CAMP BLOOD 8: REVELATIONS
Director: Dennis Devine
Year of release: 2020
Country of origin: USA
Running time: Roughly just over 75 minutes.
DVD/Blu ray: DVD only as far as I know.
Tagline: "Stay out of my woods".
Estimated budget: $10.000
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: It was assumed that after the haunted mask was destroyed in the last film and the killer ghost thus vanquished that the Camp Blood site would become a normal patch of woodlands. We quickly learn this isn’t the case however as it seems the original clown (by which I think they mean the clown last seen properly in number 5) had a son who has gone on to don the mask and become a killer in his own right. Aiding him in continuing the bloody history of the camp is the mans domineering and sexually perverted mother who if anything seems even more deranged than her son.
The pair soon have fresh victims to terrorise when four female volleyball players and their coach become stranded in the area after taking an ill advised shortcut. With just a couple of batty locals and a rather unhelpful ghost on hand to assist them the girls find themselves squaring off with the clown and his mother as they attempt to escape the woods with their skins intact.
Good points: *This is a more light hearted tongue in cheek entry into the series than some of the other films and in places this proves to be a good move with the humour working well. The stereotypical dumb blonde character of Brandy gets some of the best lines and as dopey as she is she’s also quite endearing. Indy horror regular and YouTuber Shawn C Phillips is also among the cast playing a survivalist hermit type. He’s very much playing an eccentric character who much like Brandy is amusing at times and as such provides some of the most entertaining moments.
On the whole the humour running through the film is more self-aware than in previous entries, perhaps not quite to the point of full on parody but there are definitely some good lines scattered throughout that poke fun in a charming way at past entries and the genre in general.
*With the last film mainly taking place inside a building here we go back to basics with events returning to the much more traditional and familiar woodlands. While on one hand this could perhaps be construed as a negative, playing it safe and reverting to type it’s mainly a good move as it definitely plays to the series strengths and in several new flourishes have been included at the same time to keep things fresh.
The main new addition is the introduction of the crazed mother character and whereas I realise a domineering mother character is itself a genre cliché it’s always one I enjoy. It’s a new angle for Camp Blood in any case and it’s handled well enough to mostly be an entertaining inclusion. She is a trifle too silly and too overly sexual for my liking but despite these niggles she adds to the entertainment factor and keeps the story chugging along.
In a smaller role the friendly ghost whom is only visible to a psychic member of the volleyball team is something different and helps provide Brandy with someone to play off with the gags. Not that she can see him herself but therein lies the humour. The ghost was supposed to have been a previous victim but I didn’t recognise him so it was unfortunate they didn’t lure back a returning actor to play this role.
To be fair though two recognisable faces from the past are brought back for this outing. Firstly as I’ve already mentioned Shawn C Phillips last seen in Camp Blood 4 and 5 is on board. Even better is the return of the Thatcher character from way back in the Brad Sykes original. He reprises his role as the Crazy Ralph style predicter of doom. It’s nice to see a nod back to one of the very early films which have been ignored completely up to now since First Slaughter onward.
Bad Points: *As I’ve stated I liked most of the new additions but there was another thing introduced this time which I wasn’t so keen on. For what I think I’m right in saying is the first time the clown now openly talks whilst still being behind the mask. The mask in it’s own right looked good with an extra long tongue added but I felt it was nullified by the chatter coming from the man behind it. I thought the frequent speaking diminished his presence and aura. Later the mask is also exchanged for face paint which I wasn’t keen on either. This only occurs right at the very end though so it’s not a big deal.
*I didn’t think a very good job was done with fitting this in with the rest of the franchise. Don’t get me wrong as a stand alone story everything was explained well enough with things making sense but hardly any effort was made to tie this in with the previous films. The whole thing I mention at the beginning of the review about the killer being the son of the original clown isn’t explained at all in the film but rather I just got that from the write up on the back of the DVD case. Similarly it’s not explained who the mother is as in if she’s supposed to be a victim of the original clown who was kept alive and raped and eventually driven mad or if she just hooked up with him randomly and was crazy to begin with. Much more effort could have been put into fleshing out the backstory.
*CGI blood effects are present for most of the kills and needless to say they don’t look very good. It’s got to be really tough working on a super tight budget but they would have been better off ditching the CGI effects altogether as anything else they could have feasibly come up with would surely have been a better option.
*Spoilers: There are a couple of noticeably very silly bits in the script that are too dumb even for a tongue in cheek film. Firstly a girl locked in a room by the clown manages to briefly disable the villain and snare the key after he comes to check on her. She uses it to free herself and unlock the door as you’d expect but then doesn’t lock the door behind her even though if she had of done so she’d have trapped the clown inside.
Later on this same girl and another survivor rush off to try and rescue a friend who is believed to be in the clutches of the clown’s mother. Unsure if she is alive or dead but if alive then most definitely in danger they’re supposed to be hurrying but then inexplicably pause to have a discussion about what they may do in their work careers once they escape!
Verdict: The Camp Blood franchise is back on the right track with this offering which by no means anything special feels like a definite step up from the previous Ghost of Camp Blood film. The more light hearted humorous approach works fairly well and though it does go too far sometimes into the realms of stupidity it’s never less than passably entertaining. In addition they make an effort to add some new things plus there are a couple of returning faces as well.
The super low budget is very much in evidence though in particular with the kills so bare that in mind. Having the clown speak also wasn’t to my liking but it’s not a deal breaker. More effort could also have been made to fit this into the continuity of the franchise though admittedly this has been way too confusing anyway since the first few movies.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Woman in prologue type segment/ Possibly Ashley’s Mother? : Throat sliced with machete.
2)Brandy: Stabbed in chest with machete.
3)Dolly: Decapitated with an axe by Fred.
4)Fred: Stabbed in chest with machete.
5)Renee: Strangled by Shelia/Mother character.
6)Melinda: Stabbed in the chest with machete.
7)Shelia/Mother: Head bashed into tree by Ashley.