CAMP BLOOD 4
Director: Dustin Ferguson
Year of release: 2016
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 71 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "Are you scared of clowns"?
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: A few years after the events of First Slaughter we learn that the killer involved there has never been caught. We then witness a young couple being murdered in their tent on the Camp Blood site. We then meet Raven, a young female student who along with some friends is planning on attending a rock concert. The night prior the males of the group have arranged for the gang to camp at the infamous Camp Blood site now known as Camp Blackfoot. Though Raven herself and the other females in the group seem to have no idea of the sites grisly history they become rattled after learning from the others about the past murders. They agree to carry on however and ignore a warning to turn back from the owner of a local store. They figure it will be cool to boast to those they may meet at the concert that they have spent the night at a famous murder site. Meanwhile a man who seems to be dangerously obsessed with Raven dons a clown mask and with knife in hand heads out to the Camp Blacktree area himself to intercept the friends. It isn't long before blood is flowing and bodies dropping.
Good points: There is some continuity with First Slaughter being mentioned and referenced a lot (too much as we'll go into later) though in a similar way to that film it annoyingly ignores the initial Brad Sykes trilogy. The clown mask that we briefly saw at the start of First Slaughter is back or something very close to it is anyway so that was a nice touch. The clown mask puts us back into familiar territory after they went down a different route last time out. I like the old tropes and cliches being paraded in slashers so I enjoyed the warning from the gentleman in the store. Another interesting reference to slashers past is the changing of the camp name from Blood to Blackfoot which presumably is a nod to director Dustin Ferguson's older slasher franchise Terror at Black Tree Forest.
I didn't like the mask too much this time around as I felt it revealed too much of the back of the wearers head but I'll always prefer even a bad mask over nothing so at least an effort of some kind has been made here. The rest of the outfit was good going back to the boiler suit seen in some of the earlier films though blue instead of black this time so very Michael Myers -esque.
Mild spoiler: The very end actually provides a bit of a surprise which I didn't see coming to be fair. I liked the idea of the ex boyfriend killer posing as the Camp Blood killer to pass the crimes off as his/her work. The twist just after this which closes out the film really caught me off guard and very much sets things up for a sequel. At the time I went away from this with a bit of hope due to the end twist that number 5 might actually be a lot better (this didn't turn out to be the case!).
Bad Points: The massive overriding problem with this and the thing that destroys the project and renders the whole thing a waste of time is the almost non existent script and story. It is very much one of those occasions where in my write up of it above I've made it sound as if there is a lot more going on than there actually is. Honestly it is incredibly threadbare and as bare bones as you could possibly imagine. There is little in the way of any proper dialogue within the film with things instead being padded out with a variety of filler elements that really don't go anywhere or add anything. I'll detail these below:
*The first thing they do to pad out the running time is show us the entire end sequence from First Slaughter again. The sequence in question from the previous movie was a bit confusing as it didn't reveal how the killer recovered and then got in front of Christy to be in the car to run her down. If they had of actually explained that here and shown us something new (say the killers perspective of those events) it would have been worthwhile but as it is it provides no new insights. I was expecting to find out what happened to the killer from the previous film as well seeing that they hark back to it so much but nothing is revealed.
*Later in the film they go back to First Slaughter again showing a montage of most of the kills which eats up a lot of the running time.
*A lot of time is wasted following raven around prior to the camping trip where she doesn't do anything of note that makes her worth watching. We see her feeding the cat, walking into town and then browsing a thrift shop type place which doesn't even look like a proper shop but rather someones house poorly disguised as a business.
*After following Raven around we are then treated to a few minutes of watching her friends attend to their hair in the mirror. This would be fine if they were talking at the same time and building the story but they don't say anything!
*Going back to Raven we see her watching a silly news show reporting all manner of weird and wild things which are too numerous and out there to be believable. None of them have any relevance to what's going on in the film either so again it's a waste of time. In this report they could have at least mentioned the campers killed at the start with perhaps Raven switching it off before they revealed the location where it happened as to not put her off from visiting later.
*We are then given lengthy scenes of the killer wandering around in the woodlands not doing anything of interest seeing that Raven and her party haven't arrived yet. Seeing that his victims aren't yet present it is unrealistic that he is even wearing the mask at this point. They should have gone down the route of just showing him from behind or just his feet /legs and then pan up to his shoulders and head with him pulling the mask on just as we see the kids arrive in the background.
*There is an overly long boring scene with the girls dancing around the fire once the camp out actually begins.
Another thing I found really annoying is the music. There was a lot of guitar heavy rock music playing throughout which I didn't think fitted in very well at all with what we were seeing on screen. It mainly seemed like a cheap device to avoid having much dialogue. A song played for example in the tedious scene mentioned above with the girls doing their hair.
There is an extremely embarrassing chase scene towards the end which is horribly dark and badly edited. Raven runs poorly without the charm of Tricia from the original and the killer literally frog marches after her. It looks ridiculous.
Verdict: This was absolutely terrible and a complete waste of time. Easily it is one of the worst films I've ever seen. No effort has been put into the plot at all and there is far too much filler to try and stretch out the running time. The only real positive was the somewhat surprising ending which sparks a bit of interest in number 5. Seeing that this one is let unfinished though and is a set up to number 5 it begs the question why they didn't just combine them and make one film instead of two. With all the filler they clearly didn't have enough ideas to adequately make one film let alone two so it's anyone's guess really why they stretched what limited material they did have over two films. If you've seen some of my earlier Camp Blood reviews you'll know that I really enjoyed the first three so am perhaps more lenient than some would be but even I would have to advise you to avoid this one like the plague.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Female blonde camper: Impaled through the chest by someone outside the tent.
2) Male Camper: Killed off camera. Body later briefly seen by Raven.
3) Blonde friend of Raven's: Seen dead lying on a table or something similar.
4) Brunette friend of Raven's: Carried off and restrained by the killer and then stabbed.
5) Raven's boyfriend (Chris?): Neck twisted and snapped.
6) Kyle: Struck in the chest by some sort of trap set up in the woods.
7) Kyle's girlfriend: Stabbed after fleeing the tent with Raven.
8) Raven's ex boyfriend/Michael: Impaled from behind with a machete by another killer who presumably was responsible for killing the two campers at the start.