I’m a huge fan of watching terrible films. So I’ve decided to keep a log of the ones I watch each week.
This week I watched Sleepaway Camp for the first time:
I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this one before or even really heard of it.
It was released in 1983 and written and directed by Robert Hiltzik. It did surprisingly well at the box office too going head to head with Amityville 3D and beating it significantly. On a budget of $350,000 it brought in $11,000,000.
It’s your standard slasher film with a bunch of murders taking place at a summer camp, so all very Friday the 13th. But what sets it apart is just how utterly crazy it is. One big difference between this and other films of this genre is the teenage cast are all significantly younger than what you’d normally get and on top of that the chef at the camp is an open peadophile who boasts in front of other staff members about how he wants to have sex with the kids.
The movie opens with a gruesome accident at Camp Arawak involving a motor boat colliding with a father and his two children in the lake. The film then cuts to 8 years later and only 1 of the children, Angela, survived the accident and is now living with her aunt and cousin. The aunt is completely nuts, you need to watch the following clip to appreciate how amazing the performance is:
The two kids are sent off to camp. It’s Angela’s first time at camp and she’s a very disturbed kid who never speaks. She quickly draws the fury of camp bully Judy who has developed breasts since being at camp last year.
Judy “She’s a real carpenter’s dream: flat as a board and needs a screw!”
( Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock and Ally McBeal fame was originally going to play this part but dropped out before shooting as she wasn’t comfortable with the gruesome manner in which the character is killed)
As the film unfolds a number of horrible murders start to happen, all the victims seem to be people who have wronged Angela in some way though. Is Angela the murderer? Is it her over-protective cousin, Ricky? What about Paul, Ricky’s best friend who has a romantic interest in Angela? Or is it just a series of unfortunate accidents as the camp owner, Mel, wants people to believe? You really need to watch the film for yourself to find out as you need to enjoy the shocking twists first hand.
If you love bad movies then Sleepaway Camp is an absolute must see, it’s just constantly entertaining. And you can find the entire movie on YouTube as well, so no excuses.
The are 2 sequels made in the 80s by a different director and starring Pamela (sister of Bruce) Spingsteen as Angela. There is also a more recent sequel by the original director which ignores the other sequels and picks up where the original left off. I plan to make it a priority to see all of these sequels!