Better-than-average indy slasher has enough red meat to satisfy the gorehounds, just don’t expect great performances

There’s one place these days where people can go in the world of the pandemic and not be as worried about catching the coronavirus, and it isn’t at the local supercenter retailer facility, mask or no mask. Nope — from what we’ve been told, outdoor activities are still pretty safe, and folks have been flocking to the drive-ins and doing outdoor stuff like biking and camping to avoid getting COVID-ed.

Well, this week’s flick has nothing to worry about when it comes to potential obsolescence in a virus-ridden world, no siree. Although the norms of social distancing are observed by neither camper nor Gene, the psycho-deranged Neanderthal long-haired agent of slaughter with a nose ring and an axe/halberd-looking accessory that appears to be made out of a railroad crossing sign, the overarching thematic message of Killer Campout will continue to resonate long after we’ve emerged from the other end of the current global health crisis.

That message being: If you are unwise enough not to bother vetting whether the wooded site of your therapeutic retreat is home to a cannibalistic, long-haired, camouflage-wearing murderer and his kin or to review the credentials of the organizer of the retreat to make sure they are not kin to the killer, you’re probably going to end up getting diced into pieces suitable for use on a shish kebob skewer.

Killer Campout gets rolling with a slaughter montage showing off some retro-style gore effects with Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis warning you about the possibility of vomiting as a result of the gruesome things about to pass before your eyeballs.

Usually the knife goes through the back of the head and out the mouth, but this mandibular impalement in Killer Campout ends up being fatal as well. (Screen shot taken by DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

We then open up with a pretty brutal opening sequence with a hippie girl and her boyfriend trussed up and menaced by this nose-ringed Neanderthal-looking killer. The boyfriend gets a knife driven through his jaw. He’s dead.

The hippie girl then is sexually assaulted by the beastly guy and impregnated, he keeps her chained up, she has the baby and dies in childbirth. The big guy feeds the baby the mom’s blood and then some more time passes.

Decades later, law enforcement people are wandering the woods investigating these disappearances and killings, there’s a vigilante man-in-black out to kill the killer and a bunch of people are coming out to the woods in order to engage in a retreat where they talk about how screwed up their lives are.

The potential victims out on their retreat gather around a campfire in Killer Campout. (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

We’re talking a plethora of pureed psychotherapy patients with bisections, axe attacks and the scalping of a Crazy Ralph impersonator. The three B’s are present and anyone can die at any time, plus we get a couple gratuitous references to Dario Argento (one inaccurate) to boot.

Chad (Roger Lawson) gets chopped up by the killer. (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

The acting is suspect in this one, though, and the brief introductory narrative by Herschel Gordon Lewis and a cameo by another seminal figure in 1960s horror, John A. Russo, (Night of the Living Dead) do manage to add a touch of gravitas to the carnage. Brad Twigg’s flick is better than the average two-star slice-and-dice indy flick, but sadly does not quite live up to the unrelenting depravity hinted at by that boyfriend-hacking, hippie-raping, umbilical-cord-eating opening sequence.

Two and a half stars.

Killer Campout is available to stream via the Microsoft Store and also is available on DVD. Check it out.