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October 28, 2014

Body Count

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Camping del Terrore
Ruggero Deodato - 1986
Quadrifoglio All Region DVD

I just had to look. An Italian slasher film that takes place in Colorado. Starring Mimsy Farmer. What could go wrong?

I'm not sure how much was actually filmed in Colorado. IMDb says that Body Count was filmed in Abruzzo, Italy. If that was the case, it sure looks more convincingly like Colorado than what I've seen in several Hollywood films. A couple of details that Deodato and company got wrong were that at one point there's a sign for Interstate 80, which is north of Colorado, in Wyoming. I know because I drove from Oakland to Denver on that route. The main highway that winds through the Colorado Rockies is I-70. Also, at the camp where most of the film takes place, there's a big sign for Schlitz Beer. This could only take place in a parallel universe. Sure you can get your choice at your favorite place to imbibe, but if you're only going to have one sign at your drinking establishment, it better be for Coors. It's not quite like in Amsterdam where there are big neon signs for Heineken on virtually every corner, but you get the idea.

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Anyways, the film takes place somewhere in Colorado. A high school girl goes off to a cabin with some guy, they have sex, and the girl, wandering in the woods, gets killed by someone with a very big knife for no apparent reason. Anybody looking for logic might as well give up at this point. There's no reason why a bunch of kids would want to go camping at a lodge that the owner declares is closed, and you have to wonder why no one check on the place before going there in the first place. The camp is run by a married couple played by David Hess and Mimsy Farmer. Hess made a reputation for himself as one of the home invaders in Last House on the Left so already he's under suspicion. Mimsy Farmer provided nightmares for Michael Brandon in Four Flies on Grey Velvet so you know that she's probably not to be entirely trusted. In addition to this pair being a match made in Hell, Mimsy is having an affair with Sheriff Charles Napier, the square jawed hero of several Russ Meyer movies. Seeing Farmer and Napier together was almost as horrifying for me as it is for Farmer's movie son.

So is the murderous "Old Indian" real, or part of somebody's imagination? Whoever or whatever he is, he goes around murdering the visiting kids - usually with long, sharp metal implements. Now you would think that the guy who gave the world Cannibal Holocaust would make a movie where sudden death would be accompanied by lots of tasteless gore and violence. Disappointingly, no. When the Italian DVD box features a rating saying the movie is acceptable for those older than 14, you know that whatever happens, it's not going to be very scary. And sure, there is some gratuitous nudity as well, but just not very much of it. This definitely the kind of movie that would benefit from at least one scene with someone's head on a stick.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 28, 2014 07:58 AM