July 19, 2017

Ernest Goes to Camp

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Once again, the battle between Derek and Larry to destroy each other's will to live with a soul-crushingly stupid movie escalates, and this time poor Jake is present to witness the horror of Larry's selection, Ernest Goes to Hell...er, Camp. We meant Ernest Goes to Camp.

Larry: "Here, eat this shit."
Derek: "No!"
In this 1987 "classic", Jim Varney's "lovable" Ernest P. Worrell is the janitor at Kamp Kikakee, a kids' camp where today's (well, 1987's "today") kids learn valuable skills like first aid, building Native American items like teepees and kayaks, and the many uses of explosives. Ernest's big goal is to become a camp counselor, so he can stop rooting around in toilets, as well as be justified in hanging around young boys without all those pesky policemen asking so many questions.

Working along with him at the camp are Nurse St. Cloud (Victoria Racimo), Chef Jake (Gallard Sartain), Chef Eddie (Daniel Butler), camp owner Mr. Tipton (Larry Black), and Nurse St. Cloud's grandfather, Chief St. Cloud (Iron Eyes Cody, who, it turns out, is actually Italian).

Ernest s tasked with picking up a group ne'er-do-wells from the local juvenile detention center as part of a "Second Chance" program, and they immediately put his and their own lives in danger, not to mention countless others on the road, when they cover his eyes while he's driving a fucking bus.

Rather than sending him flying into a blood-fueled rage that ends with numerous mini-thugs dead on the school bus floor and Ernest being led away in handcuffs, he finds it endearing and quickly becomes friends with them.

Every one of them looks like the would be proud of their appearance on COPS.
Once they reach the camp, things do not improve. The other camp members (including Richard Speight, Jr. and his chin) don't care the cast of Grease, Jr., and start fighting with them the instant they come to the camp's cafeteria, resulting in a tray fight (that's a thing, right?), and Ernest getting his face cartoonishly imprinted into one of those trays.

As punishment for fighting, the young hoodlums are forced to dig a trench, Cool Hand Luke-style, and then told to go swim to bathe themselves. When one of the lifeguards (Eddy Schumacher as Stennis) throws Moose (Hakeem Abdul-Samad), the smallest of the group, into the water despite his insistence that he can't swim, the others push him and his lifeguard chair into the lake, and Stennis ends up with a broken leg.

Ernest runs to the boys' defense, and is assigned as their counselor, achieving his dream, at last. Sort of. He takes them on a nature walk, and is attacked by a badger, and the boys give him first aid, wrapping him head-to-toe in Ace bandages, only to tie the end to the bus and unwrap him in what one can only assume was supposed to be a humorous manner. Really, it just makes the view sad and kind of achy.

Or, in the case of Eddie and Jake, somewhat aroused.
Meanwhile, an evil strip mining company owner (is there any other kind?) named Sherman Krader (John Vernon) is struggling to get Chief St. Cloud to sell off the land the camp is situated on, because it has a valuable mineral (Bolognium? Redherringum? Bullshitium?) that, as an evil guy, he totally needs to get at. Also, screw a bunch of kids learning and stuff.

Krader and his guys try and try to get the Chief to sign over the deed to the land, but he's having no part of it. Until Ernest the idiot steps in to completely mess up everything, as he is wont to do.

No, really...The whole "rape of the land" section is just lawyer-speak.
The Chief, foolishly believing Ernest is not a complete idiot, despite the mountains of proof showing otherwise, signs the contract, giving Krader the property. Krader immediately tells the camp to get the hell off his land, and he sends a crew of construction guys, led by foreman Bronc Stinson (Lyle Alzado). When Ernest confronts Bronc, he gets a thorough beatdown. Like, a should-not-be-in-a-PG-rated-kids'-movie beatdown. It's ugly.

Worse than the beating Sonny gave Carlo in The Godfather.
after being treated by Nurse St. Cloud, Ernest goes back to his cabin to pack and sings a goddamn song to his turtle, because the viewer hasn't suffered enough already. The kids show up and stop him, thankfully, and tell him they don't want to give up yet, and they formulate an A-Team-esque plan to convert the school bus into an engine of murder and destroy the construction crew's equipment and stop them destroying the camp.

And die in a mist of disintegrated flesh and bone by doing stupid things.
Will Ernest and his ragtag crew of delinquents stop Krader and his crew? Will Jake and Eddie ever find the perfect ingredient to make the elusive Eggs Erroneous recipe that we probably should have mentioned earlier? Will this movie ever end?!? You'll have to listen to find out! (Or, if you have way too much joy in your life, watch the movie.)

Larry picked this because, not only did he want to hurt Derek, but he also actually likes this movie. He is, however, fully willing to admit that it is stupid, but he feels that it's a fair trade-off. He is wrong.

Derek didn't like it, but he has certainly seen worse. His biggest issue with the movie is that, although it is only rated PG, it is surprisingly violent, and he is certain that numerous basically innocent people were killed by Ernest and his evil minions.

Jake fell somewhere between the others. He chalks it up mostly to nostalgia, and is willing to give the stunning amount of super-violent scenes a miss because, according to him, the 80s were a different time.

So dust off that denim vest, hit yourself in the face numerous times with a metal shovel, and enjoy this week's episode! KnowhutImean?