Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17 - Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers [1988]

Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Director: Michael A Simpson
Starring: Pamela Springsteen, Renee Estevez, Brian Patrick Clarke

This movie - in fact this whole franchise - is one of my main guilty pleasures. Sure, I realise that they aren't exactly great movies, but there's just something about them I really enjoy.

A few years back I bought the three Sleepaway Camp movies in a swank boxset which looks like a first aid kit. I've seen all three flicks before, but until tonight hadn't cracked open the boxset. I decided to skip the first movie (1983) because it's the one I'm most familiar with, having viewed it at least half a dozen times. And no, the shock ending doesn't get any less shocking with each viewing.

The sequel joins a new summer camp, where the first movie's killer is all grown up and working as a counsellor. She's still crazy, and hates campers who do anything immorale. Naturally, they all get up to mischief, so she starts punishing (ie killing) them. 

The kills are fun - one girl gets drowned in a grotty long-drop toilet, two girls who like getting "baked" on drugs get barbecued, literally. There's even a homage to other slasher movies, when two boys dress up as Freddy from Nightmare on Elm St and Jason from Friday the 13th to try to scare the killer, but she outdos them, dressing as Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and chainsawing them to death.

I guess my enjoyment of this movie might be enhanced by the fact that I used to work at a summer camp. Not that I wanted to kill any of the campers... much. Ahem, but yeah, there's fun to be had watching this movie's kills, the 80s nostalgia (the music, the mullets galore etc) and the fact that some of the campers are played by actors closer to 30 than 13.

Interestingly, the two main leads are played by women with famous brothers. Pamela Springsteen's brother is The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and Renee Estevez is the sister of Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.

I'll be watching Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland later in this marathon, and to say I'm pumped to hear they're making the fourth movie, Return to Sleepaway Camp, is an understatement.

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