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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 12.73%
Pretty Bad: 1.82%
Total Crap: 4.55%

2 reviews, 98 user ratings

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Happy Campers
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"For an unreleasable film, it's not half bad."
4 stars

Back in the day, Daniel Waters wrote a seminal teen-angst masterpiece, Heathers. Then he wrote a seminal flop, Ford Fairlane. Then he wrote a bunch of other flops, including Batman Returns and Demolition Man. So now, in the new millennium, what is this one-time teen legend doing with himself? Well, along with trying to get Heathers 2 off the ground, he has written and directed an homage to 80's summer camp films, titled Happy Campers. It's a decent film, certainly better than most that get the studio wide-release, and the film reeks of the 'teens on a tear' style that the director showed back in the day when he was young and unknown, but irrespective of its upside, this flick has one mighty downfall. It's virtually unreleasable. You see, this is a film for 12 year olds that no parent would allow their 12 year old to see.

And that's a shame, because it's a decent flick. Okay, so it portrays 12 year olds making out and watching older teens having sex. And, yeah, it plays a girl's first menstruation for gross-out laughs. And, sure, there's really no lesson to be learned other than "parents suck" and "boobies are good". But so what? This is entertainment, and if teenagers were allowed to see it, they'd give it the same thumbs up we gave Meatballs when we were kids. I don't know anyone who saw Meatballs and went out to sign up for the Junkie Of The Month club, we simply watched the flick, laughed and farted like silly teens and went home to wish we could wear a sleeveless t-shirt like Matt Dillon.

To its credit, Happy Campers is a film that translates well to an older crowd, and for that reason alone it deserves a small release. Add to that the presence of a recognizable cast - Dominique Swain, Brad Renfro and Peter Stormare being the staples - and a reasonable box office would seem assured if someone would just take a chance on it. Unfortunately, this is an adult film about life as a tweeny and no marketing executive has any clue what sort of demographic breakdown that might work for. The easier option is for them to hammer it to video and hope for some kind of small financial return from the dollar weeklys crowd.

What really makes Happy Campers worth watching is Waters' screenplay. With all the caustic humor that was so evident in film that launched his career, the writer/director has found his teen-angst feet once more. Some of the lines in Happy Campers are hilarious, with a brutal delivery that seems even funnier coming from a 12 year old.

Ultimately, you're going to never see this on a big screen. But grab it on video. You'll laugh, and that's more than you'll get out of a Sylvester Stallone movie.

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originally posted: 01/26/01 19:21:02
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User Comments

