It’s tough getting Elizabeth to watch scary movies but since this is on our How Did This Get Made podcast list to watch, I knew it would eventually happen. This movie is very weird. It’s really terrible and boring but the ending is crazy enough for me to recommend watching this movie.
The film is exactly what you think it’s about. Kids at a summer camp start getting murdered by someone else in the camp. Who is it? When will they stike next? Is it who we think it is? Is it going to be a crazy surprise?
The funniest thing about this movie to me is how everyone is dressed. Everyone is barely clothed, in a pretty flamboyant way. There’s one scene where all the older boys play a prank on the older girls but when the camera looks at each group it looks like some bizarre gay camp? All the guys are wearing short short jean shorts with shirts that are long enough to barely cover their nipples and all the girls have super short hair and look like they are about to jump the guys. It’s kind of hard to explain but it was pretty funny.
If you are interested at all in crazy ending see this movie.
Sleepaway Camp as a whole is hard to talk about because its ending pretty much overshadows the entire movie. For the most part, the movie is boring, weird, and hard to follow. But then it gets insane.
It opens with some kind of lake that families are vacationing on, including a dad and his son and daughter on a boat and two teenagers pulling another teenage water skier. For some reason, the two dumb teenagers on the boat carrying the skier refuse to ever look forward, causing them to hit the dad and his kids and killing them, except for the daughter. Flash forward 8 years, and the surviving daughter, Angela (Felissa Rose) is going to summer camp with her cousin, Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten). This is an extremely confusing camp, because it has young teenagers and older teenagers and it’s hard to tell who of the older teenagers are campers and who are counselors. Everyone at this camp is also incredibly cruel. Angela starts the movie out not talking, and the other campers constantly ridicule her for that. It’s not even really ridicule, it’s like they’re legitimately angry that this shy girl they don’t know isn’t talking. Who the hell cares? To add to the terrible people at this camp, we meet the head cook who is a straight up pedophile. This is not implied, it’s just a fact. He calls the young female campers “baldies,” if that gives you any super gross clue. He tries to rape Angela but Ricky stops it and later someone we can’t see makes the cook fall off his step ladder, which causes him (for some reason) to pull down a giant vat of boiling water on himself.
Angela finally talks to Paul (Christopher Collet), another camper, and one by one an unknown person kills off the campers being mean to Angela. I think we’re supposed to think it’s Ricky because Ricky is always ready and able to defend Angela, but I always thought it was supposed to be Angela. The deaths aren’t really that scary, except for when Judy (Karen Fields) is killed because she’s also raped with a hot curling iron (which we only see through shadow, so it’s not as graphic as it sounds, if that’s at all possible).
There are so many weird things going on in this movie. Like: Meg, an older camper/counselor, excitedly scores a date with the owner of the camp, who’s got to be in his 70’s. Okay? Or: Billy, another bully of Angela’s, dies by being locked in a bathroom stall with bees, which sting him to death, even though Billy could have climbed over the stall, under the stall, or just broken the flimsy broom holding his door shut. Or: the weird flashbacks Angela has when Paul kisses her, which include she and her brother Peter walking in on their father in bed with another man and Angela and Peter sitting in bed staring at each other. Don’t worry, it gets weirder!
Eventually, Ricky gets attacked, too, so he’s out of the running for being the killer. When the counselors can’t find Angela or Paul, they start running around looking for them until they come to the lake. They see Angela sitting there from behind. When they approach her, she stands up, naked, holding Paul’s decapitated head. But as she stands, we see a flashback to her crazy aunt telling her as a child that she always wanted a daughter, not another boy, and so she was going to raise him as a boy. Cut back to Angela, who, because of being naked, we see she has a penis, and also maybe has blood on her mouth and has a weird animal scream. The end!
Soooo, I don’t even know what to think about that. I really wish the movie was interesting enough to support an ending like that. Buuuut nah, of course not. This is worth seeing, but as a whole, it’s definitely not a success.