Back to School Month – American Pie: Band Camp
Merry September Trash or Treasure followers. This month we begin a special journey in honor of all the poor people that still have to go to school. That’s right: it’s Trash to Treasure Back to School Month where we’ll be watching the 4 classic(ally bad) American Pie spin-off movies tohonor the time honored tradition of wishing you didn’t have to learn math. First up on our list is American Pie: Band Camp, a movie that stars Eugene Levy AND Chris Owen from the original films. The movie is about Steve Stifler’s younger brother having to go to band camp. Let’s enjoy, shall we?
The film opens with three dudes sitting in a living room watching Spring Breakers. Our main character, Matt Stifler, speaks the infamous Stifler catchphrase “fuckface” and I am definitely in the right movie. We also get a throwback to the original films when the scene transitions to the high school pep band playing “Laid” by James in preparation for graduation. I get they wanted to honor the original movies, but a high school band playing a song about crazy sex is pretty weird.
Or right on par with the tone of the movie…
The scene, with its strange musical choice, sets up the other characters of the movie including nerdy sidekick, mean goth chick, and the return of a Trash or Treasure favorite: future love interest. The movie, unfortunately is legally obligated to include more scenes of the obscene Stifler, whom the writers have written as the hardest to like character of the whole American Pie series so far. Stifler supports this by spraying the entire band’s equipment with pepper spray, stealing what he believes to be a dildo, and then revealing what a massive douche-nozzle he is to future love interest.
Another movie, another ridiculous love arc.
No worries to you dear reader, as Stifler is caught and gets his comeuppance by being sent to band camp as punishment for his terrible prank. Stifler decides this is the perfect moment to resist change (and his repeatedly terrible attempts to emulate Sean William Scott’s lip movements) and decides to order a bunch of spy cameras so he can record the band camp members doing crazy sex acts. There’s even a montage of him buying the shit set to Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem”.
To be clear: what he’s doing is both creepy and illegal.
We get introduced to the infamous band camp, made up to be as stereotypically dorky as possible, full of hot, all-female camp counselors. There’s also an insult-off introduction to the primary antagonist: the head of a rival band who’s pretentiousness rivals the douchiness of Stifler. Despite Stifler assaulting the deserving pretentious kid, he gets off near scot-free after talking to Eugene Levy who is in this film for some reason. Stifler even meets his roommate: geeky band kid who’s entire essence screams nerd so much that I’m sure he’ll be spying-on-people later.
To be clear: still VERY creepy and VERY illegal.
Stifler continues to be a huge dick to everyone he talks to and evil emo chick puts forth a plan to get back at him by tricking him into a rigged game of strip trivia (which he video tapes with a spy cam, because of course he does). Game night goes awry for Stifler as the ladies lock him out of the room with no clothes and only a case of beer to cover his donger, where he is then promptly caught by the nurse doing bed checks. One scene of terribly moderated conflict by Eugene Levy’s character and we’re onto a scene where Stifler ruins band practice to the surprise of no one.
Seriously who thought this was a good idea.
Stifler uses the moments he has alone to set up his creepy spy cameras and the movie uses this same moment to introduce that geeky band kid has a crush on evil emo chick, something I’m sure I’ll care about later. After being a shithead at lunch (again), other band kids take things into their own hands and glue a hat to Stifler’s head and jam a tube of peppermint toothpaste up his nose. I don’t feel bad for him at all, especially considering the next scene is him watching his creepy spy footage and being caught by geeky band kid.
Who he naturally brings in on the scam.
I’m honestly pretty tired of talking about how shitty and creepy Stifler is, so let’s just assume everything he does from here on out is creepy to save space, yeah? He decides to be nice to the band kids so he can go undercover and record them better, and future love interest takes great joy in forcefully teaching him how to march in a band. Meanwhile the meaningless side romance between geeky band kid and goth evil girl progresses meaninglessly and the world turns onwards. There’s a moment where future love interest hits Stifler in the mouth with a trumpet on accident because of the “antagonist” of the movie shows up.
