(director/writer: Thomas Walton; cinematographer: David M. Parks; editors: JohnMark Triplett, George Lambriodes; music: Reuven Herman; cast: Jonathan Lipnicki (Jasper Meadow), Bonnie Aarons (Esmeralda), Andrew Divoff (Evil Man), Michael Pare (Rick Rutherford), Maritza Brikisak (Darlene Rutherford), Devanny Pinn (Harper), Mike Ferguson (Lucifer ‘Lou’), Kelly Lynne Reiter (Echo Meadows), William Delesk (young Jasper), Lacey Burdine (young Echo); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Thomas Walton, Jared Safier, David M. Parks; VOD/Deskpop Entertainment/Vudu; 2024)

“I couldn’t recommend this putrid horror pic, unless threatened by a karate kick to the face.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A low-budget and low-brow summer camp slasher film written and directed by Thomas Walton (“Playing with Beethoven”/”They Turned Us Into Killers”).  It kills its promising premise with a poorlyee executed story that fails to deliver on its promises.

Some twenty years ago at Camp Pleasant Lake the Meadows family was slain and their young daughter Echo (Lacey Burdine) and son Jasper (William Delesk) vanished. The unsolved crime has over the years piqued the interest of those in the community. So the new camp owners, Rick (Michael Pare) and Darlene Rutherford (Maritza Brikisak), at the restored camp, renamed Camp Echo Lake, decide to profit off the camp’s notoriety from the grizzly crime by turning a week-end into a role playing re-enactment of the double-murder. A bunch of adults, looking for thrills, pay to be guests at the camp show. Also returning are the same counselors.

The twist is that the vic’s kids, Jasper (Jonathan Lipnicki as adult) and Echo (Kelly Lynne Reiter as adult), survived and lived in the woods all those years without that being known.

During the week-end festivities a masked man, the real killer, starts knocking off the counselors one at a time. The awkward comedy is because the paying guests think this is part of the act.

The acting by the mostly amateur cast ranges from poor to very poor. The dubious acting accolades go to Mike Ferguson as the bad-ass dude, Lucifer ‘Lou.’ While the just as dubious acting honors go to Lipnicki for his lively deranged performance.

I couldn’t recommend this putrid horror pic, unless threatened by a karate kick to the face. On its bright side, the campy flick reminded me how much I hated those really dumb retro slasher pics.

REVIEWED ON 2/27/2024  GRADE: C-