Show Discussion: Killer Camp

By | October 27, 2019

Starting Sunday and then daily until October 31st,
9pm,
ITV2

Well this sounds like Very Much The Sort Of Thing We Like, a comedy reality whodunnit inspired by slasher flicks of the 80s, and made by loads of people who worked on Bother’s Bar horror favourite Release the Hounds.

Contestants turn up at an American-style Summer Camp in Lithuania for fun and frolicks only to discover that there’s a killer amongst them. To win the money, they must a) not get killed and b) unmask the killer. Contestants are eliminated nightly by Bruce the Handyman in horrifying Hollywood fashion. The Killer wins if they get away with it.

And if that sounds like the US show Whodunnit? to you with a bit more 1980s it does to us as well, which is both positive and negative. The big question, and the one that’s going to define how much I’m going to enjoy, is how much agency the Killer has. They won’t be doing any murdering themselves, so what WILL they be doing? Whodunnit‘s biggest format failure (in what was otherwise a fairly fun idea) is that the murderer knew who they were but didn’t actually have to do anything, and even wasn’t told what had happened so they could easily play along as a normal contestant which is terrible when one of the main format points is guessing who did it.

Here’s an interesting behind the scenes look from Broadcast.

I hope it’s going to be brilliant. Let us know what you thought in the comments.

37 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Killer Camp

  1. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Hmm, only five ‘deaths’ means a final five + killer which is interesting. I’d assumed we’d see two per episode leading to the final three being there on Thursday.

    Reply
  2. Brig Bother Post author

    Can’t wait for all the “do they ACTUALLY kill the losers?” tweets post show.

    I hope they just let it hang. Or just reply “Yep.”

    Reply
  3. Ninja

    I’m guessing Release the Hounds is cancelled? Then again, they have been uploading recently in the official YouTube channel of RTH..

    Reply
  4. Smogo

    Early thoughts: very strong opening part, and I’m amazed that TV has found something perfect for livewire Bobby Mair to front, but the action minigames just make me miss Wild Things.

    Reply
  5. Brig Bother Post author

    Well this was a curio and no mistake.

    I don’t think it got off to the best of starts with the soundmixing, I found it quite difficult to make out what the contestants were saying initially. I quite enjoyed the opening shots matching those of Release the Hounds though.

    It felt quite formatty – nothing says fun Summer camp in a wood like “immunity challenge” and this sort of thing drew me away from the atmosphere I think they were going for.

    I’m not sure the whodunnit is quite up to scratch. I grant that they get to select who gets killed, but it feels like the Mole aspect has been thrown in to give them something to be seen to be doing, but if I understand correctly if the Killer wins they win all the money anyway so there’s actually not that much point in sabotaging in the first place. We also have the slightly weird situation where the closer you are to the truth, the more likely it is you’ll get killed to the point where it’s more in the contestant’s interest not to bother trying to work it out until late on – which makes for a rubbish mystery. Motivation, motivation, motivation, why are they doing what they’re doing and does that make sense? This is really important and I don’t think it quite adds up here, as yet.

    I thought the campfire element was quite fun and well handled – The Killer’s Game 2019. And the challenges were alright.

    Overall it was fun enough and I’ll watch the rest, but I’m not sure I’d be sticking with it if it was weekly or much longer than the five nights it’s going to be on for.

    Reply
  6. Clicky

    Does anyone know if there will be a place to watch this from outside the UK?

    Murder mysteries are my jam, but I haven’t had luck finding a source to see this new series ^_^.

    Reply
  7. JoshieF

    Definitely enjoyed the show enough to commit to five episodes, couldn’t say the same if it was hitting double digits.

    There’s definitely something really good there, and with tweaking it could be amazing. The show almost feels like an experiment tbh, to see if the public would respond well to other shows *COUGH* Survivor *COUGH*.

    I’m excited to watch the rest, although I sense a final episode format that’ll be HEAVILY stacked against The Killer.

    Reply
    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      It still feels like there’s something missing. I don’t know why the Killer would have any agency if they can just get away without being suspected at the end and win the entire pot regardless.

      Reply
  8. Brig Bother Post author

    I enjoyed it tonight, heavily Survivor-style challenges were fun, and the story editor earned their money with the bromance gone bad/love triangle situation (I did laugh at Bobby’s “in two days?” comment, in fact quite enjoying his occasional snide remarks throughout). And then that death!

    I still neither know nor care who the Killer is though.

    Reply
  9. David B

    Apropos of nothing, 9th Nov is your next all-live Schlag den Star and it’s a ladies night.

    Reply
  10. Clicky

    I didn’t get to see Episode 1… but I got to see Episode 2! This is probably my least favorite format I’ve ever seen for a mystery reality show though…

    If I understand correctly – the killer can choose to knock off anyone that isn’t immune? So if people have an inkling of who the killer is and it gets back to the killer, the killer could just off that person? As it sounds like at the end there may be a chance for the killer to win instead of the individuals.

    That being said, after starting the episode and watching the first few minutes, I began to think that one of the best ploys the producers/killer could have is intentionally setting up a showmance storyline for the killer. This lead me to believe it’s Sian or Carl… And Carl’s actions in the immunity challenge combined with the two that were up for elimination only furthered my suspicions of Carl.

    I’m really hoping they pull a Scream-twist and that there are in fact two killers amongst them.

    Reply
      1. Clicky

        I’m ok with Escape The Night. There isn’t really any mystery as to who is the traitor. They do get to fight for their survival in one-on-one duals and the voting mechanism, although it involves some luck, is still dependent on social strategy. Although this game alone is almost its own category. Sure they’re playing a game but they’re also playing their YouTube persona playing a character so they’re all committed to a storyline moreso than whether they actually survive.

