More of a satire on 1980s summer-camp movies than a parody, Wet Hot American Summer was released in 2001 to hardly anyone, and for good reason. The producers of this hilarious take on Meatballs, and other similar teen films, are all alumni of the love-them-or-loathe-them comedy troupe, The State, who enjoyed a shaky three-year run on MTV, making their mark during the brief revival of sketch comedy in the 1990s, which included acts like the Upright Citizens Brigade, Mr. Show and Canadian comedy prodigies, The Kids in the Hall. Although widely panned by critics and audiences alike and grossing less than $300,000, Wet Hot American Summer's absurdist take on the whole National Lampoon genre is worth a second look for its twisted and bizzare gags, ridiculous premises and over-the-top characters all of which have helped this movie reach a comfortable cult-status on the home video market. Of course it didn't hurt to have a host of fantastic cast members on hand, many of which were relatively unknown at the time the film premiered such as Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poheler, Bradley Cooper and Judah Friedlander. Add a few established talents of the period, in this case Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon and David Hyde Pierce, and throw in a cameo performance by H. Jon Benjamin as a can of vegetables and you basically have a guaranteed hit. Except it wasn't. So if you loved those cheesy 80s summer movies or just have fond memories of your own camp experiences, head on down to the video rental store and pick up a copy of Wet Hot American Summer (available on VHS and Beta) tonight!
My favorite scene.