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


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