        Reply
  11. John R

    My problem is I don’t really care enough for any of the contestants, I appreciate this is ITV2 fodder…

    Wildcard suspicion on Sian – does she have a fake injury? Plenty of fake blood flying around on this show!

    I can’t actually see this doing too well ratings wise, considering there isn’t even a thread on Digital Spy that I can see

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’ve seen a figure of 173k for Ep 1, which… isn’t great – wouldn’t make ITV2 Top 50. We’ll see, though.

      Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Ngh, don’t like that. Would have preferred if they just picked a new killer at random I think, as it is the narrative isn’t working (or indeed makes sense) for me I think. And now with those giveaway clues it just looks like he’s a plant, which is fine if you can explain it but when you can’t makes the first few days seem pointless.

      Pity, I thought the cash challenge was a decent WIDM (if a little too simple a set-up for De Mol) style task, and he did some half decent sabotaging throughout. Are we to believe the second killer was ALSO sabotaging up to that point? Would they have split the money? Could they have sold each other out? Do they even know who the other one was? All interesting things to consider, all could have been quite interesting to be privy to as a viewer to see play out, but I don’t think we’ve got that.

      Reply
      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        The Killer who died tonight made it seem in their goodbye message on Twitter that they didn’t know who the second one was. I would assume they set it up so that twist would work (because otherwise, would they have killed off whoever was chosen regardless?) but that the second Killer will be at least a touch more subtle.

        Reply
  12. Clicky

    *Sigh* I guess the format has grown on me a little, with the ability to vote off the killer. It’s almost like a game of Mafia in a reality show format…

    The person that got offed this round was… an unusual choice. They were the only person to NOT vote off the first killer. They could have been an easy person for the real killer to throw suspicion on.

    I’m really hoping the killer isn’t Sam.

    Reply
    1. John R

      I wonder how long this show actually took to film, as forming relationships and getting emotional over eliminations in just 5 days seems a bit…weird

      Reply
      1. Clicky

        The counselor called Sian out on Night 2 (or 3) and said something along the lines of “you’ve only known this person for 2 days”. I don’t think they were saying it to match the episode releases, I got the impression it was literally 2 days.

        I suspect it was filmed in just a week.

        Reply
      2. Smogo

        I reckon they had some bonding time together before filming began, hence them saying what a great laugh the first victim was.

        Reply
  13. Smogo

    Well. It took me a few episodes to get into it. Carl and Sian acting like they were on Love Island annoyed me, though I guess it paid off in the end. It was pretty good really. I still say that Bobby Mair is the best thing about it. I’m very impressed how perfect a show it is for him, and he is for it.

    Reply
  14. JoshieF

    The two killers existing from the start makes absolutely no logical sense, and was clearly not true. The show was presented in a weird way with no satisfying ending, and I’m still very confused about how it all ACTUALLY worked. The team challenges for clues had little incentive for any particular individual to win, if anything clues could just make the giver look suspicious.

    I love this idea, and I’m glad they tried it. But this was a BAD show, that I never want to see again.

    Reply
    1. Smogo

      I think it did make sense. Neither of them knew that there was another killer, all the clues from the start could relate to one or the other. I guess they were told that they were the killers privately after the true nature of the show was revealed when the first guy (an actor) got blown up. The article Brig posted mentioned that the contestants all had to sign new contracts at that point.

      None of that behind the scenes stuff could’ve been explained in the show or it would’ve spoiled the conceit.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        My gut reckons that the Killers knew the true the nature of the show going into it, even if they didn’t know who the other one was.

        Reply
  15. John R

    The ending was so weird with everyone mega annoyed at “KILLER” just for playing a game where they missed out on what £1100 a piece or so?!

    Reply
  16. Brig Bother Post author

    This was one of those very frustrating shows where you can see the potential, and occasionally it shines through (agreed that Bobby Mair was great in this, and I did think the ending was quite something), but they made so many poor decisions in some areas I just want to find out what made them do the things they do. It felt very much like things were there for a reason, and you can see the reasoning but it felt like they were there because of poor initial design (the killer can kill anyone, how do we get round this? Immunity challenge!) when maybe a slightly better design would have given the show a better feel. As it is it feels like lots has been thrown at a wall and they’ve papered around the bits that didn’t stick.

    The way I thought the money worked out, just from the host’s description, is that if the killers got away with it they won *all the cash*, and that unwon monies went to the killer automatically but clearly this was not actually the case. The two killer thing feels like a missed opportunity as it opens up all sorts of possibility space.

    The challenges, especially the cash ones, were pretty good. The final ending, not quite gripping but certainly intense and entertaining. The murders and their descriptions were funny. The story editors did a good job. They actually found some pretty good players to be the Killers – enjoyed how completely unrepentant they were.

    I’d be really happy for it to get a (simpler, better thought out) second series, but if it doesn’t happen then I’ll live.

    Reply
  17. Snoopy

    Were the two killers collaborating? Not explained.
    Whose victims were chosen if both killers were acting at the same time in eps 1-3? Not explained.
    What would have happened in the event of a tie for the final vote? Not explained.

    I really enjoyed the original concept of this show, the 80s vibe and Bobby was incredible. Then it was all let down by a real lack of understanding of sabotage and whodunnit mechanics and formatting.

    A crying shame.

    Reply
  18. JG

    They just had to many clues pointing at Sam as the killer to know he wasn’t going to be the killer
    and as soon as Rosie voted for Sam and was then one of the 2 to go off with a potential of being “Killed” I know it would be her that got offer to put my suspicion on Sam

    Reply

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