Camp Nowhere is a 1994 film about a group of kids who hire Doc Brown to act as the front for their fake summer camp. There is no unit of measurement that suggests this is, in any way, an important or relevant movie. The movie has a 18 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 5.9 out of 10 rating on the Internet Movie Database. A Youtube.com search for “Camp Nowhere” yields about 45,000 results (including this decade-old video, in which our man Cajuns37 re-cuts the movie as a Brokeback Mountain trailer). Some cursory Google research reveals a 20th anniversary article for the movie in Complex, a few bad reviews, and little else.
I know I saw this movie years ago, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember the plot at all (there might be a part in which a kid gets hurt strapping fireworks to themselves and trying to to a roller-blade trick into a lake, but that also might be nonsense). What I can remember is that, at one point, a character kisses another character while “Linger” by the Cranberries plays on the soundtrack.
That stupid little scene in a forgettable summer camp movie has forever affected my understanding of “Linger.” Thanks to that movie, I cannot hear that song without recalling the turmoil and excitement of middle-school love. Even now, 20 years removed, hearing “Linger” is like feeling a phantom limb. It makes me think of nervousness I do not understand, desire I am not prepared for, apprehension, self-consciousness, excitement and all the other hormonal notes that contribute to the painful excitement of being on the precipice of physical desire.
Baltimore rock group Snail Mail does something similar on its 2016 post-punk ep, Habit. Over the course of six songs, the group hits the same notes of longing that The Cranberries crushed on “Linger,” resulting in a collection of songs that feel lonely and intimate. It is the kind of record that makes a lot of sense when everything in the world seems big and meaningful. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the transitional camp movies of tomorrow, today.