This photo taken moments before the beginning of her downfall.
The next scene in the movie is actually the best, and if the rest of the movie had been like this one, maybe it’d be less of a douche-filled shitshow. Stifler finds himself in a musical duel with the antagonist guy and wins by playing a bagpipes version of “Play That Funky Music”, which admittedly is pretty badass. Understandably, future love interest starts to take an interest in Stifler. Then, to make us feel even more sympathy for Stifler, the antagonist gives Stifler a soda can full of spit to drink out of which uhhhhhhhhh…sorry vomited in my mouth a little there.
Take this nice picture of future love interest to offset the terrible-ness.
Luckily, this perfect image of Stifler is ruined as he records more women without their knowledge, spikes the slushie machine at a band camp party thing, and then records one of his band “friends” having an intimate moment with a camp counselor he has a crush on. There’s also a bunch scenes with band kids drunk off their asses and the goth love story continuing to progress in ways nobody cares about, so it’s really like this part of the movie doesn’t matter at all. Don’t worry though: this is also the scene where Stifler fucks an oboe.
You should know by now I’m not kidding.
There’s some more romantic development and Stifler might actually start to care about the band kids. There’s a montage of band camp activities like paddleboat racing and flag football set to a pretty dope cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle”. Wait, what do you mean paddleboat racing and flag football don’t happen at band camp? I suppose the next scene where Stifler is egged on by the antagonist dude and Stifler and his band friends replace his sunscreen with jizz doesn’t happen at bandcamp either.
Classic bandcamp right?
The movie then spends some scenes pretending like doing couples things make up for Stifler’s creepiness, but I guess we’ll go along with it for now. Stifler and future love interest share a stupidly cute Peter Parker kiss as we learn some exposition about how they know each other from middle school or something I don’t care about, and then future love interest runs off having been inspired to finish the music for the big band competition.
That’s what I’d say too if I was about to make it with Stifler.
Fear not dear reader! Stifler reverts back to classic douche Stifler as he ditches a night date with future love interest to show some popular cheerleaders his found footage to prove he’s been playing the band kids all along. It’s a good thing they showed us all these touching moments before this, otherwise I wouldn’t know the true extent of his being a piece of shit. He shows no signs of remorse or any kind of feeling at all, as if this part of the film was not privy to what the previous montage of actually nice scenes was full of.
This scene causes me remorse, though.
Finally though, through a series of whacky coincidences, Stifler gets his second comeuppance of the movie (and my second usage of the word in the article). He makes one last attempt to show he actually cares for the band kids, despite hanging on to his external drive of the footage, by spiking the antagonist guy’s school’s cooler with syrup that makes you vomit, only for the cooler to end up with the band kids he cares about (or pretends to care about?). His dear band vomits all over their chances at winning the competition and Stifler successfully has ruined everything.
Something he seemed dead set on doing from the beginning of the movie.
Because this is a happy movie, though, Stifler learns his brother was universally (and obviously) hated and he deletes all of the footage he recorded. He makes amends for the puke syrup accident as well, and makes amends with all of the rest of the band as well (with a return of “Laid” by James, because this is the happy part of the movie). And with one final montage of Stifler setting everything up to make amends with future love interest, he does so by having the band play the music she wrote at the music school she failed to get into.
The song’s pretty badass, to be honest.
The first of our American Pie spin-offs comes off as pretty creepy watching. It has some cute moments, and if you’re a fan of the over-the-top and obscene Stifler jokes in the original movies, there’s certainly a ton in this one, but the deep running plot of Stifler recording the band kids without their knowing gives the whole film a sketchy feeling it just can’t shake no matter how times it plays “Laid” by James. Based on the uncomfortable plot, this film ends up in the trash pile.
You could always just skip around to all the good parts though, I suppose.