You guys all know by now that I’m not the biggest fan of indie horror movies. I know not every filmmaker has the means to produce these great big blockbuster masterpieces, but for some reason I just can’t get past the cheap quality look of the films… most of the time. There are exceptions to the rule, you see. I’ve reviewed some pretty great indie flicks since kickstarting this site with Roger (see Villanelle or Don’t Go to the Reunion) and I’ve finally watched another one that I have some positive things to say about with Mark Polonia’s Camp Blood First Slaughter.
A group of students are given an assignment to either prove or debunk the rumors of the local urban legend, the Camp Blood clown. The students camp out for the night in the woods and in typical slasher fashion, are offed one by one. Not everything is as it seems, however… It turns out there are multiple killers and a little more to the story than the locals really know.
Camp Blood First Slaughter falls victim to the same problems that most [really] low-budget films do — it has some poor acting performances, bad CGI work, and that overall cheap look that I mentioned earlier. With that said, there are actually a number of positive things to be said about this film, as well.
You can really tell that Mark Polonia and his team are true students of film. Even with a budget that couldn’t have been more than a few hundred dollars, they set out to make the best film they could. The camera work was very well done, even though the equipment wasn’t as nice as you’d hope for, even in an indie film, and all of the practical effects looked great. I loved all of the kills, but the addition of very poor CGI actually ruined things quite a bit. I think the make-up effects were good enough on their own and there was really no need to try to bloody things up more. As a result, fans are forced to sit through some of the worst digital effects I’ve seen in a long time.
Everything we’ve come to expect in great slasher films is present in this fourth installment to the Camp Blood franchise — a group of young campers, a serial killer with a morbid looking mask and a machete in hand, a twisted back-story, and even the creepy older gentleman who warns the teens to “stay away from [insert horror movie setting here].”
I don’t like indie horror films all that much, but surprisingly, I enjoyed myself with Camp Blood First Slaughter. You don’t have to have seen Brad Sykes’ previous Camp Blood trilogy to follow this one at all, so go out and support independent filmmakers and buy a copy of this film today.
I give it 2.5 machete wounds out of 5.