Summer camp is a popular destination for children all around the world as the months of June and July draw closer. In order to enjoy themselves. It could also be for education’s sake. Or to put up a show. Or they might do it for sport or to avoid their parents’ gaze for a few weeks.
Our favorite summer camp movies have been posted in chronological order here.
1. The Parent Trap (1961/1998)
Both the original 1961 version, starring Hayley Mills, and the modern 1998 version, featuring Lindsay Lohan, should be celebrated. There is no denying that this tale of identical twin sisters who were separated at birth and reunited in the middle of a long-distance relationship at summer camp is a compelling one. Their initial encounters at these camp settings are especially awkward.
2. Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
At Camp Remote, things aren’t quite what the Peanuts gang expected. On the bus ride to camp, especially for Charlie Brown, who was left behind. At the campgrounds, his famous pals had to contend with a strict schedule, aggressive campers, and the elements. Charlie, on the other hand, learns a lot about himself, particularly in terms of his own sense of self-worth. Snoopy’s greatest hour was also on display here.
3. Meatballs (1979)
This could be the best ever comedy set at a summer camp. In his first big role, Bill Murray plays Tripper Harrison, a wisecracking but charming senior counselor at Camp North Star. He’s somewhat in charge of a group of horny, in-search-of-a-good-time counselors-in-training (CITs) (CITs). In addition, he’s making an effort to seduce Roxanne, a female senior counselor, and to wreak havoc on Morty Melnick, the camp’s director (not Mickey). Not to mention, support Camp Mohawk’s premier athletes in their annual summer tournament. When things get bad, remember that “It just doesn’t matter!”
4. Friday the 13th (1980)
The Friday the 13th film series is unquestionably the best in the slasher genre when it comes to setting the scene at a summer camp. There’s something special about our initial encounter with the unsettling atmosphere of Camp Crystal Lake, even though the subsequent sequels aren’t without their own memorable moments. No other camp has had a more difficult summer in terms of counselors, staff, and locals being displaced than the first horror fans’ camp.
5. Little Darlings (1980)
Summer camp films that aren’t horror flicks tend to feature a lot of raucous youngsters. It’s hard to beat Little Darlings, in which feisty Angel (Kristy McNichol) and wealthy Ferris (Tatum O’Neal) bet on who will lose their virginity first during a summer camp. Even though they approach sex differently, they both realize the responsibility that comes with it. They eventually become friends, and that’s what makes this movie so lovely.
6. The Burning (1981)
Summer camp horror movies often have a concept of indirect retribution. It was a prank gone awry that left Cropsy (Lou David) with serious burns on his hands and feet. A few years later, Cropsy shows up at adjacent Camp Stonewater, replete with a huge coat, hat, and some garden shears, to take his ill will out on the campers. Aside from Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter making their feature film debuts, movie has a good gore element.
7. Madman (1982)
Speaking of The Burning, there was some debate concerning the killer’s resemblance to the 1981 film’s throughout the creation of Madman. According to a group of counselors and campers sitting around the fire, Madman Marz slaughtered his wife and children with an ax, according to the plot of Madman. Marz, who was due to be executed, escaped into the woods and was still on the lookout.
8. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This may be the “little slasher series that might” if it is successful. Sleepaway Camp has produced four films under its own somewhat successful franchise, which is often overshadowed by the Friday the 13th film series. The first installment, in my opinion, is the greatest of the lot. Despite being a slasher movie, it’s a suspenseful thriller with a surprising twist at the end that sets the tone for the rest of this underappreciated series.
9. Poison Ivy(1985)
NBC used to air television movies every now and then in the 1980s to highlight the network’s youthful sitcom stars. Both High School U.S.A. and this summer camp comedy starred Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon, both of Facts of Life fame. In both films, Fox’s character is drawn to McKeon’s but must overcome numerous obstacles before they can get together. On top of that, Dennis has to cope with a con-man camper, an up-and-coming baseball star, and the token youngster who does not want to be there in Poison Ivy. To say nothing of the problems that occur during the annual “Color War” tournament.
10. Earnest Goes to Camp (1987)
Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) is a maintenance employee at Kamp Kikakee who aspires to become a counselor, but he has to deal with some fortunes of misuse and abused power in the meantime. In spite of the fact that Varney’s Earnest character (often speaking with Vern) is irritating, this is an affectionate film that was popular with viewers in the 1980s.
11. Cheerleader Camp (1988)
Observing how far former teen darling Leif Garrett fell from grace as an artist is perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Cheerleader Camp for me. He is paired with ’80s icon Betsy Russell, who plays Alison, a camper who discovers the slashed wrists of one of her bunkmates and begins to have doubts about her decision to stay. Despite its best efforts, this summer camp slasher flick falls short of its lofty goals. Even then, there are a few moments of pure indulgence, such as the cheerleading competition itself, which is hysterically funny.
12. Camp Cucamonga (1990)
Once again, one of those NBC original movies that showcases some of the network’s most promising new talent. Among them are Candace Cameron, Jaleel White, Josh Saviano, and Danica McKellar, all of whom appeared on Full House, Family Matters, and The Wonder Years. As well as Jennifer Aniston, a then-unknown actress. No great masterpiece, but it is a harmless diversion. The camp rap, featuring John Ratzenberger (Cheers), is sure to be a standout. That is correct.
13. Addams Family Values(1993)
When Wednesday Addams (Christian Ricci) and her brother Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) are banished to Camp Chippewa for the summer, her twisted imagination is on full show. To brighten her mood, Wednesday is forced to watch Disney movies to show her distaste for the camp. In the end, she decides to portray Pocahontas in an awful Thanksgiving play, and this brings out her darker side. Outcasts from the camp stage a coup, which they eventually succeed in doing by setting fire to the place. Summer is just like any other time of year.
14. Indian Summer (1993)
It’s possible that when Indian Summer came out in the early 1990s, some people missed it. However, it’s a good comedy-drama with a lot of fond memories. Camp Tamakwa’s “Unca” Lou Handler is retiring, and former campers are returning as adults to mark the occasion (Alan Arkin ). Diane Lane, Kevin Pollak, Bill Paxton, and Elizabeth Perkins are part of an ensemble cast that does a good job of conveying the importance of the camp experience in their life through their portrayal of characters.
15. Camp Nowhere (1994)
There were many who scoffed at the notion of a group of frustrated children setting up their own summer camp in order to placate and fool their parents. Over time, however, moviegoers came to appreciate the film’s charms and deemed it deserving of inclusion on this list. Dennis, a character played by Christopher Lloyd, is essentially coerced into becoming the adult proprietor of a camp run by children. As a result, they help him out at the end of a light-hearted comic excursion.
This comedy for the whole family revolves around a weight loss camp for young boys, and it was co-written by Judd Apatow. The new camp owner and fitness instructor Tony Perkis Jr. turns the camp they anticipated to enjoy into a boot camp for protagonist Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) and his other campers (Ben Stiller). To avoid this from happening, Gerry and Co. learn a great deal about friendship and self-confidence from their efforts.
17. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
It may take some time for a movie to gain a following. In this scenario, we’re talking about Wet Hot American Summer. In spite of a superb cast that includes Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Banks, the movie was not a critical or popular success. This video about the shenanigans on the last full day of a 1980s summer camp eventually became a cult classic by parodying the sex romps of the era.