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
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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 ...
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
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.
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 ...