Sleepaway Camp

Once when I was just a wee Lightning Bug I went to camp. I lasted almost a whole day before I saw a snake and I was out! Well from the looks of how things go down in Sleepaway Camp I was on to the right idea. Camp is no nice place to be. Sure you might make a leather wallet or learn how to shoot a bow and arrow, but there's quite the chance you might end up with an arrow in your neck instead. I'd just as soon stay home and watch a couple films like these instead.

SLEEPWAY CAMP (1983) starring Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, and Paul Deangelo. Directed by Robert Hitzik. As our movie opens its time for some fun on the lake. Angela, her brother Peter and father are having a great day out on their boat. The sun is shining, the lake is beautiful and everyone is having a good time. That is until the happy family manages to overturn their boat and some irresponsible teens manage to kill both Angela's Dad and brother. Damn you irresponsible teens and your hi jinx! Cut to 8 years later and lil Angela is sent off to live with her creepy Aunt and her cousin Ricky (who sports a nice Ralph Macchio haircut) and they get sent off to Camp Arawak for some summer fun. Once they get there shy silent Angela instantly starts being the object of ridicule from all the campers. Most notable Judy who used to be Ricky's girlfriend last summer til she...ahem... filled out. (I should also note that Judy reminded me so much of a young Amy Winehouse they I half expected her to have to go into tween rehab at any time. )

Well as things would have it people start dropping like flys around the camp. A prevy cook gets boiled by a giant pot of water. A kid gets killed by bees while on the toilet reading a comic book. A girl gets stabbed to death in the shower. Whats their connection. Why, Angela of course. The carnage increases over the film and there's a bit of misdirection between Angela and her angry cousin. There's also a very odd sequence in the middle where it's revealed that Angela's Dad was gay and there's some creepiness that happens between Angela and her brother in their bed. I had no idea what that whole thing was getting at but it came together in the end although all the cards don't get laid out til much later.

As the body count climbs, Angela comes out of her shell and gets herself a boyfriend. It looks like things are finally looking up for her until she finds him smooching Judy in the forest. Needless to say Judy gets dispatched quite soon thereafter with her curling iron no less. I'm still unclear how that was fatal. Not long after some young kids get wacked and even Ricky bites the big one leaving very few suspects. And sure enough Angela is tracked down on the beach cradling her boyfriends head in one hand and a knife in the other, and that's not all she's got. In the final scene we find out that Angela is (DUM-Dum-DUMMMM Spoiler Alert!) a boy! Yep seems like lil Angela got killed in the boat accident and the creepy Aunt, yep you guessed it, raised Peter to be a girl.

All in all this is a pretty good movie. The effects are pretty impressive (OK, reasonably impressive, better than in the later flicks) and the performances, although stilted, are fro the most part very good. It had some nice twists and turns and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a slasher movie thrill.
The Lightning Bug Rating


  1. I don't even like these type of movies, but your review actually makes me want to watch number 2.

  2. Hey Lighteing bug. I adeed you on spicey pages. love the blog. it's great that us b-movie cult film fans can stay connected. Hey just a quick comment. love your review of Sleepaway camp. but DOH!!! why did you give away the awesome awesome ending!!?

  3. Interesting to know.


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