Monday, March 23, 2015

Movie Review: Camp Cucamonga (1990)

Camp Cucamonga (1990) - USA - Comedy - TV Movie
Directed by Roger Duchowny
Starring John Ratzenberger, Chad Allen, Jennifer Aniston, Candace Cameron, Danica McKellar, Dorothy Lyman, Jaleel White, Lauren Tewes, Richard Herd, G. Gordon Liddy, Sherman Hemsley

Summer camp activities, pranks and romance with a lot of 80s and 90s up and coming stars is actually a fun movie.

The kids, middle school to high school age, are just arriving for summer camp, but not everybody is happy to be there. There will boys trying to spy on the girls, competitions, conflicts and romance among the campers and counselors. The camp, however, faces the possibility of not receiving accreditation and being shut down while one of the campers has to deal with news of her parents' divorce and running away from camp. The kids band together to help solve both situations.

Filled with stars who were either popular during the 80s and 90s stars in their prime, Camp Cucamonga had the right mix to draw an audience of the time, and still has a good mix of stars from their early days to appeal to audiences of today. A youthful Jennifer Aniston is gorgeous as a camp counselor and the daughter of the camp owner played by an appropriately accident prone John Ratzenberger. Young stars like Chad Allen who really had an incredible confidence on screen for his age, Danica McKellar and Candace Cameron provide stars who were "in" at the time and are given actual characters to work with and do an excellent job.

Unlike too many summer camp movies which come off like a collection of discarded jokes and pranks that wouldn't work anywhere else cobbled together with a weak plot solely to hold everything together, Camp Cucamonga is well developed and though it does have cheesy moments its strength is in having the comedy and drama develop from its story. The characters and stars who play them are likeable, the situations are not all that predictable, and even cheesy moments have a charm and humor to them.

My Rating: 4 Fingers. I think this will mostly appeal to tweens and teens as well adults who would find the nostalgia of value.

You can get it on DVD but presently the prices are outrageous. You can find it on YouTube to watch.

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