Sleepaway Camp

On the first day of Slashermas my true love gave to me Dark Night of the Scarecrow, on the second day of Slashermas my true love gave to me the shitty Nightmare on Elm Street remake, on the third day of Slashermas my true love gave to me 1983′s Sleepaway Camp.
This movie is WEIRD. And I can see why it’s such a cult classic.
The movie starts with a boating accident. A father and son are killed by a runaway motorboat. Eight years later, Angela (Felissa Rose) and her cousin, Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) are going to Camp Arawak.
angelaricky
Ever since her father died, Angela has lived with Ricky and her crazy Aunt Martha (Desiree Gould.) She looks like a lady Pee Wee Herman impersonator.
auntweirdo
The kids go to camp and the title of the movie should be changed to “Upsettingly Short Men’s Shorts of the ’80s.”
shortshorts
Angela is mostly mute at camp and doesn’t participate in activities. This earns the ire of camp counselor Meg (Katherine Kamhi) and Judy (Karen Fields), her fellow camper.
judy
Most people make fun of Angela but she becomes friends with Paul (Christopher Collet.) Him and Ricky try to defend Angela from her bullies, including Artie (Owen Hughes), the pervy camp chef. Slowly, Angela’s tormentors start being attacked and killed.
Artie is burned with boiling corn-water.
boiledpervert
Another guy, Kenny (John E. Dunn) tips over his canoe and then someone holds him underwater.
kenny
Who’s killing the campers and the counselors?
I can’t tell because there’s a big twist ending that I don’t want to give away. It’s a doozy and it took me by surprise, even though I’ve probably read about it.
This movie is so weird. It’s completely and hilariously overacted, so it ends up feeling like a menacing episode of Salute Your Shorts. Still, I ended up loving it. The kills are memorable and I ended up liking the characters, even the psycho jerks. Take a note, Nightmare on Elm Street remake, this is how you make a memorable slasher.

About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
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16 Responses to Sleepaway Camp

  1. backlashcomix says:

    This is one of those silent classics that I watched where I didn’t know anything about it before I put it on. The ending was great and the killings were done really well I thought. There was also a kind of unease created by the young age of some of the cast I found, because most slashers go straight for the 25-year-olds pretending to be 15. Although they lost the edge and individuality, I still enjoyed the sequels in a b-movie boobs and blood way though. Looking at this review it reminds me that I need to pick myself up a pair of those shorts, they look so manly.

    • scarina says:

      I really liked that a lot of the cast looked like young preteens. It never made sense to me why such old people were at camp, unless they were counselors. I think it adds to the sense of unease and makes it extra creepy when Mel agrees to go on a date with Meg. It’s like watching Don Knotts go on a date with Abigail Breslin.
      All men need those shorts. I hope Santa Claws brings you some.

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  4. Crypticpsych says:

    JUST Upsettingly short shorts, huh? Not including the Unsettlingly tight t-shirts of the 1980s?

    I love this movie. It’s awesome in many ways and hilariously bad in so many others (like the dialogue of the campers…particularly Ricky. Holy crap). I can’t wait for Scream Factory’s announced but undated release of this…I want some amazing special features for this especially since I met most of the main cast at a convention a few years ago and they’re all the nicest people on the planet to the point the director and actors pretty much refused to accept payment to autograph people’s stuff.

    And I’ll always think that after Angela, my favorite character is Judy since I don’t think the horror genre has ever seen a female bully be written quite so psychopathically. Chris Hargensen may do more damage but the way Karen Fields delivers her lines, it’s almost like there’s a palpable seething hatred.

    Incidentally, my real hope is that when the Scream Factory blu comes out, they do the uncut version. It’s available on a very specific DVD and basically just adds a few seconds of blood and guts to all the kills (which I also love because they’re complex yet easy to pull off, driving home how “non-supernatural” the killer is).

    • scarina says:

      Not only are the shorts very short, the waists are so high. All the men look like they’re wearing 1950s pin-up lady bathing suits.
      I can’t wait to own this unappreciated beauty. It’ll go well next to my copy of Slumber-Party Massacre.
      Judy’s character is so over-the-top but the funny part is that she reminds me of girl bullies I knew through the years. What i really like about Judy’s dynamic with Angela is that the counselor, Meg, is really on Judy’s side. I’ve definitely seen authority figures siding with bullies and I kind of love when that happens in movies.
      I can’t wait for the Scream Factory release.

  5. How dare you call me nice?

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