Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sleepaway Camp 3

Sleepaway Camp 3 :Teenage Wasteland (1989)

Dir:Michael A.Simpson

IMDB Rating: 4.8 out of 10

 Ah yes, It's a year later and since the video cover for part 2 garnered much attention among video rental store rack it is obviously time to return to camp, But how will Angela manage to make her way to camp this time? Well you shoehorn her in that's how. As all horror fans know usually around part 3 a series begins to falter and loose it's fan base. So does Sleepaway Camp stray from the pack or does it fall victim to the same ol' same ol'? Well let's check it out and make our conclusions.

           One year has passed since the murders at Camp Rolling Hills and the property has been re-branded as a social experiment camp and given a new name of Camp New horizons.Where now we can fit every type of stereotype into one film as opposed to just the suburban brand and rich kids. The film opens with a trashy looking young woman named Mary as she is preparing for her summer camp experience, Sadly for her Angela has other plans and wishes to revisit her old stomping grounds, So Angela throws her in a dumpster and with a wig magically becomes Mary....As Angela arrives at the camp she quickly gets to work as a snotty reporter is presenting a story for the news about the camp's unique new experiment as kids from all walks of life are brought to the place to learn about their differences and become more accepting of one another. After the news anchor reports she is looking to score some coke , which Angela is more than happy to provide. However the Coke is bunk and she dies of course. Then we meet the group of kids, which as I said are running the gambit of horror film stereotypes as we of course The traditional jock,Nerd,Slut,Snob and now we get the latin heart throb thug, The Asian rebel girl and The black kid equipt with boombox and that damned rap music.....

Things pick up quick as the teens are split up into groups of 3 with separate counselors to partake in some trust exercises.Angela of course makes short work of her group after catching the slutty girl of the group having sex with the old man counselor. After taking out the few kids in her group , she heads to another and gets stuck doing a trust exercise with the snobby girl who is also a horrible racist. While walking with blindfolds she ties Cindy (Snob) to a flag pole and crushes her skull in a relatively unique kill. Upon returning to camp, Angela is tied to Bobby ,who is a pervert and wanna be politician. After collecting fish for dinner Angela leads her counselor to a shed where she buries the woman to er head in garbage before mowing her down.Meanwhile at the third group we see that the "Good Girl"Marsha is beginning to take a liking to the dangerous Latin thug Tony. We also get some quick insight to the fact that the third counselor Barney is the father of one of Angela's victims from the previous film.Angela continues to take out her fellow campers much less discreetly than usual as if she wants to get caught. I have to say though during her slaughter of the second group , there is a scene I love, Where she hands the "Hip Hop Roughian" a cassette which she is rapping on before she nails him to death with tent spikes. After Angela meets up with the pervy Bobby and rips his arms off in a twist on BDSM , she heads to the third group the following morning.

Angela completely gives up her cover when she shows Marsha the body of one of the fallen counselors. At this point the Father of one of Angela's victims from last year faces off with the psycho camper. Strangely this meeting is cut short when Angela simply shoots him dead.After a short chase Angela manages to capture the three remaining campers and presents them with yet another trust game but this one is deadly. The group is lead to Angela's cabin where she is storing her victims and they must find Marsha who is being held captive. Tony manages to find her but the other remaining campers are killed in the process. Angela feels giving and leaves Tony and Marsha to live but they want revenge. This leads us into the final fight where Marsha puts the knife to Angela appearing to have killed her. Marsha reveals she is not the nice girl she appears as she tells Tony she has a boyfriend and was just looking for a fling, which is a interesting take on the survivor girl. All appears well as Angela is carted off in an ambulance where her vital signs show her still alive and the cop and paramedic decide to kill her, Angela however is awake and kills the two as the ambulance rides off with her alive in the back , leaving room for yet another sequel....One that did not come til' over ten years or more later and really killed the series for good with it's sheer awfulness.

