“Camp” begins with the deep, soulful voice of Sasha
Allen singing “How shall I see you through my tears,”
from the theatrical production “The Gospel of Colonus.”
This powerful number is spliced with images of a young man in drag
turned away from his high school prom and then attacked and beaten
in the hallway. As the opening credits roll, the audience has goose
bumps and high hopes for this drama about a group of outcasts at a
summer camp for singing and acting. However, the momentum from the
first scene is soon lost to bad acting and a weak story that
amazing vocals cannot save.
With a cast of unknowns, “Camp” shines in a few
musical numbers but bombs on the whole because it has no central
conflict to keep the audience interested. Stories surround a bitter
director (Don Dixon), a young Don Juan (Daniel Letterle) and
rivalry between camp members. The brief but interesting DVD
features are easily overlooked after the disappointing film.
The 25-minute “Making of” featurette showcases
interviews with the director and cast members, footage from dancing
and singing practices and screen tests. While the actors are
excited about the “extremely talented cast,” the
featurette shows little acting rehearsal, leaving one to question
if the cast ran any lines before filming.
“Camp” was invited to the Sundance Film Festival,
where the cast performed the opening number; this live performance
is also included on the DVD along with a commercial for the
soundtrack. Additionally, there are several deleted scenes, most of
which are longer versions of parts of the film.
Sound and picture are good on this disc with wide-screen format
and Dolby Digital surround sound, but the juxtaposition of loud
musical numbers and soft conversation makes controlling the volume
level a challenge.
Though the cast is energetic during their on-screen curtain call
at the end of the film, the audience is less than enthused after
this two hour comedy. “Camp” had the potential to be
great, but it simply misses the mark.
Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Picture/Sound: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Features: 2 out of 5 stars