(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Ernest Goes to Camp)
Doug (vo): Well, I've talked about two of the Ernest films that came out in theaters, so why not talk about the other two? The very first one is Ernest Goes to Camp. That title alone sounds like one of the lamest kids' books you've ever read. And...yeah, the movie's a...little like that...kinda, if I don't want to be that mean, which I really don't, because it's...it's Ernest. It's stupid, but it's harmless. It's a character who did a ton of commercials that they decided to give a movie to, and they clearly had no idea what to do with him, but...man, they're just kind of trying anything in this movie. And sometimes, it gets a genuine laugh, but most of the times, it's just so awkward and weird and lame that you kind of can't help but laugh. (A shot of the opening scene involving a young Plains warrior being tested for initiation by being the target of three different weapons is shown) Look at the way it opens. Would you in a million years guess this is an Ernest movie? (Chuckles) It's friggin' insane.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Ernest, played by the late Jim Varney, works at a camp that he absolutely thinks the world of. He loves being with the kids, he loves doing all the traditional camp stuff, even if he does screw up a lot. The kids at first, big surprise, don't get along with Ernest, but overtime, they find there's kind of a charm to his goofiness, and, of course, they form a bit of a relationship, and, well, he's always there when the big bad bully kids are always making fun of them, and, oh, no! Will they beat them in the end? Well, we'll have to hold off, because there's this big bad construction group...yeah, there's a lot of big bad groups in this...that are trying to tear down the camp. But with Ernest's help and these two goofy chefs that have a...food-launching machine...their awful cooking might cook something up to stop those big bad baddies.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Okay, so, as the Ernest movies go, and I know that's a very strange sentence to say, this is usually the one that's kind of forgotten and not too many people really talk about. I mean, most people talk about Ernest Saves Christmas or Ernest Goes to Jail or even Ernest Scared Stupid. But this was the first one, and for whatever reason, a lot of people don't really talk about it. Well...maybe the more I think about it, I can kind of see why. It definitely has its run-of-the-mill slapstick and Jim Varney being over-the-top and a little bit of heart here and there. But the strange thing about it is, it's actually kind of boring. Oh, don't get me wrong. There's moments of absolute insanity in it. But you got to wait through a lot of run-of-the-mill stuff. For example, the kids are pretty dull, the strong emotional support is just there to be the strong emotional support, and the bad guys are just bad guys, and the bullies are just bullies, and the only time when it really shines is when it does something batshit crazy, whether it gets a legitimate laugh or an awkward laugh.
(The film's opening scene is shown again briefly)
Doug (vo): For example, the movie is really building up the legend of the worthy warrior, someone who has so much courage and so much heart that no weapon can penetrate him. (Chuckles) Well, can you guess who that warrior is? The idea of Ernest being this individual is so ludicrous, you kind of can't help but really snicker loudly at it. There's just such a naive stupidity to it that it's kind of hard not to fall in love with it.
(A scene showing Ernest singing "Gee, I'm Glad It's Raining" is shown)
Doug (vo): I'm actually kind of shocked the song "I'm Glad It's Raining" is not a better well-known song. Maybe because it's in this movie and the movie is usually forgotten, but hearing it again, it's actually really well-written, poignant, and goddamn depressing even. I kind of can't believe how wrapped up I was getting in it.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): But, yeah, like any of the entertaining moments in this movie, whether good or bad, you got to wait through a lot of boredom to get to it. I guess I say, if you are an Ernest fan, check it out. You'll definitely get Ernest doing his usual stuff. And if you kind of like those old 80s camp movies like Meatballs and so forth, it's got that vibe going with it, too. But it's really nothing special. For me, I'm glad I saw it again just for those incredibly weird, awkward moments, and, yeah, like I said, that song was pretty cool to hear again. But if you're looking for something more, I'd say this is a camp you don't need to go to.
(The film's final scene, showing Ernest about to be flattened by the Kamp Kikakee sign, is shown)