Every so often out here we get something that defies all logic and good common sense. This time around, it’s “Fred 3: Camp Fred”, which our friends out at Lionsgate sent for us to review. I’m quite thoroughly astonished that any of these actually existed in the first place, let alone how they managed to get up to three of them.
Anyway, “Fred 3: Camp Fred” brings us back to the adventures of one of the most annoying human beings on the face of the Earth, Fred Figglehorn. Anyway, this time, Fred does everyone in his immediate area a favor–really, he’s that annoying–by going to summer camp, but instead of going to the summer camp he actually wants to go to, he instead goes to a camp with the baffling name of “Camp Iwannapeepee”. I only wish I made that up. While at said camp, he’s going to have to face down his overactive imagination, which has convinced him that the camp director Floyd is a giant rat monster eating campers, as well as the more mundane issue of Camp Superior, led by his arch-rival Kevin, which plans to beat Camp Iwannapeepee in the 70th Annual Summer Camp Games. Can Fred keep it together long enough to help his camp to victory? Or will he be climbing a clock tower with a sniper rifle by the end of this?
Basically, “Fred 3: Camp Fred” splits itself conveniently into two camps: “children under the age of 12″ and “people who shouldn’t watch this”. Seriously, if you’re over the age of 12, don’t. Just, don’t. If you’ve passed that critical threshold, this becomes a swirling nightmare of horror, squeaky voices, and the insane the likes of which should never be seen. This DVD is made of an exclusive, proprietary formula comprised of squeaky voices and suffering. Your suffering.
About the only value for this for those over the age of 12 who watch it–commonly because they’re keeping an eye on the kids watching it–is the surprisingly adept physical comedy that Lucas Cruikshank, the sad, strange little man who made a shrill nightmare of a human being into a minor empire, can bring to bear. That’s pretty much it, sadly–elements of several other shows and movies appear in this one, from the “Kamp Krusty” episode of “The Simpsons”, complete with gruel in the mess hall (sadly, John Cena did not arrive and drive all the kids to Tijuana as Krusty did, which would have made this pretty entertaining), as well as many of the cliches of summer camp movies going back as far as “Meatballs”–there’s about as much original content in this thing as there is in a mattress made of recycled tires. However, there are some clever bits tossed in for variety, like the odd meta-awareness this movie has (even Fred finds his voice annoying after a while, and even Fred realizes how brain-damagingly stupid it is to name a camp “Iwannapeepee”), which need to get called out or they’d be buried under the squeaky-voiced nightmare running this show.
As for special features, there will be a selection of audio options, English and Spanish subtitles, a collection of featurettes and trailers for “The Yummy Gummy: Search for Santa”, “Fred: The Movie” “Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred”, and “Alpha and Omega”.
“Fred 3: Camp Fred” may have a very specific audience in mind, and fail on virtually every other level, but for those in its target market who can appreciate the simple physical humor and not notice the disturbing number of parallels between this and a huge array of films and television shows going back better than 30 years, Fred Figglehorn’s newest adventure should go down fairly well.