J.D. Lafrance
American Pie: Band Camp DVD Review

American Pie: Band Camp

February 5, 2006

Director: Steve Rash,
Starring: Arielle Kebbel, Tad Hilgenbrinck, Jason Earles, Tara Killian, Carla Alaponte, Matt Baker, Matt Barr, Daniel Booko, Sean Briskey, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

This one time, at band camp, they got this horse, and flogged it, and kept on flogging it, and then it died, and they kept on flogging it, then they had this idea, and made another American Pie film. The three American Pie films managed to complete themselves as a trilogy with some degree of decorum, as far as cash in sequels go, so why risk destroying it with yet another helping? Because the focus has switched away from Jim, Michelle, Stifler and the rest of the gang, and is now completely focused on Stifler’s little brother, Matt.

The elder Stifler sibling has got a good life making MTV style porn films and his little brother wants a piece of the pie. In usual Stifler style, he ruins the high school band’s performance and as punishment gets sentenced to a summer at the infamous band camp. After hearing Michelle’s nymphomaniacal stories of sex with musical instruments, Matt decides he got the perfect opportunity to brake into the family business and the foul mouthed little brother is confronted with marching practice, nerds, geeks, robots, big breasted councilors in tight shorts and Jim’s Dad.

The return of Jim’s Dad as head councilor, as brother Stifler attends Band Camp, would seem like a solid gold concept, but the conventional script lets this down, all the way to the big band performance at the end. Unwisely Eugene Levey has limited screen time and doesn’t have the type of lines that made him so popular in the first place, but perhaps the cameo from an American Pie regular can make up for it. Combine that with gross out comedy, that doesn’t offer anything inventive or inspiring, most likely due to the fact that that every teen comedy has bled the genre dry ever since the first American Pie and the fact that this is a straight to dvd release, Band Camp is a wet fart effort.

Which is such a shame, as the leads Tad Hilgenbrinck (Stifler) and Arielle Kebbel (Elyse), both in their first big roles, are quite good. Hilgenbrinck has the obnoxious profanity producing Stifler family mannerisms down to a fine art as he scams and schemes his way into filming female band camp members in the showers. There’s no problem believing he is a relation of Sean Williamson Scott’s original, and is the only credible element of the franchises offspring. Arielle Kebbel is sufficiently empathetic as Stifler terrorizes her band camp summer and the busty blonde councilor and punk-pop soundtrack provide enough eye and ear candy to keep Band Camp at a watchable level.

Those people who died with laughter, as some guy humped a pie in 1999, have probably grown up a little bit too much to find much to laugh about in Band Camp. A new generation of early teens might get quite a giggle from Band Camp and franchise fans might be relieved to find that this is more than just a cash in rehash.

Special Features

The Outtakes are pretty standard but the 12 minutes of deleted scenes does extend the story of the blooming romance between two of the supporting characters and would have been a welcome balance has they stayed in the film.

The two stars of the movie take a camera each and their backstage footage is edited in to this 15 minute diary, which show us trailers, sets, crew members and girls explaining what it was like to see a real life penis on set.

In a bit of a ‘just because we can’ moment, included is a music video of ‘Baby Got Back’, which feature those attractive female councilors outfitting themselves in the skimpiest bikinis they could find and dancing in the shower. Sure to get young male hearts racing but has nothing to do with the film.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 53%



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