2/06/13 David Samuel One of my favourites! 5 stars
10/20/09 LOVED it!!! So under-rated! Kate 5 stars
3/22/09 Dane Youssef Too much focus on making puns and self-satisfied monlouges to tell a solid story. 3 stars
10/11/08 justin immature. seems like it was written by a 10 year old. 1 stars
9/14/08 yomero what is the name of 1rst song of the credits? (not "Unforgettable summer love") 4 stars
8/16/08 andrés I need the soundtrack pleaseeeeeeeee 5 stars
6/16/08 wichitalover I love this movie!!! Brad Renfro (RIP) is the best! 5 stars
1/06/08 aaron for 12 year olds my ass. im in college an this is one of my favorites. 5 stars
4/26/07 jdilla Im 20 and this movie kicked ass 5 stars
4/06/07 Crash Override The movie is so CooL!!!!i LOVE Jasper!<33333 5 stars
12/26/06 StarGirl This Movie Sucks! I LOVED IT! 5 stars
5/22/06 moshi this movie rocks! 4 stars
2/01/06 jimmer l. idorita nice i like it 5 stars
8/29/05 Jade Awsome 5 stars
8/05/05 Kelsey I think Happy Campers is the best movie I have ever Seen!!! 5 stars
1/08/05 alexandra OH MY GOD ITS TERRIBLY AWESOME!!!!!! IT REALLY SUX!!! SO DAMN GOOD!!! 5 stars
10/17/04 diana ooo man im horny.... 5 stars
10/12/04 c awesome 5 stars
8/02/04 Paul AMAZING!! this movie dramatizes the true meaning of life 5 stars
8/01/04 Dominique good movie it interests the target audience show what we want to see 5 stars
7/13/04 Karina Dude. This movie is the shizz. It pwns. 5 stars
7/10/04 Jenn This movie kicks ass 4 stars
7/08/04 Kipp Hoffman this movie is the greatest move ever made. it shows what life is for real.fuck no more room 5 stars
6/20/04 Ane This movie is Absolutely wonderful... in an insane childish, yet very deep manner.. 5 stars
4/28/04 colby schmidt it was good needed more nude 5 stars
4/21/04 dan brilliant 5 stars
3/19/04 taylor this is my favorite movie. 5 stars
2/20/04 mark mwuaaaaaaaa, absolutely gggrrreeeaaattt 2 stars
1/11/04 Jeremy I thought this movie was interesting/really have to think to understand it 5 stars
12/23/03 ana is very cool and amazing 5 stars
12/14/03 chris i thought it was one of the best movies i have seen in a while 5 stars
12/04/03 scamerone dammit this movie made my day 5 stars
11/06/03 teenie so funny 5 stars
10/15/03 Karen Absaloutly amazing 5 stars
10/10/03 mike i started watching it yesterday on pay tv but did not see the end it looked pretty funny 4 stars
9/30/03 david cortado jr happy 2 stars
9/30/03 Tiffany R. W. This is my favorite movie, Dominique and Brad are so cute together! We all love Jamie! 5 stars
9/22/03 sara really entertaining 5 stars
8/26/03 katie love it but its stupid 4 stars
8/13/03 louise vick thi movie rox....BRAD RENFRO BRAD RENFRO!!!!! 5 stars
8/01/03 claudia tight ass..pixel is the best 5 stars
7/31/03 Angela this movie kicked ass!!! haha dont touch me todd.. 5 stars
7/29/03 Budds a quality teen flick with hot and hilarious situations and characters. 5 stars
7/25/03 Amanda I thought it was pretty good, they played it on the WB last summer, 4 stars
7/22/03 Brett Ashley This is my favourite film of all time 5 stars
6/22/03 rhiannon i loved it 5 stars
6/18/03 Greg Not worthy of the tape/DVD it's recorded on! 1 stars
5/11/03 Vanessa Fairbank Very funny 4 stars
5/09/03 Chan Richardson WHAY COOL 5 stars
5/09/03 Shanna Rissmiller I love that movie, if anyone hasn't watched -they were definitely depribed as a child. 5 stars
4/14/03 Dilan i have rented this flick 10 times and just eventually bought it. 5 stars
4/12/03 Becky excllent very sexy 5 stars
3/20/03 Jack Sommersby Better than expected. An appealing cast and King's bare breasts help. 3 stars
3/12/03 Wendy good 5 stars
3/09/03 Patee Sparks Bloody funny 4 stars
3/07/03 kev everyone who has worked at a camp will find themselves or someone they worked with in this 5 stars
2/19/03 Wendy great movie 5 stars
2/19/03 Pixel I love this movie! 5 stars
2/03/03 Becky Benson I like it alot. It is exciting and interesting 4 stars
1/31/03 Susan Such a great movie.. even better when ur toasted 5 stars
1/19/03 Kate Appears to be another teen flick, but is actually extremely ironic and true. 5 stars
1/18/03 Chloe and Charisma fuckin awesome 5 stars
1/15/03 kate this movie was funny, and i enjoyed it, especially because i love the dark comedy genre. 5 stars
1/07/03 trish harrison 5 stars
1/01/03 AnnJean This is the movie I can watch over and over again I just love it 5 stars
12/21/02 ceesquared This is ACTUALLY the WORST movie I have EVER seen. No joke. 1 stars
12/16/02 Tiara Venezuela this is the greatest movie i've ever seen, oscar worthy, man 5 stars
12/13/02 Ruud "tha Master" if ya wan'ne see "ride tha punañi" tent some porn 1 stars
10/25/02 scott caron this movie kicks ass 5 stars
10/20/02 Westward Keram Malicki-Sánchez is a babe! 4 stars
10/16/02 Britney i fuckin loved this movie i thought it wuz hilarious!! 5 stars
10/16/02 Laura I love this movie! great quotes, hot actors, Camp! I have seen it about 7 times. 5 stars
10/15/02 Jeff Harris An ok movie. Dominique Swain is really hot, I am in love with her!! 3 stars
10/12/02 Isabela Keram is the best!!!!!!!!!!! GO KERAM!!!! 5 stars
9/30/02 David Gregory VERY VERY FUNNY 4 stars
9/30/02 Stephanie It was great! Haha My man is in that movie...Jasper! Hes so hot and yeah um I taped it! 5 stars
9/18/02 Chris Great to watch a second time round 5 stars
9/08/02 Ana It was really funny. .It'd be good 2 waych w/ friends but not w/ parents! 3 stars
8/27/02 Ali fucking a. really funny. 4 stars
8/27/02 Lindsey I loved it! 5 stars
8/25/02 emily Keram is soooo hot!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
8/22/02 lot you must see the film caus keram malichi-sanchez is sooooo hot 5 stars
8/18/02 jawsboy Fun movie with many good laughs. Also has a good cast!!. It's just how camp SHOULD be. 4 stars
8/13/02 Big Ted Great premise, great screenplay, acting is very good(Renfro, Swain & Malicki-Sánchez) 5 stars
8/11/02 John KICK ASS MOVIE! Daniel Waters gets the teen genre right once again 5 stars
8/09/02 Alex Rawlings Awesome movie. Best comedy I've ever seen 5 stars
8/09/02 Vitality1 It seemed too self-aware for it's own good. Swain can't act, but Renfro looks good. 3 stars
8/09/02 Mandy I thought the movie was so good, i'm actually going to go pick up a copy @ the videostore 5 stars
8/08/02 Nirvana Chick i just saw it on tv and i think it's an awesome movie. it has a really good point to it. 5 stars
8/08/02 the Grinch They weren't flops, but should've been...HC, though, wasn't half bad...Swain on the brain.. 3 stars
7/21/02 FC Smith Picked it up not knowing what to expect. Laughed hard. Isnt fun great? 4 stars
6/27/02 Corky Odd blend of legitimate teen angst and gross-out. Has redeeming qualities; worth a try. 3 stars
4/27/02 Hunter watch movie. 5 stars
4/24/02 Ben Demolition Man was not a flop that movie kicks butt! 4 stars
4/01/02 end of auction Hey OZ - BATMAN RETURNS was not a flop! Dumbass. Grr 3 stars
3/30/02 ashley dumb 1 stars
3/10/02 Ryan Adams I was in it. I played the role of Bad Boy Billy. Its really a good flick. Buy it please. 5 stars
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  02-Mar-2001 (R)



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