Mix “Meatballs” with “Return of the Living Dead” and you have “Bunks,” a horror comedy that should not be so entertaining. For a movie that’s rated PG and is primarily for kids, “Bunks” is shockingly exciting and often creepy, but that’s how far the zombie sub-genre has embedded itself in to pop culture. We now have PG horror comedies with brain eating zombies. What’s even more surprising is that director Tibor Takács is able to get away with a lot here, including some mild violence and a lot suggested intense violence.
After Dylan and Dane manage to fool their rivals Sanjay and Delory in to attending boot camp, the pair of brothers takes their identities and play counselors for the summer at Camp Bushwhacked. While exploring an old cabin, the brothers and fellow campers find a mysterious book filled with scary stories. Little do they know that “Bushwhacked” is cursed and has instilled a no scary stories policy. Unaware, they tell the legend of a group of campers that fall victim to a scientist testing his zombie serum, trapping Anson Minor in the lab forever. Telling the story unleashes Anson once again to roam the woods feeding on the brains of local campers. As the zombie plague begins once again, Dylan and Dane have to figure out how to end his reign of terror.
When a rival camper discovers Anson in his lab, he breaks the collar that can control his urges, thus unleashing a zombie apocalypse. “Bunks” is a surprisingly creepy and tense movie that relies on slapstick comedy and interesting twists on the zombie formula to entertain the audience. Not only does the impending zombie apocalypse release a furor of chaos, but the campers have to work together to figure out a serum to end the zombie plague, and tame Anson. Tibor Takács pulls off balancing kid friendly comedy with zombie horror well, implementing some really atmospheric zombie attacks, along with a lot of laugh out loud fodder.
From the motorized ball machine attack, to the camp counselor that refuses to admit her boyfriend Crawl is a zombie due to his status as head counselor, “Bunks” uses the camp setting to its advantage and never slows down. The performances all around are top notch, including Aidan Shipley who is hilarious as the slacker Dane. Tom Keenan is also great as Anson, the “Bub” of the film who is good natured enough, but deadly when his collar malfunctions. Tibor Takács’s “Bunks” works well and gels together as a fine amalgam of sub-genres and classic summer camp fun for the PG crowds. For potential horror buffs, “Bunks” is a worthwhile introduction to zombie cinema.