Meatballs (1979)

“You must be the short depressed kid we ordered.” Basic bathroom-type of humor at a summer camp (in this case “Camp North Star”), Meatballs was directed by Ivan Reitman (Stripes) and stars Bill Murray as “Tripper Harrison” in one of his better early roles. Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) is camper “Rudy Gerner,” a total loser who redeems himself in a cross-country race to help win the inter-camp olympics against wealthy “Camp Mohawk.” Harvey Atkin is also great as “Morty Melnick,” the nerdy, frequently disrespected camp director. This flick was hysterical when I was in eighth grade but it’s lost a little something over the years but still worth a loook. Who will ever forget the following refrain? “Spaz . . . Spaz . . . Spaz . . .” The film’s theme song, “Are You Ready for the Summer,” by the North Star Camp Kids Chorus is still ringing unpleasantly in my ears after all these years. Followed by several abysmal sequels, including Meatballs III: Summer Job (1986), in which Sally Kellerman portrays a dead porno star who tries to help Patrick Dempsey lose his virginity at a boathouse/bar and grill (it’s as bad as it sounds if not worse!). Meatballs was filmed on location at Camp White Pine in Haliburton, Ontario.

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