Sunday, February 6, 2011

#184. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

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 hoping 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 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. Though Ricky tries his best to protect her, many of the other kids pick on Angela, 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. It might get you killed. 

Even in a genre as gore-infused 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 tosses a few 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 about his "preferences" 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 won't get a chance to act on these urges! 

Sleepaway Camp is a balls-out slasher that's a definite must for any genre fan. It is a rough, unflinching movie that also features 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!


Anonymous said...

CLASSIC cheezie slasher here; my friends and I use to love this movie when we were teens, maybe you can visit this on planet macabre and refresh our memories with the gritty details.


DVD Infatuation said...

@Clark: Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment.

Yeah, I enjoyed this one a lot...a good old 80's slasher film! I'm sure it'll come up at some point on Planet Macabre!

Thanks again for visiting, and for listening to Planet Macabre.