Directed By: Robert Hiltzik
Starring: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
Tag line: "A nice place for summer vacation - a perfect place to die!"
Trivia: Director Robert Hiltzik dedicated the movie to his mother
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed Sleepaway Camp. Going in, my expectations were admittedly low; I was anticipating a cheap knock-off of the Friday the 13th series, and hoped for nothing more than the occasional diversion of a kill scene or two. Instead, Sleepaway Camp grabbed me by the throat from the very first scene, and didn't loosen its grip until the end credits finally rolled.
Following a tragic boating accident in which her father (Dan Tursi) is killed, Angela (Felissa Rose) moves in with her eccentric Aunt Martha (Desiree Gould) and cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten). One summer, Aunt Martha packs Angela and Ricky off to summer camp, where the shy Angela has a hard time fitting in. Despite Ricky's protection, many of the other kids pick on her, and she finds herself the victim of some cruel practical jokes. But in this camp, playing a joke on Angela will get you more than a stern lecture from the counselors; simply put, it'll get you killed.
Even in a genre as vicious as the slasher, Sleepaway Camp distinguish itself with a handful of original kill scenes. One poor camper, while taking care of business in the latrine, gets an entire hornets nest dropped into his lap, and a counselor who's been particularly nasty to young Angela has her back slit open while standing in the shower. On top of the violent kills, Sleepaway Camp also throws some pretty unsavory characters our way. The camp's head cook, Artie (Owen Hughes), is a pedophile who leers at all the young girls. Far from trying to mask his forbidden desires, Artie talks openly about them, even going so far as to brag to his co-workers; when his assistant, Ben (Robert Earl Jones), tells Artie these girls are way too young for him, Artie replies, “There ain't no such thing as too young”. Not to worry, though; Artie doesn't get a chance to act on these urges.
Sleepaway Camp is a balls-out slasher that's a definite must for any fan of the genre; it is a rough, unflinching movie with one of the most shocking endings you'll ever encounter. Trust me when I tell you: Sleepaway Camp is a film you'll be thinking about for days.