Fun With Horror

The official website of film critic and journalist Tyler Doupe´

Shock Review: Bloody Bloody Bible Camp

BBBC DVD frontHappy Day Bible Camp is covered by a shroud of blood and controversy. In 1977, an all-out massacre transpired there. Several years later, in 1984, a church group pays a visit to the camp, with the intent of acquiring it for God’s work. Given the history, they expect to pick up the property for a song. Unfortunately for the church group, Sister Mary Chopper has other plans. Sister Mary is up to her old tricks and she intends to make the campers pay for their sins…with their lives.

With a name like Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, I wasn’t sure what I was getting in to going in to it. As it turns out, it landed somewhere between good and bad.

BBBC does a good job of recapturing the feel of late-‘70s/early-‘80s horror films. It does give itself away, as a throwback piece, with the infusion of more modern dialogue, which upset me a little bit. When I’m watching a period piece, I expect a certain degree of historical accuracy. But, for the most part, BBBC does a fairly effective job of transporting the viewer back to a time when premarital sex, marijuana drugs, poor judgment, and teen drinking reigned supreme.

Taken for what it is, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp isn’t all bad. It’s quite obvious that the cast and crew had a good time making the movie. And, BBBC has some legitimate “laugh out loud” moments, as well as some very witty, memorable, and highly quotable, dialogue. I would even go so far as to say that it has scenes that border on comedic brilliance. The film, however, has some purely ridiculous and over-the-top segments that detracted from my overall enjoyment. And I am fairly tolerant of nearly anything. There are very few things that shock or surprise me anymore, but, watching a camper getting sodomized by a crucifix and listening to a couple of girls talk about how well endowed Jesus Christ may or may not be was too much, even for me. Pushing boundaries is necessary, but that’s where I draw the line.

The acting is fine. It’s far from Oscar-worthy, but that’s not what Bloody Bloody Bible Camp was aspires to. The cast succeeds at providing performances on par with the films it draws its inspiration from likeSleepaway Camp or Cheerleader Camp. Working in the film’s favor was the casting of Reggie Bannister as Father Richard Cummings. Bannister’s performance was just the right amount of over-the-top and his role perfectly satirized the moronic ideals of many of the gay hating, holier-than-though fundamentalist groups. It was also mildly amusing to see Ron Jeremy, cast against type, as Jesus.

One of my biggest complaints about Bloody Bloody Bible Camp is with the pacing. The viewer is made to wait far too long before the killing really gets underway. We see a death montage at the very beginning of the film and then we have to wait until approximately the final fifteen minutes of the film before any more slashing occurs. That’s too long for a film of this nature. BBBC is by no means a slow burn type of film. It’s a campy, blood-fueled, T&A fest. So, for a film of this kind to expect its viewer to be patient for that long is just not nice. It’s also unrealistic. With a bit more tinkering, the film could have been superior to what it is now.

Once the killing got under way, the FX team did a great job with the gore. The kill scenes were brutal. The effects didn’t have that “enhanced with CG” look, nor were they the type of effects you would expect to see in a student film. Oddtopsy FX really struck the perfect balance between over done and understated. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall appearance of all of the films’ kill scenes. If they had been peppered throughout the film, as opposed to bookended at the front and back, it would have made them all the more enjoyable.

Bloody Bloody Bible Camp invoked nostalgic memories of genre classics. BBBC didn’t do it better than these predecessors, nor did it bring a lot of new material to the table, but it is still a fairly enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes. If you’re easily offended – or put off by blatant blasphemy – steer clear. However, if you have a twisted sense of humor and a deep-seated nostalgia for the slasher films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp is worth a look. Don’t expect to be amazed, or anything more than amused and you may just enjoy it.

Originally posted at www.shocktillyoudrop.com