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Sleepaway Camp

USA 1983
produced by
Jerry Silva, Michele Tatosian, Robert Hiltzik (executive) for American Eagle
directed by Robert Hiltzik
starring Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields, Christopher Collet, Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Paul DeAngelo, Tom Van Dell, Loris Sallahian, John E.Dunn, Willy Kuskin, Desiree Gould, Owen Hughes, Robert Earl Jones, Susan Glaze, Frank Trent Saladino, Rick Edrich, Fred Greene, Allen Breton, Michael C. Mahon, John Churchill, Dan Tursi, James Paradise, Paul Poland, Alyson Mord, Carol Robinson, Bram Hand, Brad Frankel, Dee dee Friedman, Julie Delisio, Michael Lerman, Lisa Buckler, Colette Lee Corcoran, Frank Sorrentino
written by Robert Hiltzik, music by Edward Bilous, theme music by Frankie Vinci

Sleepaway Camp

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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8 years ago, Angela (Felissa Rose) has lost her family in a boating accident. She has since been brought up by her eccentric aunt (Desiree Gould), but her state of mind is best described as catatonic. This year, auntie sends Angela to a summercamp along with her own son Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten), and against all odds, Angela warms up to Ricky's best friend Paul (Christopher Collet), who not only manages to get more response out of her than the rest of the world combined, he also falls in love with her. However, the rest of the camp regards her as a weirdo, and the girl get really bitchy in a mean sort of way when it comes to her, especially camp slut Judy (Karen Fields), who fails to understand why Paul is interested in Angela and not in her.

However, people who are mean to Angela have the tendency to end up dead, murdered, something that is lost on everybody because camp owner Mel (Mike Kellin) makes such an excellent job of covering everything up. Eventually, Mel figures the killer must be Ricky, and he beats the boy almost to death before his life is ended by an arrow at the archery lane.

Judy's hatred towards Angela has meanwhile gone so far that she seduces Paul, in a way that Angela is bound to catch them ... and she does. Judy soon ends up dead, but Paul persuades Angela to give him a second chance, and they meat at the lakeside for a swim ... though so far Angela has always shown some kind of panic reaction when it came to the lake, triggered no doubt by the accident she has lost her family in ...

Finally, the police has arrived to investigate the murder series, and eventually, Angela is found at the lakeside, anked and with Paul's severed head - and when she turns to the cop it turns out she has a penis, and was only forced to be a boy by her eccentric aunt ...

 

If there are two genres that are way too formulaic for their own good, it's the slasher and the summer camp movie, and thus when you merge them, you get a by-the-numbers-film - which Sleepaway Camp is for the most part: No summer camp clichée is left out, often painstakingly so, and the victims die exactly in the sequence you expect them to. And while at least some of the murder scenes are slightly original, their modi operandi usually announce themselves way too soon. Also, the killer is easily picked early on, mainly because there is no other suspect nowhere to be found.

The saving graces of the film are Felissa Rose's convincingly catatonic performance, and the gender-bending ending that manages to at the same time explain absolutely nothing and leave a lasting impression.

What I want to say with all of that: Sleepaway Camp is absolutely nothing to get crazy about, but there are way worse slashers out there ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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