Plot: As a child, she lost her father and brother in a boating accident that nearly claimed her life as well. Now a teen, Angela (Felissa Rose) lives her aunt and cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) and she is about to head off to summer camp. This is a great social opportunity for Angela, as she rarely speaks and doesn’t easily make friends. Ricky quickly becomes popular, but he continues to look out for his shy cousin. As time passes, the camp begins to experience some unusual and tragic events. A cook is severely burned over his entire body, a camper drowns, and the summer seems cursed. Meanwhile despite these events, the camp manager refuses to close down and even tries to keep word of the incidents quiet. Angela manages to find a boyfriend of sorts in the midst of all this, but faces bullying from most of the other campers. As more dark events unfold at the camp, will the truth about who is behind them ever be uncovered?
Entertainment Value: This is easily one of my favorite 80s horror movies, as it has a fun 80s feel, off the rails moments, some cool kills & effects, and a wild end sequence. The movie might seem like a by the number slasher, but Sleepaway Camp has enough strange elements to make it not so run of the mill. The bizarre behavior of the aunt is a personal favorite of mine, with her fantastic performance that simply boggles the mind. There is a just a mean spirited tone to Sleepaway Camp that adds so much, like sharp, cruel dialogue and the bitchy performances of some of the girls. The movie also has some typical teens at camp cliches, which make the horror segments more immersive. Felissa Rose’s mostly mute performance is eerie, especially with her massive eyes burning a hole right through your soul. I know Sleepaway Camp is often referenced only for the twist at the close, but this is a very fun, well made horror movie overall. Anyone with even a slight interest in horror or 80s cinema should give it a look.
A herd of naked male ass in one scene and some, uh surprise full frontal in the film’s most memorable scene. Otherwise, just short shorts to show off bulges and camel toes in this one. The blood though, it flows like wine. A number of creative, well executed deaths to soak in here. The burn victim looks awesome, with pulsing blisters, a snake crawls out of a bloated corpse’s mouth, and bees…those damn bees. Plus an arrow to the throat, a stab in the back, and more. Sadly, a scene where a girl is molested by a curling iron happens off screen, but still. Very cool visual effects and a good amount of bloodshed, fun stuff all around. A lot of great, mean barbs dished out, usually toward Angela. One bitch rants about how Angela is a carpenter’s dream, flat as a board and needs a screw. But that’s just one of numerous lines that stand out, tons of memorable dialogue in Sleepaway Camp. A certain level of craziness is due for the kill sequences and the infamous ending, but the tone is so cruel and some just bizarre moments unfold. So Sleepaway Camp winds up being much nuttier than the typical slasher fare.
Overall Insanity: 7/10