Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008) [REVIEW]

 

This movie is technically the fifth in the Sleepaway Camp series, if you include the partially filmed fourth movie that was released in the Sleepaway Camp DVD box set. However, this installment was written and directed by the original writer/director, Robert Hiltzik, so in a way it is a direct sequel. That doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t suck, because it does. The movie opens with a bunch of campers sitting around lighting their farts on fire, so that was awesome, but it was all downhill from there. It follows a similar structure to the original Sleepaway Camp, where there is a camper who is “misunderstood” and is harassed by all the other campers. Rather than like the original, where it is just a quiet cute girl (yes, I can say cute girl because even if she has a penis at the end, she was still a female actress), this film features Alan, an overweight wiener looking kid who smells and doesn’t shower. Obviously, he is bringing this whole mess on himself. His brother is at the camp also partakes in the mockery, which is different from the original, whose main character had someone sticking up for them. Over the course of the film, people are murdered one by one, while both Alan and his brother are getting the blame, then by the end there is a reveal that the killer is neither one, blah blah blah.

 

Let’s see Navy SEALS do handstand push-up’s over boiling oil!

Despite the films overall suckitude, I do have to say some of the murder scenes were nice homages to the original, as well as bringing in some new ideas. To save you your time from watching this movie to figure them out, I will just tell you all of the cool deaths. The first one actually involves Alan wanting to have something different for dinner, and goes into the kitchen where Isaac Hayes (wtf?) tells another one of the cooks to help out Alan, and just like in the original, the cook does not oblige! Therefore, someone sneaks up on him and throws him in a vat of boiling oil. Don’t be fooled, just because this was similar to the original Sleepaway Camp doesn’t mean there is any reason to have hope. Another similar death to that of the original Sleepaway Camp was a character had a birdcage placed over his head, then a bag of rats was smacked around, only to have those rats put into the cage to eat the guys eyeballs and burrow down to his stomach. Somewhat similar to the beehive scene in the original, but maybe it’s just coincidence. One “death” involved a guy getting tied to a tree and having wire tied to one end of his male apparatus, with the other end tied to a jeep…surprise surprise, his pecker got ripped off. Another highlight was a sharpened broom handle getting shoved into an eyeball, then the character proceeds to fall onto the broomstick, very similarly to Paris Hilton in House of Wax. My favorite, out of absurdness, would definitely be when a character returns to her bunk and gets on the bottom bunk. When she looks up, she sees a huge piece of wood with multiple nails driven through it. Before she has time to figure out what’s going on, the villain performs an epic stagedive on to the top bunk, thus driving the nail-laden board through her.

 

Ronnie and Ricky, together again…looking to their left.

As you can see, there is very little to redeem this movie, but there are three reasons this movie isn’t getting the worst rating possible. Those reasons are Paul DeAngelo, Jonathan Tiersten, and the lovely Felissa Rose. Have no idea who I am talking about? They played the original Ronnie, Ricky, and of course, Angela. I would say DeAngelo was the only actor who actually seemed to have any idea a movie was being filmed, and someone probably tried to get him involved early on, since he has multiple lines. He even still has his short shorts and muscles, so it was a pleasure to see that image again. Ms. Rose has very little screen time where she wasn’t in makeup, so I am sure the role would have been written as is, and if she wasn’t interested, would have just gone ahead and had someone else play her. Since she seems pretty cool from all the interviews I have seen with her, she probably just had nothing better to do that weekend and was kind of stoked on being apart of a movie that gave her cult status. She even had a prolonged shot of her with mouth agape, as a nod to the original. Tiersten, on the other hand, probably had no idea a movie was being filmed. His lines are rarely longer than five words, which he stumbles through. Did I mention he bleached his hair? It looks like shit. Well, by “it”, I should have said HE looks like shit. One scene he is arbitrarily smoking a cigarette, then in the next shot, he is clearly not. Most likely they realized the best acting he could do would be when he had no idea he was being filmed. That, or he was having a nicotine fit and tried to justify it to the director. More power to him though, because I am sure the director approached him saying “Listen, I don’t want you here, you don’t want to be here, but a bunch of nerds are going to pop little nerd boners if they see you in this movie…plus here’s a bag of money”. Hopefully there was then an exchange where Ricky incorporated the phrase “Eat shit and live”, they had a good chuckle, and everything ended happily on a freeze frame.

 

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