Cannibal Campout (1988)

Director: Jon McBride and Tom Fisher
Starring: Jon McBride, Amy Chludzinski, Christopher A. Granger.USA. 1h 28m

For me this is one of the very definitions of BMovie, an illegal romp in the woods with a VHS camcorder as a bunch of friends desperately trying to film a feature length horror while on the run from a local park keeper.

The duo of directors managed to cobble together a cohesive movie however its production does drop a little bit on some levels, but you don’t really expect to have amazing special effects and wonderful acting then a movie is forged around ducking and diving around a local park. Film is borderline so bad it’s brilliant, while still retaining a small cult following it’s definitely something you would need to see to tick off all of your bingo card of cannibal hillbilly movies.

The set-up isn’t all that phenomenal, four teenagers decide to go camping, but travelling on their tails are a couple of shitty high school bullie who intend to ruin their weekend of fun and sadly both groups are secretly being stalked by a family of three cannibal brothers who just happened to be mutants, possibly due to eating human flesh who knows?

Due to the constraints of having to run around commando style try to stay away from authorities a majority of the movie is ad libbed and improvised for fear that any moment a park ranger might turn up and start shooting people, especially people covered in fake blood and running around screaming that people are trying to kill.

The most memorable characters have to be the hillbilly trio, one brother is the voice box of the three and he’s blessed with a few scenes where he’s just allowed to ramble on apparently like a psychopath but it kind of comes off as a kid that sometimes talks to himself on the corner of the classroom.. the Leatherface of the group is a slightly larger silent type who runs around with a motorcycle helmet, obviously the big mysteries to find out what’s underneath the blacked out visor and I don’t want to give too much away it’s not the most impressive, more of a cross between Toxic Avenger and Sloth from The Goonies.

Either way there’s no major surprises, we all know the story of bunch of kids who go out camping and meet up with with some locals of some description who are are are killers crazy inbred mutated of all of the above. I don’t think it was never the intention of the film would be taken too seriously it is fun however it doesn’t have that magical charm that somebody movies create which make you want to watch them again and again


Rating: 3/10

Related: The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Lists: 15 Cringey Cannibal Movies , Hillbilly Horrors, 18 films from 1988 still worth talking about Vol 1
Article – The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Cannibal Cinema


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