I don’t know if you were around when John Carpenter’s Halloween opened in the late 1970’s but it set the formula for numerous other films, including Friday the 13th, in which horny teenagers were punished by a knife wielding psychopath, for “getting busy” when they should have been watching the kids in their care. Camp Death, Pocket Sandwich Theater’s latest pop culture spoof, is a gleefully absurd tribute to the Slasher Film genre. Written by Kevin Michael Fuld and set in the woods just outside Camp Silver Lake, Camp Death follows a group of teenagers eager for some recreation in nature and some natural recreation.
Ruby is still not ready for heavy petting and loss of virginity (which, consistent with Slasher Film Logic, saves her life). Alice longs for the affections of Jessie, but sadly, intelligence is no substitute for Molly’s smokin’ attributes. Steve tries to convince Alice she deserves better, but cannot quite make the cut. They’ve all heard of Joey Manchester, the serial murderer supposedly lost in a fire, but much to their peril, they dismiss him as urban legend. When Joey, disguised in a surprisingly creepy grocery bag mask, starts attacking hapless teen horndogs, not even the authorities (Sheriff Cunningham and Deputy Browning) are willing to believe or assist in his capture.
There is nothing quite as relaxing or irresistible as one of PST’s popcorn throwers, and Camp Death is no exception. Through costume, dialogue, and plot it references numerous other films and television shows (besides the previously mentioned Halloween and Friday the 13th ) including Scooby Doo, Where are you?, Nightmare on Elm Street and Silence of the Lambs. Fuld and director Dona Safran have no compunctions when it comes to going over the top. If unexpectedly breaking into song or an outlandish costume change makes for a funnier show, then why not? I suspect they begin with the premise that if audiences will sit through movies that so flagrantly strain credulity, why not push the envelope even further? It’s difficult (for instance) not to laugh when Joey takes the time to phone Son of Sam, and get his advice on an ethical problem. It’s a blast to visit Pocket Sandwich and just surrender to helpless, mindless, merriment.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre proudly presents Camp Death, Written by Kevin Michael Fuld, playing September 30th – November 12th, 2011. 5400 East Mockingbird Lane #119, Dallas, Texas 75206. www.pocketsandwich.com (214) 821-1860
Starring : Matthew Clark (Steve Craven) Matt Doden (Dan Carpenter) Patrick H. Douglass (Joey Manchester) Rhonda Durant (Ruby Whale) Kenneth Fulenwider (Sheriff Cunningham) Lauren Hearn (Jane, et al) Matthew Jackson (Deputy Browning) Kelsey Kruse (Molly Corman) Joe Porter (Wilbur Loomis) Teri Rodgers (Alice Hooper) Matthew Stepanek (Dick, et al) Stephen Willowish (Jessie Romero)