Wednesday 4 May 2016

Summer Camp ... 20-minute zombies

ZOMBIE films are pretty straightforward. People get infected by something, they turn into raving lunatics and go on a rampage. These zombies remain in that state for a considerable amount of time, unless they're injected with an antidote.
  Italian director Alberto Marini's Summer Camp turns this idea on its head by allowing three people to each be a zombie for 20 minutes. This allows each to display how loud his roar can be, how fast he can run and how hard he can hit against a door.

   Neither one of the four actors playing English language tutor-counsellors in an isolated woody European summer camp stands out. Antonio (Andres Velencos) is the head of the group and the flirtatious one, but he's disposed of quickly. This leaves bespectacled Will (Diego Boneta), wavy-haired Michelle (Maiara Walsh) and prim-and-proper Christy (Jocelin Donahue).
  Viewers will not be interested in the men but the riveting Michelle and Christy leave an impression. Michelle and Christy don't hit it off immediately, with the former storming out of a trust exercise and leaving the Dolce & Gabbana-attired Christy all alone and looking out of a place in a forest.
(From left) Walsh, Donahue and Boneta are stuck in this low-grade
zombie film.
    Little is known about the background of each person. Antonio is willing to lie to get a lay, Will has a bit of veterinarian experience, Michelle desperately wants to call her family back in the US, and Christy is shown in a gratuitous shot wearing only her underwear. There's also a gypsy family staying illegally on the camp grounds.
   The quartet is supposed to get the camp ready for the arrival of kids the next day, but things go haywire the night before. The violence is what you'd expect in a low-budget zombie flick, with instruments abused numerous times and people bashed up indiscriminately.
  However, one scene that will remain in me, and I've often wondered why it hasn't been used more often in zombie films, involves the use of a drill.
   I don't know why the writer-director wanted the zombie effects to wear off after 20 minutes. I also don't know why a human would cover up the truth on whether another human killed someone when he was in frenzied state.
  If it's to allow a human to maintain an iota of humanity after his rampage, I find it weirdly dissonating.

1 1/2 out of 5 stars

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