Anyone who's gone to sleepaway camp is well aware of the candy hiding tradition. You arrive with a backpack stuffed with the best of the best and then hide your stash in the most obscure places throughout the bunk, some of which you'll likely forget about until it's time to pack up and go home. Looking back, I probably took the venture way too seriously; it's not like I went to fat camp.
For Heavyweights' Gerald Garner (Aaron Schwartz) and his new bunkmates at Camp Hope, it's a different story. The boys think they've got the art of candy concealing down, but when the longtime camp owners, the Bushkins, are replaced with fitness fiend and all-around whacko, Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller), even their best hiding spots can't fool the man who's got no problem cancelling lunch for a day, "due to lack of hustle."
The scene is fantastically crafty, making the viewer feel as though Tony is threatening to take the boys' lives rather than just their Oreos. While giving a terrifyingly twisted version of a motivational speech, Tony proceeds to slash open a camper's mattress in search of the goods, where he locates what I once thought to be the perfect secret spot, inside a hollow bedpost. You think that's bad? Then Tony moves to truly painful tactics, luring Roy (Kenan Thompson) in for a hug, just to give him a quick frisk resulting in the confiscation of his Pez.
The final blow comes in the form of betrayal when a former Chipmunk-turned-counselor reveals the grand "treasure trove" containing heaps of candy and even "a deli meat." The lasting effect of this instance? The inability to walk into a deli without saying, "Oh, look, a deli meat," Tony Perkis style, of course. After, Tony targets Gerry, the camp newcomer, hoping to persuade him to rat out the candy smuggler, and then Josh (Shaun Weiss) comes to the rescue and we meet Seymour Butts.
Maybe it was just because it was one of the first times I heard a name joke, but when I was a kid, I found this hilarious. However, that doesn't explain why I still get a giggle out of the gag today. I'm going to go ahead and attribute it to Weiss' natural delivery and Stiller's intense reaction leading to poor Josh's fade to white and removal from camp. Heavyweights is certainly a kids comedy, but it's moments like this that make Tony Perkis a truly frightening villain. Your heart goes out to the campers, but it's Stiller's performance that makes Heavyweights unforgettable.
I couldn't track down the clip itself, but did come across this 10-minute stretch of the film, the very beginning of which is this scene. It cuts in a little late, just missing Tony's dramatic bed slashing, but does show the rest of the candy raid sequence. Enjoy!
Fun Fact: Aaron Schwartz is all grown up and you might have seen him recently on Gossip Girl as Dorota's new husband, Vanya.