Earlier this year, after 14 years, the cult classic film “Wet Hot American Summer” received a Netflix original prequel series “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.” The series takes place before the film and reunites the middle aged cast, all of whom are still playing teenagers. The series has received great reviews from longtime fans, but the original film has been lost deep in Netflix recommendations. That’s just not right!
As opposed to the series, “Wet Hot American Summer” takes place on the last, impeccably long, and event-filled day at a 1981 summer camp. The counselors try their best to finish all of their business before having to leave. Some of these include love, showering, saving the camp from a rouge meteor, competing in the talent show, overdosing, winning the big baseball game, fridge humping, and getting laid.
The movie is a parody of camp film; they used to be a genre in the 80’s. It seemed like every character or cartoon made at least one trip to summer camp during the decade. The film’s worn out plot lines and predictable endings made them the perfect fodder for Michael Ian Black and David Wain, two of the creators of the short run but long loved MTV sketch comedy show “The State.”
Ian Black stars with the young ensemble cast along with many other huge stars before they hit it big. A few names may be familiar like comedian, Janeane Garofalo, “30 Rock” participant, Judah Friedlander, and the voice of Bob Belcher and Sterling Archer, H. Jon Benjamin as Can of Vegetables. The rest of the cast was filled by relative unknowns, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, and some guy named Paul Rudd.
The film more than lives up to its status as a cult classic. The performances by every member of the cast are overblown and hilarious. They are quick and don’t stop coming. If you’ve ever seen a movie that portrayed summer camp as a childhood Promised Land, that’s what “Wet Hot American Summer” is making fun of.
Wet Hot American Summer shows the fun but often ridiculous occurrences that go on when teenagers are put in charge of children for an entire summer. If you’ve ever experienced camp life or just want a great comedy, then “Wet Hot American Summer” should be mandatory viewing.