What do you get when you mix a handful of coeds, dozens of kids and no parental supervision? Total Chaos!
Welcome to Camp Bleeding Dove, where seven hot-blooded college freshman are left in charge of dozens of high-maintenance campers.
When Chief Overon (Peter Stormare), the camp's only responsible adult is hit by lightning, it's a hormonal free-for-all as the counselors Wichita (Brad Renfro) and Wendy (Dominique Swain) score with each other while trying to control the underage masses. At the end of 40 days, everyone is guaranteed memories that will last a lifetime!
A summer camp goes comedically and hormonally beserk when an injury to a camp counselor puts the power in the hands of a group of attractive college freshmen. The ensuing tug-of-war matches and lessons in life are now coupled with smoking pot and having sex in this irrevent farce.
Daniel Waters, whose familiarity with the teen genre is in evidence in his script of the cult classic HEATHERS, makes his directorial debut with this libidinous camp comedy. Much like contemporary films AMERICAN PIE and WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, is reminiscent of teen films and comedies of the early 80s, notably PORKY'S, TAPS, STRIPES, and MEATBALLS.
Happy Campers vacillates from being a ridiculous parody of summer-camp life to being a genuine examination of adolescence. Camp counselors Brad Renfro (Apt Pupil, The Client) and Dominique Swain (Face/Off, Lolita) have very different approaches (she's super-perky, he's a moody rebel), but find themselves irresistibly attracted to each other as the camp falls into chaos over the course of the summer. What keeps this basic plot from being completely cheesy is a basic honesty about youth--Happy Campers doesn't shy away from the cruelty, sexual frustration, and general awkwardness of being a teen. Despite its inconsistencies of tone, the movie is a more compelling portrait of adolescence than any John Hughes movie, and the attractive, likable cast--also featuring James King (Pearl Harbor) and Emily Bergl (The Rage: Carrie 2)--will keep you engaged. --Bret Fetzer
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