Happy Campers

Director: Daniel Waters
Screenwriters: Daniel Waters

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Daniel Waters's Happy Campers is a bubbling cauldron of creativity and a rollicking send-up of the summer camp genre. It will probably make you laugh, and perhaps even cry, but it will certainly entice and stimulate you with its imagination and audacious spirit. Camp Bleeding Dove is everything its name implies, and the quixotic band of teenage archetypes who are its counselors run the gamut from the ultimate cool guy to the barely functioning nerd, from the sexy hippie sprite to the straightlaced, perky square. Happy Campers is a film that completely dismantles clichés about teenagers, kids, and camps while incorporating story lines that cross The Lord of the Flies with A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Waters's debut feature is an invigorating, sometimes even jarring, mélange that is ultimately captivating and moving. From the screenwriter of Heathers, one might anticipate darkness or irreverence, but Happy Campers is much more than contemporary and clever cynicism. It's the kind of amalgam of ideas, commentary, and vivid portraits that bespeaks brilliance.
-Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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