It took me awhile to get to this review because quite honestly , I just didn't feel like writing it. I love this series but the third installment is just kinda blah....It really adds nothing to the series , it lacks the gore and the charm of the first sequel and with the exception of a few pretty cool and fun scenes , this one is just forgettable. The Flag Pole, The Lawn mower and of course the Rap scenes are really the films only highlights and only one of those scenes sets Angela apart from all the other slashers out there. Sadly this film is where the series began to take it's turn for the worse.There was a planned part 4 entitled The Survivor and the premise sounded pretty cool as it was a play on the then just blossoming craze of reality T.V. however the film was never finished and we had too wait nearly 20 years for this series to resurface with Return To Sleepaway Camp with Felissa Rose returning as Angela which was cool but the film was epic trash and completely killed the series altogether. Sadly Sleepaway Camp will never get to the cult status of Friday The 13th or any of the other slasher icons due to the laziness of this script and the follow up several years later. This is truly sad being that the first film had such an amazing and disturbing ending and Pamela Springstein brought some real charm to the character in the sequels, However this one just falls flat and I hate to say that honestly.

Fun Factor:5
Overall: 4.5 out of 10

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sleepaway Camp 2:Unhappy Campers

Sleepaway Camp 2 : Unhappy Campers  (1988)

Dir:Michael A. Simpson (Sleepaway Camp 3/Funland)

IMDB Rating: 5.3 out of 10

If you have been reading this little blog for awhile you would know it is no secret that Sleepaway Camp is one of my all time favorite slasher flicks, In no small part due to the completely disturbing ending especially considering I first saw the film when I was rather young and it stuck with me through the years. With the cult following the original had garnered it was no surprise that the film would spark a series of sequels hoping to cash in on the first installments success.Only question is how does one follow such a strange flick? and with the market at the time cluttered with Slasher flicks how does one separate itself from the pack? Well, one way is to make light of the genre and take stabs at the genre staples. That is exactly what the makers of Sleepaway Camp 2 did, Question remains does it live up to it's predecessor.

The film opens several years after the events in the original at Camp Rolling Hills where a group of campers are telling frightening tales by the fire when one of the girls from the camp begins telling the story of Angela as it has become somewhat of urban legend since the happenings.As Phoebe tells the story the new counselor Angela ironically arrives and stops the girl from finishing her tale and scolds the girl for leaving the girls bunk to hang with the boys. As they head back to the campgrounds Angela accuses the young girl of being a slut and words are exchanged until Angela smashes her head with a log.The following morning the girl missing is covered up by Angela stating that she sent the girl home for fornicating with her co-eds. Although the Camp owner Uncle Jon is upset with Angela sending home a girl without alerting him her work else ware is rewarded and she is given the honor of Counselor of the week As Angela is a stickler for the rules and this seems to not sit well with many of the campers but she plays by the rules. During the first day we meet several of the campers and most of them are the standard horror fodder to a tee with a few tweaks made to accentuate the ridiculous of these go to personality traits. This is most apparent with Ally the hyper sexual slutty girl, Molly the virginal good girl , Sean the hunky popular boy and the Schilt sisters as the stoner rebellious  teens.

As the days go by we learn a bit more about the campers , especially the relationship between Sean and his summertime girlfriend the virginal Molly as Ally tries everything in her power to win his affections. While Molly confides in Angela her insecurities in competing with such a "Experienced" girl as Ally. The following day after Angela "Sent Home" Phoebe, She catches the Schilt sisters in the woods getting stoned and drinking in the woods. When she returns to punish them one of the sisters is passed out while the other is getting frisky with a boy from camp. Angela is spotted and the boy flee's before Angela knocks out the conscious sister. She awakes to find herself tied to a grill next to her burnt sister before Angela lights the other aflame. Once again Angela reports to uncle Jon that she had to send them home right after a younger camper requests to be sent home, He plans on reprimanding her but does not because she had in fact followed suit with the younger camper so he overlooks the mistake.The counselors have a meeting and while they are out the campers raise hell with panty raids and the usual shenanigans before being caught in the act by a stealthy Angela. As the campers are punished one of Ally's friends Mare is fed up with Angela's antics and wants to go home, as Angela attempts to make her change her mind she gives up and drills home her point in other ways.

