Written by: Carroll Jenkins on August 1st, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1979
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio
Director: Chuck Vincent
Writers: Avrumie Schnitzer
Cinematographer: Ken Gibb
Composer: Steve Zuckerman
Cast: Michael Abrams, John F. Goff, Kashka Bartisick, Bud Bogart, Louise Carmona, Verkina Flower, Brenda Fogarty, Linnea Quigley, John Laughlin
Synopsis: Camp Malibu has fallen upon hard times and the director invites former campers to a reunion in an attempt to save the camp.
Not only one of the funniest raunchy teen sex comedies, but one of the earliest as well. Lemon Popsicle was released in 1978 and that appears to be the primary influence on director Chuck Vincent’s 1979 softcore offering. The script is witty, the direction well paced, and the cast of mostly unknowns is huge for such a low budget independent production. There are so many bits of business, quick 15 – 20 second toss off gags, running jokes that build throughout, and practically every sex scene is played primarily for comedic value. This is a film that tries very hard to be funny and succeeds on a grand scale.
The film is a battle of the sexes and even contains an all-day marathon contest between the boys and the girls. But these reunion guests are all in their early twenties (circa 1979) so there is a ponderous amount of beer, booze, pot, swearing, and sex on hand. The writing and direction are huge positive factors, but there are some quite obscure cast members that really shine their star. First, Ray Holland (‘Horse’) appears as a cross between John Belushi and Jonathan Winters and provides impeccable comic timing throughout. Second, Jacqueline Giroux (billed as Vajdesta) plays the slut that throws herself at every man in camp and simulates most of the sex scenes. Both are hysterical. Next, Brenda Fogarty (Trip with the Teacher) was probably the biggest name at the time (in her final feature film); John Laughlin (Footloose) was just starting out and was probably the most successful alumni. Last but not least is an early appearance by Linnea Quigley (Savage Streets) as a rich bitch who turns out to be a dominatrix as well.
There’s lots of nudity on display (including Quigley), but unfortunately the most endearing, sympathetic, and fabulously endowed female is none other than Verkina Flower [daughter of George ‘Buck’ Flower (Alice Goodbody)] who does good profile and exhibits a bit of cleavage but that’s about it. Director Chuck Vincent plays the peripheral character of the prospector (billed as Dustin Pacino, Jr.) and even lets it all hang out in a bit of full frontal nudity.
Not seen on home video since the Media Home Entertainment VHS release, it also played on early pre-MTV premium cable channels, so quality elements should be available for a much needed digital media release.
The plot and location of Indian Summer (1993) contain similarities almost too numerous to mention. It draws it’s heart more from The Big Chill than Summer Camp but the influence of the latter is intrinsic. Summer Camp may have been motivated by the subject matter of Meatballs but beat it to theatrical release by a month and therefore is not a Meatballs rip-off, though it may have instigated a name change. A genuine classic of it’s kind.