In The 1980’s, late actor/comedian, Jim Varney, (Slinky from Toy Story) by Carden & Cherry Advertising Agency to portray a character named Ernest P. Worrell, to promote various products/businesses including Coca-Cola, Mello Yello, John L. Sullivan’s Car Insurance, Gas Appliance Dealers, First Federal Savings, Cream O’ Weber Hi-Land, Vernon Savings & Loan, Chex, Taco John’s among many others.
The advertisements mainly focus on Ernest talking to his buddy named Vern, (he’s always offscreen) who annoyingly recommends a specific product to him. Before an ad ends, Vern often kicks him out of his house or space. As a result of popularity surrounding Ernest, he officially got his own movie called, “Ernest Goes To Camp.”
Ernest Goes To Camp opened in theaters in 1987. At the time of release, it received mixed to negative reviews from critics, but young movie goers liked it and made enough money at the box office. The film spawned a total of eight sequels such as Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest Goes To Jail & Ernest Scared Stupid were released from 1988 to 1999.
With the upcoming release of Uncle Drew, who is also a character to promote PepsiCo’s Pepsi Max in their commercials. I would like to introduce a new generation of viewers to Jim Varney role that made him famous is the on and only, Ernest P. Worrell.
The following review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS whatsoever. You’re allowed to read this article, if you haven’t got a chance to see the whole movie.
Positive: Jim Varney did a hilarious job on his iconic performance as Ernest P. Worrell. You can’t forget his catchphrase, “You Know What I Mean?” No pun intended, that’s his actual catchphrase.
Funny Moments made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe much longer.
My favorite part of the film, is when Ernest tries to make breakfast outside, only to get caught in some sort of mishap resembling something off of Final Destination.
Practical Effects were used to create slapstick elements.
Cinematography looked surprisingly good without any Shaky Cam or Dutch Angles present throughout.
Ernest mentioned that he was once a soldier in The Vietnam War. Does this mean Ernest is a secret B.A.? (look up B.A, on The Urban Dictionary) Stanley Kubrick’s war film, Full Metal Jacket, also came out the exact same year.
Jim Varney himself, did his own singing for “Gee I’m Glad It’s Raining” during a dramatic montage. After Jim’s untimely passing, its incredibly sad to hear him sing the lyrics. Dang it Jim, why did you leave us viewers in tears?! He’s had a dignified voice than Anne Hathaway’s “I Dream A Dream” scene in Les Misérables!
A Pause Worthy Moment featuring Ernest holding a Mickey Mouse collectible. Disney owns Touchstone Pictures. Its as if Disney is giving us audience members a wink that they produced this movie.
In The Climatic Scene, a “Tarzan Yell” is used as a war cry. Disney went on to produce their animated interpretation of Tarzan.
Stick around for a silly scene during The End Credits Sequence.
Negative: Product Placement featuring certain brands including, Coca-Cola, Heinz Ketchup, GMC, Peter Pan Peanut Butter. I’m giving this con a pass, because I couldn’t find any other brand to spot.
A kart moving without a designated driver is used as a running gag. In the real world, it would’ve eventually ran out of gasoline or get hit by a tree or building.
A “Deus Ex Machina” is used to finish off an obstacle unrealistically.
The Final Battle between Ernest & The Villain, felt anti-climatic in a contrived way. It broke my Suspension Of Disbelief.
The Final Verdict: B-
Despite tiny blemishes I’ve spotted, Ernest Goes To Camp is an adequate comedy that’ll give you a couple of laughs. If you want to introduce your kids to Ernest, I recommend this film along with other follow ups, as a sign to remember Jim Varney’s legacy. Is Uncle Drew gonna be the next Ernest? Will have to see when the film comes out if Kyrie Irving has what it takes to become the next Jim Varney.
R.I.P. Jim Varney, your legacy as Ernest will never be forgotten. Thank you for the memories. Will continue to introduce your work to future generations as a continuous cycle that’ll never stop accelerating.