When only half the cast returned for the second American Pie sequel, we really should have seen something like Band Camp coming. I mean, if you can save a lot of money by not hiring people like Tara Reid and Chris Klein, imagine how much money you could save by re-hiring nobody from the entire series! Well, except for Eugene Levy, of course, who has long since proven that he'll show up in any wretched cesspool provided there's a paycheck at the bottom.
American Pie Presents Band Camp represents the complete National Lampoon-ization of the series, and if you think that's meant as a compliment, you obviously haven't seen movies like National Lampoon Presents Gold Diggers, National Lampoon's Dorm Daze, or National Lampoon's Pledge This! yet. Suffice to say that you never want to. Trust me.
OK, so here's the truly flimsy "spin-off" gimmick: You remember Steve Stifler, the amazingly obnoxious horny-jock character played by Seann William Scott? Yeah, that American Pie character who was actually pretty damn funny because A) his schtick was doled out in small doses and B) Seann William Scott is a pretty damn funny actor. The twist with Band Camp is that we're now privy to the adventures of Steve's little brother, a snot-nosed pervert jerk who gets in trouble at school and is remanded to a summer at band camp as punishment.
So Stifler Jr. gets to band camp, realizes that his perpetual sneer and hateful personality makes him superior to the band geeks, and goes about making an absolute ass of himself. Of course there are the requisite snobs, geeks, sluts, and Asian kids who talk all "urban," as if Not Another Teen Movie didn't satirize that sorry stereotype out of existence already.
Eventually Stifler, the annoying little bastard, grows a heart, which occurs just in time for a simperingly happy ending, and everyone smiles and the credits roll. And then you get to think back over the last 90 minutes of your life, and all you can recall is a few bare breasts and sequences in which Stifler drinks saliva, Stifler masturbates while standing over a piece of poop, Stifler washes his wang in a drinking fountain, Stifler gets his erection lodged inside of an oboe, Stifler spikes the evil blonde kid's suntan lotion with, yep, semen...
The scatalogical schtick is so tired and belabored by this point, I'm stunned that the producers even bothered to get out of bed in the morning. Aside from a sweet and sunny performance by Arielle Kebbel as The Nice Girl, there's absolutely nothing offered here that you haven't seen before, funnier, and a lot less desperate. As a last-ditch effort to squeeze a few more dollars out of a series that's way past its expiration date, Band Camp represents a pretty canny marketing ploy: Slap the name of a popular movie on a piece of low-budget flotsam, crib all the familiar conventions from the previous flicks, and wrap the whole thing up in a seamy and distasteful haze of misogyny, gay-hating, and plain old ugliness.
But hey, it's UNRATED, right? That alone guarantees a few million copies sold, doesn't it? (Of course all of the menu screens contain pictures of bare knockers, as if to remind poor sad you of precisely why you bought the damn DVD.)
Bottom Line? American Pie Presents Band Camp is not only a blatant cash-in semi-sequel of the chintziest order, but it was also directed by the man who brought you Chevy Chase in Under the Rainbow, Pauly Shore in Son in Law, and Whoopi Goldberg in Eddie. Consider yourself duly warned.
Video: The "movie" is presented in an anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) aspect ratio, which is strange considering it was never intended for theatrical exhibition ... not in North America anyway. Picture quality is quite good, I must admit. But I could put a piece of dog poop on a thousand-dollar serving tray if I wanted to.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 in English, French, or Spanish. Optional subtitles are available in the same three languages.
Extras: There's a 4-minute outtakes reel, a 12-minute collection of deleted scenes, an on-set video piece called Band Camp's Dirty Diary (which is 17 minutes of visual root canal), a Poolside with the Band Camp Girls featurette which exists to deliver three minutes of two girls in bikinis, a 5-minute Band Camp Dirty Secrets set tour hosted by the ever-gigglin' booby-girls, an absolutely painful 13-minute Rover Cam Uncut (don't even ask), a crotch-addicted Band Camp Girls Music Video, and 11 excruciating minutes of Unrated Love Lessons with Ginger Lynn, because nothing makes a bad movie better than the presence of a former porn star who's now being asked to do comedy.
Before you mistake me for some sort of prudish snob: I consider myself a pretty big fan of the American Pie series. I think the first one is actually a damn good comedy, and all three flicks had me laughing pretty darn consistently. But this direct-to-video knock-off just reeks of a money-grub mentality, and this sniggering, ugly thing never once comes close to being funny.