Sleepaway Camp (1983) [REVIEW]

 

I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ENDING OF THIS MOVIE IN MY REVIEW. If you’ve seen it, great. If you haven’t seen it, then stop whatever you’re doing, even if it means getting off the internet, and go see it. I suppose all you would have to do is not read this review and you can get back to what you’re doing, but I know that none of you want to miss out on this review. It’s not that the ONLY good thing about this movie is the ending, it’s just that the ending is what really sets this film apart from your typical summer camp slasher. Do yourself a favor and watch it and then come back to the review so you don’t have anything spoiled for you. That being said, I’m going to assume you’ve seen the movie so I don’t have to worry too much about spoiling anything, or maybe you just don’t give a shit about EVER seeing this movie and have no problem having things ruined.

 

The effects were pretty decent, with the highlight being the bubbling skin, made all the more uncomfortable by this guy screaming for about 20 minutes.

At some sort of lake or something, we see a little boy and little girl playing with their father in the water, when a freak accident involving a water skier occurs, and the father and one of the children dies. Years later, we see the surviving child, Angela, played by Felissa Rose, getting ready to go to summer camp with her cousin Ricky, played by Jonathan Tiersten. We are to assume Angela lives with Ricky, having a dead father and all, and her aunt/guardian is just kind of a weirdo freak. Angela and Ricky make their way to camp, and after feeling homesick and not wanting to eat, a counselor takes Angela into the kitchen. While there, one of the cooks tries to rape her or something, but is interrupted by Ricky. Later, this cook has the largest fucking pot of boiling water ever dumped on him by some unknown assailant, and he yells a lot. Most of the male and female campers harass Angela for not talking, including the interrogation of “Hey Angela, why are you so fucked up?”, in a very matter-of-fact tone. What happens to him? He gets drowned in a lake and a snake slithers out of his nose. Angela starts finding comfort in one of Ricky’s friends, however, she remains resistant to any sort of sexual advances. When he attempts to kiss her and take her shirt off, she has flashbacks to being a child and watching her father in bed with another man, as well as taking part in naked kid games with her brother. Awkward!

 

Hey Angela, how do you think you will score any dudes when you have to compete with a body like Judy’s? Oh man, and don’t forget to check out the horse-hair on Judy…..DAMN.

As far as the rest of the film goes, it gets pretty formulaic as far as who gets killed and why. Every character who is killed is directly related to insults or harassment towards either Ricky or Angela. We get it, it’s one of them, but which one is it? One death involves someone getting locked in a bathroom stall and gets stung by bees…to death, a woman gets stabbed in the back while in the shower, and I think one lady gets a hot curling iron crammed up her puss, which I guess causes women to die. The owner of the camp is getting more and more angry at all the deaths, and assumes it’s Ricky, so he attacks him, rendering him unconscious. Angela seems to become a lot more open about her sexuality and disrobes by the lake with the boy she’s been having relations with. When counselors find her, we see a flashback of when Angela was first brought home from the boat injury. While the child interacts with her crazy new aunt/guardian, we realize that, wait for it…THE LITTLE BOY SURVIVED THE BOAT ATTACK AND IS FORCED TO LIVE HIS LIFE AS A GIRL NAMED ANGELA. That’s why sex stuff was always so awkward, or at least, more awkward than it is with most people. Angela then stands up, holding the boy’s severed head, and we see her naked body, swinging dick and all. Well, it’s not really swinging, but you get the point. Angela stands there naked, making weird vampire sounds, the frame freezes, and the credits roll. As if you couldn’t have predicted that ending from the beginning!

 

Swap out the weird USC shirt for something like Asia, Blue Öyster Cult, or just a goddamned half of a shirt, and that’s most of the characters wardrobe.

I never quite made the connection, but while watching this with JD, he mentioned that this was just another installment in a slew of movies that followed the footsteps of Friday the 13th. It takes place at a summer camp, there are deaths related to things that happen at summer camp, and there is a big twist ending. Despite seeing this movie after seeing Friday the 13th, I never made that connection and always thought this movie stood on its own. And ya know what? I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that this is better than Friday the 13th. The gore of this movie and the death scenes aren’t necessarily all that impressive, I just felt that the creativity and twists and turns were a lot more creative than Friday the 13th. After knowing the ending, you can watch the film again and see subtle cues that hint at what the ending is, and it seems almost silly to think that you could have watched this and not realize that Angela was a boy. Without trying to make it sound like this movie was trying to break barriers, but the way it dealt with homosexuality was interesting for a movie made so long ago. When you first watch it, it seems arbitrary and strange to have Angela flashback to watching her father in his homosexual shenanigans, and it might be implied that witnessing these things “messed with” her head or something. However, in retrospect, she was having flashbacks because when she was kissing a boy, Angela was technically engaging in homosexual shenanigans. If anyone is willing to argue if or why Friday the 13th is better, feel free to leave some comments about it, as long as you know that if you do, you are bashing homosexuals. Sorry!

 

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5 responses to “Sleepaway Camp (1983) [REVIEW]

  1. Kevin Bacon? Nah. Not enough to put it above this one. I’d say I liked it AS MUCH as F13. ( yes, that’s what the cool kids call it.) after thinking about it, it seems like the non set pieces parts of the movie were a bit thin. They pretty much just set up the next murder, or were expository. But I really liked the makeup effects! They were better than F13 for sure. Remember how fake Bacon’s neck looked in his death scene? Really fucking fake.

    • I tihnk the fact that the scenes merely set up the next murder was a good because it was a lot more concise. You were either laughing at the ridiculousness of the effects or of the dialogue, but I’ve never been bored watching it. Remember when that guy does a sit-up into another guy’s butt!? CLASSIC.

  2. The water balloon fight on the cabin roof was my fav. It reminded me of the opening monologue in Rubber.

  3. Pingback: House at the End of the Street (2012) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

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