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Summer Camp Nightmare (1987)

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

This was directed by Bert L. Dragin who only has two director credits to his name. This looks like a very typical eighties camp slasher right from the start. Then small cracks in the story start to go a different direction. Starring Chuck Connors as the camp director with too much religion for the campers. This cast is good, many of them have been in at least one film I recognize in their past. They have great chemistry as they each become a part of the progressing resistance they are forming. This is a film about a camp revolution gone wrong. The tension and suspense feels more real than jump scares and sound design. Things escalate quickly and get heated fast as you would imagine a revolution of children would. Some of the tension lands flat like in the scene where one of them has to cross a bridge to prove their innocence. It is supposed to be a deep gorge but is clearly a bridge over a small dried up creek. There is not a lot of traditional horror, it looks like a slasher and starts like one but it eventually turns into a thriller about a camp revolt. I give it a 5 out of 10 because it is less horror and more of a camp slasher that wanted to do something original and lost it's horror credit along the way. It's worth checking out but don't expect a typical horror experience.

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