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Campfire Stories (1997)

Duration1h 28m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, 
Source of storyApparently development sof urban ledgends.
DirectorMatt Cooper, Martin Kunert, David Semel,
Writers/ScriptMartin Kunert, Eric Manes, Matt Cooper
StarringJames Marsden, Amy Smart, Jennifer MacDonald, Ron Livingston, Devon Odessa, Alex McKenna, Jacinda Barrett
RatingsIMDb: 5.9 by 3,688 people. Rotten Tomatoes: Not reviewed.

Elevator Pitch: A group of teens crash their car on the way back from an event, and the four of them sit round a fire telling stories and waiting for rescue. There are four stories. The first is a brief segment showing a couple making out in their car, but the girl is fearful and so they drive away, finding a “hook” stuck on the car door. Thereafter a couple are parked in their RV and are warned that there are monsters about in the woods. Undeterred the guy goes off in search of petrol and does not return. Then there is a segment concerning a twelve year old girl being pursued on the internet and in life by a paedophile, and finally a story about a guy whose motorbike breaks down and so goes for help to an isolated house, where a mute young woman welcomes him, but a terrible past is uncovered. There is also a twist in the tail.

Content: There is a bit of sex and nudity in the RV story plus some scares, although none of it is very frightening. However the story of the twelve year old girl left in a house by herself is a bit dodgy, although I will reveal the spoiler that the only casualty is the dog. Then there is the motor cyclist who, once in the house with the mute woman is subject to unpleasant hallucinations involving a dark figure and an axe plus blood on the walls. There is the twist which I won’t reveal; although there have been other similar tales it is possible that this outing was the first.

A View: There are B movies and C movies and this fits into the latter category. The stories are poorly constructed and the acting pretty mediocre. It is as if the directors were unsure about which way to go, putting a toe in the water, and then backing off. Perhaps they were relying too much on the final payoff. But anyway, this film joins my ranks of “Don’t See”. There are plenty of superior shockers out there.

Additional Info: Although intended for general release the film was screened for one night in one cinema on 28th February 1997.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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