Spirit Camp

Year:  2009
Director:  Kerry Beyer
Cast:  Roxy Vandiver, Brandon Smith, Kerry Beyer, Julin, Megan Moser, Amy Morris

Review by featured writer David Harlequin, Editor-in-Chief of STIFF Magazine

What do you get when "Friday The 13th" and "Bring It On!" suddenly grow reproductive organs and make a celluloid baby? Well just in case you were wondering, you get the hilarious and horrific mutant-offspring known as "Spirit Camp".

Never once taking itself seriously, "Spirit Camp" is a true homage to the classic 80's slasher flicks that (for better or worse) we all know and love. Award-winning photographer Kerry Beyer's first feature-length film also seemingly gives a nod to the late, great, Edward D Wood Jr. Not only did he write and direct, he also produced, edited, acted, composed the score, handled the cinematography and some of the digital F/X! Quite the impressive workload for anyone, and low budget notwithstanding, he did an excellent job.

The story starts off at Camp Loomis Lake, where a group of cheerleaders are sitting around a campfire (oddly enough, debating whether or not the campfire will give them tans), two of them sneak off for some extracurricular activity and (you guessed it) are hacked up with an axe. Flash forward two years, and we're introduced to a new group of teens about to spend their summers at the exact same cheerleading camp. We are then treated to our main character, social outcast Nikki (played by alt/erotica model Roxy Vandiver) who is being forced to attend camp as part of her rehab from a juvenile corrections facility. There's also the local Sheriff (Brandon Smith of "Jeepers Creepers" and "No Country For Old Men") who will indeed provide some much-needed protection, or will he?

From there, let's just say you won't need a GPS to figure out where this film's heading. Can the girls put aside their differences and work together to defeat the deranged psycho-stalker-killer guy, or will the cheerleaders all do nothing more than form a corpse pyramid? Okay bad joke, this is why I don't write movie trailers, but you get the point.

So granted, while the film itself may be predictable, cliché, and (excuse the pun) campy, it truly accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do... it's entertaining!  Not too long after we're introduced to the characters, the non-stop mayhem begins; offering us a gruesomely fun ride with gratuitous amounts of blood, gore, nudity and good old-fashioned ultraviolence. I think there's even a nice explosion thrown in for good measure.

The unrated special edition DVD of "Spirit Camp" is currently available via Kerosene Films (at www.SpiritCampMovie.com) and features audio commentary, the theatrical trailer and an exclusive behind the scenes featurette. For an extra $10, you can even get the limited edition package, which includes an autographed copy of the DVD and autographed pair of panties (yes I'm serious.) Either way, it’s worth checking out.

Fright Meter Grade (Courtesy of David Harlequin):

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