Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Creepiness 4/5
Entertainment 5/5

It would be a lie to say that Sleepaway Camp is the worst movie ever made. There are far worse out there. But I feel safe and secure stating that it may be one of the worst MADE films around. This is one cheap-ass movie, even by 80's Slasher B movie standards.

Sleepaway Camp was churned out in the early 80's when the Halloween and Friday th 13th franchises were at their peak. It would have been pretty easy to crank this puppy out with the standard slasher-hacking-up-teenagers ala, say, The Burning. It probably would have made it's money back as well, but alas, the producers were aiming for originality here and, man, did they succeed.

Story sans spice: Kids and teens head off to summer camp where they frolic around in teeny tiny shorts, wear the ugliest clothes ever made and cuss like world champions. The story focuses on two kids in particular, cool and popular Ricky and his weird and silent cousin Angela. While Ricky is good at sports, draws the attention of teenage girls who appear to be 30 and has a filthy mouth (it's seriously awesome), Angela is taunted and teased, pushed around and made fun of. Soon someone starts going around and killing campers one by one - a stabbing in the shower, a grody drowned body found on shore, a pile of torn up children in the woods. Who's killing everyone off? Standard slasher fare right? Think again chums & buddies!

Now the spice: Angela has this weird thing with sex. Seems her father was gay and she and her (dead) brother caught them in the act of, as the Good Book says, "Knowing Each Other". It's also alluded to that she may have "known" her brother as well. It's all very strange and handled so awkwardly that it's much more creepy than it was intended to be. And the abundance of dicks and man-ass is a little out of the ordinary as well (allowing me to use the much coveted "D&A" label below!).

And while I won't ruin the end for you, let's just say this movie has one of the goofiest, and yet, fucked up endings ever. It's hard to describe just how bizarre it really is. Not fucked up like you'll have nightmares or need to take a shower. Fucked up like you'll look at the other people in the room and go "what the fuck"?

Filled with horrendous acting by a cast straight from the worst parts of New Jersey, dialogue that sounds as though it were penned by a mentally challenged child, special effects that are cheap and hokey and some of the ugliest human beings ever, Sleepaway Camp has earned, through sheer entertainment value alone, a place in my hallowed halls of excellent movies.

Followed by a bazillion sequels.

- Complaint Department

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