Back of Box:
Welcome to Camp Arawak, where teenage boys and girls learn to experience the joys of nature, as well as each other.
But when these happy campers begin to die in a series of horrible 'accidents,' they discover that someone - or something -
has turned their summer of fun into a vacation to dismember. Has a dark secret returned from the camp's past...or will
an unspeakable horror end the season forever?
From its grisly special effects to the truly shocking climax, SLEEPAWAY CAMP
is no ordinary 'body count' movie. See for yourself why this killer thriller spawned two sequels and became one of the
most surprising horror hits of the '80s!
Plot: A great premise evolves
into a very pleasing plot. True the plot sticks to some of the "camp slasher" conventions, but this film dances to its
own dark, little tune. There are enough twists and turns to hold one's attention and the ending isn't forgettable
in any way, shape, or form (Pun intended).
Acting: Cheesy '80s acting
smothers this film, epitomized solely by crazy aunt Martha, played eccentrically by Desiree Gould. There are a few notable
performances among the children; Ricky (Jonathan Tierston), Judy (Karen Fields, probably my favorite bitch in slasher
history), Paul (Christopher Collet), and of course our main protagonist Angela (Felissa Rose). A few other notables
include Mel (Mike Kellin) and Meg (Katherine Kamhi). Other than that the first statement sticks.
Gore: Body Count (12)
I know what you're thinking, "What about gore?" Well, guess what? This film has it. An arrow through
the neck (FAVORITE), death by bees, a well placed drowning, a vicious knife to the back, and of course the infamous
(Off screen) "curling iron" death. Yes, sir, this one packs quite a punch in this department.
Suspense: I was a little
disappointed in this section, at first. I mean, the "curling iron" scene generates a little bit, but that's because
you know where it's going. However, this film reconciles this section totally with the ending. You never
see it coming...and you never forget it.
Directing: Very well handled
camera work with some great shot set-ups. Some nice P.O.V. work, especially during the first murder. I also
like the way he used the after-death imagery. Props to Robert Hiltzik for this one.
Tech: The lighting works
very well, I like the shadow effects used during the night shots. I'd also like to point out my favorite lighting bit
at the beginning of the "curling iron" scene. Kudos. Decent, chaotically creepy score mixed with a little
'80s pop cheese...nice.
Other: Sleepaway Camp RULZ!
Final Word: The statement above says it all.
I know some people don't go for this film because it, "rips off Friday the 13th." I'm not going to
lie and say it doesn't a little, but, being completely honest, this movie has enough going for it to set it apart. It's
my favorite "camp slasher" to come out after the aforementioned and the precursor to my second favorite slasher series of
all time. Plus, how can you argue with an ending like that?