” However, I will give it to the filmmakers that they do manage to grab a few interesting shots throughout their movie and they do make good use of the wilderness setting that surrounds them. Continuing on with other negative connotations that shot-on-video might bring with it, indeed the acting here is a bit on the amateurish side of things. The quality of the acting, however, isn’t the worst that I have seen. I’m sure many reviewers have lambasted the film a million times over for this, but within the context of who these actors were beforehand and with the restrictions that were put on them, there are actually a few surprising performances throughout. The performance of Jon McBride is actually fairly decent. He doesn’t stretch out or deliver with conviction, but he is charismatic and manages to hold the film together throughout many scenes. Still, these are far and away from being great performances. You should definitely hope for the least.