1993, PG-13, 97 min. Directed by Mike Binder. Starring Alan Arkin, Diane Lane, Matt Craven, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins, Vincent Spano, Kevin Pollak, Sam Raimi, Julie Warner, Kimberly Williams.
REVIEWED By Hollis Chacona, Fri., April 30, 1993
I've short-sheeted beds and belted out camp songs with the best of them. Indian Summer made me long to be back in one of those gloriously rickety, mildewed cabins in a lush, rural forest. Provided, that is, I wouldn't have to bunk with any of the stupefyingly self-involved, gee-how-can-I-be-happy-with-all-my-wealth-and-beauty morons that Camp Tamakwa apparently produces. Despite tantalizing ingredients like the beguiling cast and spectacular scenery (the film is shot on location at the real Camp Tamakwa in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park), writer/director Mike Binder serves up an unappetizing concoction of Big Chill and Ernest Goes to Camp stew. Unable to face another year of Nineties-style campers who won't turn down their jamboxes long enough to hear an owl hoot, Unca Lou (Arkin) calls for a final reunion of his Golden Era of Camping alumni. Seven best friends show up with twenty years worth of neurotic baggage that they miraculously unload during their week-long stay. Their cure? Unca Lou's sage woodsman lore and the re-enactment of several “shrecks,” Tamakwan lingo for clever tricks like filling a bunkmate's sleeping bag with toothpaste or dipping a sleeping camper's hands in warm water. The few really funny or touching moments are all but eclipsed by predictable and sometimes downright distasteful plot developments. With an ending sweeter than a S'more, I left the theatre craving a couple of plain old Meatballs.