3 girls happy at award.
Film Reviews

State Park: How to Run in a Race and Solve Your Problems in the 80’s

Happy summer with this classic 80's movie. Half an environmental movie and half campy comedy about having fun at a state park.

This film is also called Heavy Metal Summer but depending on where you are from when this movie was released it’s called State Park. This was a part of the 1980’s Canadian college sex humour B-movies that were inspired by other well-known films like Meatballs, Porky’s, Revenge of the Nerds and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This was a raunchy comedy from the 1980s that most people might not remember so well because it was almost like any other teen movie that was popular in that time period.

This film also had a large environmental theme throughout the film. Environmental damage is a big concern that is depicted in films often. Movies like The Toxic Avenger, The Lorax, WALL-E and television shows like Captain Planet had environmental themes that focused on people protecting the planet from pollution and exposing the evils of careless capitalism.

This film is very hard to find. It is rare because of how it had a not so impactful first release and somewhat blended in the other types of Meatball-like movies released in this era. You could possibly find a DVD or one day back on Amazon Prime.

Screenshot of Marsha, Eve and Linnie driving to the park.

State Park is about three young college students on vacation at a State Park. They decide to go to camping and relaxing to try to disconnect from their busy young adult lives. Marsha (Isabelle Mejias) wants to just relax and get a tan, Linnie (Jennifer Inch) just wants to find her last romantic venture before she gets married and Eve (Kim Myers) is looking for a break from all of the financial pressures from being in college. Marsha is the more superficial friend that’s only into looks and popularity who not into anything that looks like a subculture like Heavy Metal. Linnie is the carefree spirit. She has this baby like voice throughout the film while being flirtatious to every male except Trailer. And Eve is more of the activist who would jump behind a noble cause. She mostly went to the park to sign up for the big race to win the grand prize to help her pay her large tuition costs.

The film begins with a man dressed in a bear costume running from industrialists in the woods trying to arrest him for vandalism with the classic song Oh Yeah by Yello. Then when the man is all safe in his “bear den”, it curs to a monologue about industrialism and why he is dressing in a bear costume. The reason why he’s in the costume was to stop a pesticide chemical plant burying their toxic waste in the forest. The bear, Weewankah Willi, will stop at nothing to find out what the corporation is up to and stop him from destroying the park.

Screenshot of Rocky and Trevor

Some supporting characters are introduced at the beginning of the story too. For instance, heavy metal obsessed friends head to the State Park at full speed to relax and get drunk in between from their main road trip to Los Angeles. The character design looks like a look book of Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Cheap Trick. They are in black with similar makeup has Mötley Crüe with hair sprayed hair in place. When Rocket stepped out of the van for just a few seconds, he had to walk several miles to the park just to met up with his friend Lewis and to deal just deserved justice for leaving him out in the middle of nowhere. They are a funny pair of Metalheads. Also, there’s a pair of dudes. Like… they’re dumb and very ’80s.

Screenshot of Truckie and Eve.

When the camping area the girls rented closes Trailer, a State Park clerk boy, shows them an excluded area of the park that they can still enjoy nature. They get a different view of what is going on in the park while they are staying there like the industrial plant being built. Trailer is mostly the expedition character that tells the girls everything they need to know about the race, the park and the people around the sights. It’s pretty funny that Trailer has a big brother named Truckie. Trucks and Trailers. It’s funny for the first time around but the names are not too weird to be in the way. Eve does figure out who Weewankah Willie is by anatomy. She evidently blackmails Truckie to help her with the race by being her personal tour guide.

Throughout the film, the B-roll of Nature is pretty beautiful. Seeing geese and ducks on the river. It really adds to the realism of the park. State Park was filmed in North Carolina, USA and two beaches in Quebec, Canada. Mont-Tremblant National Park has the Weewankah Park and Lac Monroe which served as the main beach.

Marsha does say the best one-liner within the whole movie about some really dumb jocks on the beach side while Linnie and Marsha are “shopping around” for some guys. They were wondering how to get to the other side of the lake while the two guys were standing on a boat.

I can’t believe it, if they were any dumber we would have to water them.

Marsha talking to Linnie about the dudes on the beach side

This was also the time Marsha convinces Linnie to have some fun with her last days of singlehood. This is where Linnie comes to the conclusion to just sleeps with any guy she finds attractive after she gives them a haircut in the one style sees knows, the same hair cut has her boyfriend’s. All the haircuts add up at the end. Also, there’s a fair amount of nudity in the film mostly because of this storyline from Linnie.

Meanwhile, Marsha finds new love on the beach but feels catfished after seeing him in his Heavy Metal attire. The problem in their relationship is almost expensive preppy fashion versus hair metal black leather.

Screenshot of Ted Nugent

There is a guest appearance of guitar musician Ted Nugent with lines and playing the guitar. It’s interesting to see what Ted Nugent was like in the 1980s just playing the guitar apparently visiting his grandparents. It was just a guest appearance and he doesn’t even show up anywhere else in the film but this one scene.

Screenshot of Weewankah Willie to the rescue at the illegal dumping ground.

Around the time the race started Truckie went on a renegade investigation of what is in the barrels being buried in the forest. The sack of environmentalism and saving the land he somewhat owns, he arms himself with a camera (a really good professional grade camera) sticking around in a busy work set to catch the workers red-handed or the in this case slime handed.

The race involves the contestants swimming, bicycling, canoeing and park orientation. This includes finding a specific geo-location and punching a hole in a control card with the only help being a compass.

I am not going to mention what happens at the end to tie in all the subplots together or who wins but it was a funny film. This film is at least 30 years old and much it the story still can be spoiled by revealing too much which I hope it didn’t.

The soft synthesized music with the one guy saying “State Park” that follows the story transitions seems to play like it’s on a loop. Next, to all the heavy metal music it seems like it’s the only music in the film.

Genre: Comedy
Year: 1988
Duration: 87 minutes

Rating: 3 out of 5.
This film is 3 out of 5 stars.

2 comments on “State Park: How to Run in a Race and Solve Your Problems in the 80’s

  1. This does look cheap, and cheesy, but it also seems oddly endearing in a way.


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