Saturday, September 7, 2013

SPACECAMP (1986)

A group of teenagers attend NASA's Space Camp program.  Things are going pretty well and it looks like that one dude might get to sling some ding-a-ling at Lea Thompson (personally I would have gone for Kelly Preston) but then this one whiny kid (Joaquin Phoenix) mentions that he wants to go into space.  Normally that would have been a safe thing to say, especially at a Space Camp, but since he says it within earshot of the extremely literal and sweetly sinister robot Jinx it means he's going into space whether he likes it or not!  Because they are friends foreveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrr.  Next thing you know Jinx has manipulated a test on the Space Shuttle into the real thing and the kids blast off into orbit...with only a few hours worth of oxygen.  Note to self: never befriend a well-meaning but extremely stupid robot.

Released just a few months after the heartbreaking Space Shuttle Challenger disaster SPACECAMP was pretty much destined to fail at the box office and it did with only $9 million at the box office...I have no idea what the budget was though.  But is it a good movie?  Ehh, it's alright.  The story is silly and from what I could tell during the Space Camp scenes all of the kids were a bunch of fuck ups but then suddenly when they get into space they suddenly become waaay smarter.  I guess that's what being faced with death will do for ya.  Anyway, their efforts not to die are mildly interesting and the special effects are probably above average for the time, but I still found myself apathetic towards their dilemma.  Which is kind of surprising since I usually like trapped in space adventure movies.  Unfortunately though with just an average director and an average script SPACECAMP itself turned out boringly average.