With several of the female campers being sent home ,the boys are getting frustrated and plan to pull a prank on Angela during their night of roughing it under the moonlight and create replicas of the famous Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger costumes to scare her. As the big campout takes place Angela stops the boys prank dead in it's tracks as she disposes of the Freddy clone with his own glove before facing off with the faux Jason while wearing his friends face and wielding a chainsaw, Taking a crack at all 3 of the famous slasher icons in one shot.This scene lacked the gore that could have made it a classic but it is allot of fun overall to see the filmmakers sort of spoof the bigger budgeted films of the genre. Angela returns to the camp spot where the girls are only to find Ally is missing. She nearly catches Ally in the act with a male camper but Ally slickly gets out of it only to be lured to her untimely demise the following morning by a clever trap laid by Angela. A fake letter is left for Ally stating for her to meet Sean at a secluded outhouse and upon arrival she is disposed of in unique fashion as Angela drowns the promiscuous Ally in the outhouse toilet filled with leaches among other things.

As Angela returns to her quarters one of the female campers tells her that she had contacted the families of the campers who were sent home and she knows that they had not made it back safe and she questions what happened, this of course does not go well for the young woman as she is strangled to death with a guitar string. As Angela is trying to hide the body the campground goodie two-shoes shows up and Angela quickly takes her out to keep her from alerting the authorities. As Molly realizes she is the sole female camper left on the grounds , Angela is called to the head office by main counselor TC and Uncle Jon who promptly fire Angela. Angela returns to her quarters visibly upset and talks with Molly before heading to her secret hideout to collect her thoughts before leaving. Molly gathers up Sean and the two head to speak with Angela. Sean being nosy looks in her secret shed only to find the bodies of all the victims. Left with no  choice Angel a attacks and the two kids wake up tied to chairs as Angela tells stories of why she did what she did. At this point Sean realizes that Angela is actually Angela Baker from the old urban legends and reveals that his father was her arresting officer some years ago. Angela claims she had been cured after years of shock therapy and surgery. When Sean taunts her he loses his head for his remarks.
Counselor TC realizes that Sean and Molly have went to this secret spot of Angela's and he rushes to the scene only to be taken out with a cup of battery acid to the face.

Angela leaves Molly tied up in the shed as she heads out to gather up the rest of her victims bodies and upon returning is knocked down by Molly who has managed to free herself. A chase through the woods ensues and Molly falls from a cliff appearing to have died on impact. This upsets Angela as she wanted to let her live.Another female counselor goes looking for the campers and finds the bodies and when she returns to Uncle Jon's office finds that everyone has been killed before she meets the same fate at the hands of Angela's blade. Angela is then seen in a woman's truck who had picked her up while hitch hiking, Angela does not take kindly to the woman's behavior and she is promptly offed as well. The film comes to a open ending as Molly has managed to survive the fall and make her way to the road only to run into Angela driving the truck.

Sleepaway Camp 2 is honestly a fun ride as it never takes itself to serious and obviously is riffing on the genre but not in a over the top spoof style. The character of Angela is played by Pamela Springstein , Sister of Bruce and she does it justice quite well even though I would have loved to see how this film would have reprized  by the original actress Felissa Rose . With that said however Rose did return to the role several years later in the stinker Return To Sleepaway Camp and somehow she did not have the same on screen presence Springstein had. Springstein nailed the nerdy , wholesome outsider role perfectly and in my opinion she s really cute in a quirky kinda way. The roles of the standard Horror teen victims are all pushed to the limits , showing just how ridiculous these genre standards are and they made a good point by doing so. The film is not the goriest but it has some memorable scenes , especially the one with the duel of the Slasher icons. This film is a subtle parody all the way down to it's classic cover art with "Angela" although not Springstein on the cover holding a camping bag filled with the Iconic slasher trademarks. i remember seeing that cover as a child and loving it and to this day it is still one of my all time favorite movie covers. Fans of the slasher genre have probably already seen this one but, if you have not I certainly recommend checking it out as it is a fun take on an old tried and true formula and in my opinion the character of Angela should be held in the same regard as many of the memorable characters of the slasher genre. When people think of Sleepaway Camp they mostly only think of the end to the first film but there is allot of fun to be had with the rest of the series and Springstein's portrayal of the character does not get the props it deserves honestly.The sequels in this series seem to have nearly been completely forgotten and tossed aside and for fans of these kinds of films I think that is tragic.For my next few reviews I am going to continue with this series in hopes of shining some light on a often forgotten franchise and for those of you who have seen them already , I apologize and I promise to get back to rare flicks soon. So until Part 3 , Happy Camping.

Fun Factor:7
Overall:6 out of 10