Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The 1980's were a special time for horror.  Halloween had set the tone in the 70's and a little publicized low budgeter you may have heard of called Friday the 13th came on the scene and the 80's slasher was born.  After the success of F13 a number of copycat summer camp slashers were pumped out by studios looking to cash in on the craze.  One of those films was a little different than the rest and caused quite a stir among horror fans due to its campy style and bizarre subject matter.  That film was called Sleepaway Camp.  The film spawned a number of sequels (a few of which I will not mention in this blog due to the fact they have nothing to do with the original trilogy.)  So.....let's get started!

I saw the the original trilogy when I was in high school in the 90's.  During one of my many local Blockbuster raids I noticed the above posted cover art.  Next to it were two sequels....so I thought "What the hell!" and got all 3.  Little did I know I would spend the next few hours in true horror camp heaven and would never be the same.  I started with the original.

The movie opens with a father on a trip with his young son and daughter.  They are at a lake boating when an accident kills the son (Peter) and the father.  The terribly introverted and obviously traumatized daughter (Angela) is left orphaned and sent to live with her eccentric Aunt Martha.  Aunt Martha has a son named Ricky who is roughly Angela's age.  Ricky is fiercely protective of his cousin Angela and they become very close.

Aunt Martha sends Angela and Ricky to Camp Arawack where Angela is terribly bullied and Ricky is constantly saving her, often getting himself into trouble with the camp counselors for his wicked, raging anger.  Calm the hell down bro.  Yes, I said "bro"....eat it.  ANYWAYS, Angela is tormented so terribly by the other campers that she rarely even speaks.  The only kid to earn her trust is Paul....a charming, handsome blonde boy who I am sure grew up to be a killer bottom in gay porn.

SUDDENLY, kids begin to die.  The killer is never revealed but the killings are done in a routine, by the numbers fashion.  One by one the evil tormenters are killed leaving the viewer to assume it is either Angela or Ricky behind the killings.  Toward the end of the film Angela invites her beau Paul for a swim and they head to the lake at night.  As the camp counselors find more and more bodies they frantically arrive at the beach where Angela is found humming and holding Paul (who is apparently sleeping) in her lap.  FLASHBACK TO AUNT MARTHA......it is revealed at the end that Aunt Martha brought Angela in and is very excited to have "the girl I have always wanted."  Trouble is....Angela isn't Angela.....but PETER....yes folks, PETER LIVED and the original Angela was killed.  Aunt Martha raised our poor young Peter as a girl.  FLASH FORWARD.....Angela on the beach turns around and jumps up revealing she has 3 things....Paul's head, a knife.....and a dick.  THE END.

I love this movie because it sticks to the normal 80's whodunit formula but takes this CRAZY left turn at the end.  It is truly the definition of a camp classic.  Terrible acting, decent effects, and a crazy plot twist.  Check it out for sure.

Onto part 2

This film opens with a group of kids around a campfire listening to camper Phoebe tell the story of the now legendary Camp Arawack killings.  When the story is finished Phoebe, who has snuck away from her own camp to hang out with the boys is found out by a female counselor.  The counselor orders Phoebe back to camp and off they go into the woods.  After Phoebe becomes a little mouthy in the secluded woods she is hit over the head with a piece of wood and her tongue is cut out.  YEP, our pissed off camp counselor is none other than Angela from the previous film.  This time around Angela (played by Pamela ImBruce'sSister Springsteen) is on a mission.....a mission to commit a genocide of assholes.  She quietly and hilariously wipes out the ENTIRE CAMP including her coworkers throughout the course of the film.

The selling point of this sequel is its ability to have a sense of humor.  Not only does Angela spew out wity one liners upon each murder but she does so in a fun and unique fashion.  Here we get a beheading, 2 slutty sisters who are torched, a girl drilled in the face, a stabbing, a guitar string strangling, a chainsaw death, a slit throat, and my personal favorite...death by leeches in the outhouse.  Yes, this movie goes there and does so brilliantly.  Whereas the original film aimed to scare you, this one aims to make you pee your pants and I almost did a number of times.  THIS is my favorite in the series.

PS: a fun piece of trivia: All the campers and counselors are named after Brat Packers....including the head of the camp "Uncle John" after John Hughes.  TOO MUCH FUN.

                               MISS ANGELA AIN'T KIDDIN' AROUND......

Now onto PART 3

This movie was made directly after the sequel was made and finds our lovely Angela as a disguised camper at a retreat type camp for troubled kids.  This camp is designed to intermingle street kids with rich kids and is run by two old coots who have way too much fun in this movie.  Angela murders a girl at the beginning of the film, puts her in a trash compactor, assumes her identity, and is carted off to Camp New Horizons to begin another bloodbath.  At this point we think we have seen it all from Angela....but this is not so.  Here we have a firecracker in someone's nose, a beheading with an axe, a lawnmower ran over someone's head who is buried in the dirt, a girl tied to a flagpole and dropped, among other fun deaths.  This film also has a quite comedic tone as it was directed and produced by the same man who did the sequel.  I find this one a little less entertaining simply because it becomes a little redundant after a while.

Ps: More Trivia: In this flick the rich kids are named after the Brady Bunch and the poor kids are named after characters from West Side Story.  The owners of the camp are Herman and Lily.....haha. HILARIOUS and subtle.

*Note* There is an unfinished and unrelated sequel that can be found in the Sleepaway Camp Survivor Kit Box Set and also a sequel made in the 2000's that was so bad I can't even go there.


DEFINITELY pick a night, order some pizzas and get a group of friends together because THESE FILMS ARE FUN and are meant to be viewed by a group of drunks.  You will laugh....you will cringe....and you will enjoy yourselves.

Until Next Time!  Keep on choppin!


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