Ah, summer camp: archery, frisbee golf, lake swimming and raging hormones. And the occasional serial killer. Here, our favorite movies involving some, if not all, the above.
Wet Hot American Summer
It's the last day of summer camp, 1981, which means all the camp counselors have 24 hours to get all the crazy out of their systems. This throwback comedy is a showcase for the likes of Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler.
You can't beat a classic, especially one with Bill Murray in it. This one from 1979 set the standard for summer-camp comedies, and features Murray as a less-than-professional head camp counselor who lives by the mantra, "It just doesn't matter!"
Friday the 13th
Camp Crystal Lake is set to re-open for the summer, but a machete-wielding, hockey-mask-wearing maniac is trying to make sure that doesn't happen. Word to the wise: If your bunkmate is named Jason Voorhees, you might want to head home…while you still actually have a head.
Addams Family Values
Summer camp is nowhere for an Addams, but that's exactly where Pugsley and Wednesday end up after their nanny has them shipped off. No matter, they make the most of the opportunity, with a hilariously dark performance at the camp talent show.
Yes, it may be set in more of a resort than a camp, but 'Dirty Dancing' has cabins, rebellious teenagers, a talent show and it takes place during the summer. Plus it contains the enduring line, "Nobody puts baby in a corner." So it deserves a mention here.
During the heyday of early-’80s slasher films, this one stood out and still enjoys a huge cult following today. It has the requisite gratuitous violence and mayhem, but spices it up with gender-bending sexual confusion, too. All aboard the crazy bus for Camp Arawak!
The Parent Trap
This perennial Disney favorite from 1961 stars Hayley Mills and…Hayley Mills, as twin sisters separated shortly after birth, who reunite at summer camp and set out plans to get their long-divorced single parents back together. It includes a lot of trick photography -- very unique at the time -- and features the hit song "Let's Get Together."
Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal are hardly "darlings" in this coming-of-age movie from 1980. One's a rich girl, the other a tough kid from the other side of the tracks. What begins as a hormone-fueled rivalry evolves into a genuine friendship as they learn about sex, love and the difference between the two.
What do you do when you and your friends HATE the thought of going to another boring summer camp? You make your own! Christopher Lloyd helps these kids fool their parents and create the summer camp they've always wanted. The movie also features Jessica Alba in her first movie role.
Summer camp ain't just for kids anymore! A group of perfect-looking adults reunite at Camp Tamakwa to relive some of their adolescent camping shenanigans and to connect even more meaningfully now that they're all grown up.
Replace the lake and cabins with space suits, a flight simulator and a shuttle ride, and you've got the ingredients for a galactic adolescent adventure. SpaceCamp also had the unfortunate bad luck to hit movie theaters just five months after the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.
'Summercamp!' is a documentary that follows the exploits of '90 kids at Swift Nature Camp in Wisconsin, complete with all the required summer-camp ingredients -- ridiculous outdoor activities, short-lived relationships, emotional roller coasters and, of course, a lake.
A group of portly boys show up at Camp Hope, expecting a summer of fun and frolic, only to see it taken over by weight-loss guru Tony Perkis, played by Ben Stiller, who tries to slim them down with his borderline-psychotic exercise regimens. Check out a young Kenan Thompson ('SNL') as one of the camp attendees.
Ernest Goes to Camp
There's a group of juvenile delinquents at Camp Kikakee that no one else can handle, but the inimitable Ernest befriends them and organizes them against an evil landowner who wants to destroy the camp for good. Now who can't relate to that summer-camp experience?