11/13/08

Turkey Thursday: Moonstalker (1989)


This film is oddly enough not a documentary about the bevy of female fans that hound me in my expansive Moon palace. It is also not about crazed fans who follow Sherri Moon Zombie or Keith Moon (the latter being easier to follow these days.) It's a flick from the end of the era of '80's slashers, and it might well illustrate why these films ground to justly deserved halt. As the tag line from the film says, "There's a bad moon rising... and it just got worse." It can get worse? Well, onward we go to this month's second Turkey and a flick I like to call....

Moonstalker (1989) starring Blake Gibbons, Jill Foors, Tom Hamil, Joe Balogh, and Alex Wexler. Directed by Michael O'Rourke.
As the film opens, someone is watching campers in the woods. As a couple slip off to do what couple in the woods are prone to do if you know what I mean and I think you do, they get the business end of an axe. Then their friends at the campfire get the same treatment.

Flash forward to years later and a city family is taking their vacation in the snowy woods. No one is really excited about their destination except the father who is gung ho for some getting back to nature. They have the campground all to their own until an old man shows up with a camper of his own. At first the dad is not thrilled by having someone else in the campground, but after speaking to the old man and hearing him speak so kindly of good memories camping with his son Bernie, the Dad thinks it will be just fine. The family joins the old man for dinner but soon take their leave when he gives them the creeps. The family goes to bed for the night except the daughter who sneaks off for a smoke and a beer down by the river.

It does seem there is good reason to be freaked by the old man. He's got his son Bernie who he's sprung from the mental hospital chained up in the camper. He lets Bernie free to kill the family so they can take their camper which is full of modern appliances. Bernie obliges and lets the axe fly. The daughter discovers her chopped up family and takes off into the woods with Bernie on her tail. Bernie's dad however gets his own kind of axe cause he falls over in the snow dead from a heart attack.

Meanwhile, a wilderness counselor camp is being set up in the woods and Ron and Bobby are sent out to wait for the campers. One finally arrives, but the other is running very late. Unfortunately for that guy he's gotten lost and Bernie gets a hold of him. Soon Bernie is taking the campers clothes complete with Ray Bans and ten gallon hat and heading up for the camp. Bernie starts picking up the clueless campers even as they tell the local legend of a killer named Bernie who hates camps and loves to chop them up. Little do they know that soon they'll be meeting up with the killer and his infamous axe.

Film Facts

-- Also released under the title Camper Stamper.

--Sadly that's about it there's precious little on the internets about this flick.



The Bug Speaks

Michael, Jason, Freddy, and Bernie. Somehow I think that old Bernie was never going to join the pantheon of the greats in movie killers. The main problem is that his kills are terrible. While the film actually had a big body count, I think we only get to see maybe 2 of the murders, and of those only one had any kind of splatter to it. You see, gore effects cost money and that's something this production definitely lacked.

That being said it was a pretty good watch. The dialog and direction was ham fisted, but they seemed to fit with the type of film that it was. The snowy setting also helped them out. Even though it was poorly filmed, it was a twist on the usual sunny locals of the camping stalker.

I really don't have that much to say about the film. It didn't really impress me or depress me. I can assure you that I won't be watching it again. There was really nothing it did well enough to talk about or horribly enough to really make fun. It was a film. It was 89 minutes long. It is nothing I can tell you to watch unless you've seen every single slasher flick out there and you really must see this one. I will say it was better than last week's Turkey (The Nasty Rabbit), but that really wouldn't take much. So join me again next week when I try to slog through another terrible film and not drown myself in can of cranberry sauce and come back tomorrow for another dose of Bava which I have a feeling I need in my life about right now.

Bug Rating

I could find no trailer for this flick so thankfully you folks are spared. Instead enjoy this musical selection.

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