Review: CAMPFIRE TALES


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Directed by Matt Cooper, Martin Kunert, David Semel, 1997
Written by Martin Kunert, Eric Manes, Matt Cooper

How does one review a piece of horror best described as cute? I’ve got no problems with CAMPFIRE TALES, which may as well be the Showtime version of “ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?”. I’m sure they had a hoot making it and I had a tolerable time watching it, so why should I beat up on it for being adorable? CAMPFIRE TALES is the straight-to-video equivalent of a kid playing dress up in his father’s pants. Cotton candy horror. Fluffy, fleeting and sweet all at once with nothing of value inside or out.

Either the title or the trio of directors listed above should give it away, but if not (and if not, feel free to have your inadequate mind blown), CAMPFIRE TALES is an omnibus anthology centered around the stories four teens tell around a, well, don’t make me type it, while waiting for help to reach their car accident crash site. It opens with what is without hesitation the most repeated urban legend of all time. Escaped mental patient with a hook for a hand. I’d like to say this segment offers any thing new to the story, but it does not.  However, it is over within minutes and the guy/gal parked at makeout lane are James Marsden and Amy Smart. Yes, I had the very same reaction.

CAMPFIRE TALES actually boasts quite a few fresh Hollywood faces. Aside from Marsden and Smart, you’ve got Christine Taylor and Christopher Masterson as two of the teens, Glenn Quinn (recognizable to any fan of “ANGEL”) as a ghost stricken traveler, and muthafrakin Ron Livingston as a husband from the Bronx who is fighting werewolves (or something) on his honeymoon whenever not involved in the slowest thrusting sex scene ever filmed.




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