Sleepaway Camp (1983)
AKA Nightmare Vacation
(Release Date: November 18, 1983 [New York City])

It sucks, but I love it. Sort of like my ex-girlfriend.It sucks, but I love it. Sort of like my ex-girlfriend.

Bad, but so shocking it endures the rapids!

J.C. MaÁek III... 

Would NOT fuck Felissa Rose!
J.C. MaÁek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

Sleepaway Camp. There's just something about this movie. It's definitively not a "good movie"! The acting is occasionally painful to see and hear, the dialogue is pretty silly, and the entire premise had been done before in Friday the 13th. Well, not the entire premise... but I digress. Essentially the plot is this: a summer camp on a lake is slowly terrorized by an unseen killer whose life's trauma leads them to become the secretive psychopath that we don't see before us today. Just like in Friday the 13th the cameraman runs around killing people while the dense locals scratch their heads and do a whole lot of nothing up until the surprise ending of surprise endings. Yep, it's been done.

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Hey, you fucker, that was MY shoe!

But like I said, there's just something about this film that makes it damned worth watching, especially if you're in the mood for a low-budget slasher film that comes off not as quality cheese, but an oil-based knock off of Kraft Singles. Sleepaway Camp does take a very different turn from the "Jason" movies, however, and manages to survive with or without the similarities. Besides who among us hasn't wanted to see a slasher film at a summer camp that's actually open? Oh, that few of you, huh? Well, there's still something about it! Let me tell you, that surprise ending certainly doesn't hurt. Do yourselves a favor, if you haven't seen it, and want to, don't read about that ending on the internet. This is some kind of disturbing, no ifs ands or buts. Well... butts!

After an opening sequence that should have the words "These people can't act!" flashing across the bottom of the screen, we meet cousins Angela and Ricky Baker (Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten). Ricky's eccentric (and thoroughly "Mrs. Bates"-creepy) mother (Desiree Gould) sends both the kids off to Camp Arawak with the promise that Ricky will look after Angela.

Angela is a cute, but troubled teenager, completely silent and picked on by her friends. Naturally it doesn't help that the staff of the camp is packed with sleazy and lecherous old men, pedophiles and bitches who pick on the kids as much as their peers do. Naturally it really doesn't help when the film turns quickly into Meatballs meets the Manson Family. And yes, once again, everyone is a suspect.

From that point the cameraman goes on that killing spree and we've seen it all as many times as we've seen the middle finger on the freeway. Person after person is killed in new and original ways. Well, new ways. Well, ways. Well... anyway, the blood and gore effects are pretty good, especially for the time. Unfortunately you also have to sit through the lame "boys at camp" crap, that includes stupid lines, anything-but-creative profane taunts and the kind of acting we used to see on "USA Up all Night!"

Two Stars out of Five for Sleepaway Camp! Essentially this is just another '80's Slasher Flick, but this one is so weird it's surprising and worth at least a passing glance, especially during that ending where all the pieces fall into place, man! It just shows that Writer/ Director Robert Hiltzik had quite a structured idea on his hands there, but maybe not quite the budget to pull it off. Felissa Rose is definitely the one to watch in this one and she pulls off a decent acting job in spite of everything. However, at a camp full of young hotties, it's worth noting that there is no nudity in this one. Not a bit of nudity, damn it... except for... oh, BLAUGH! Nevermind!

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Sleepaway Camp reviewed by J.C. MaÁek III who is only partially responsible for the fact that he wasted most of his time at Boy Scout Camp drinking stolen beers and smoking something that we named "Prairie Leaves"!
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