Sleepaway Camp pts 1 and 2

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Paff, May 27, 2003.

  1. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Since Dave already reviewed all 3 movies, I thought I'd throw out my thoughts here. Plus, I don't want to take the time that a "PaffReview" requires anyway...

    I really liked the first Sleepaway Camp movie, which is quite surprising since I don't usually like the Halloween/F13-inspired slashers that were so prevalent in the 80s. But Sleepaway Camp is a nice blend of summer camp comedy with a slasher/mystery angle. Even F13 avoided much of the typical summer camp elements to focus more on the horror. As someone who actually went to one of those camps, I think they really made an effort to re-create those ol' summer camp memories.

    Sure, we all focus on the killings and the surprise ending, but it's the establishing of a motif FIRST, then adding the killings that make for an interesting movie. VERY few of the 80s slashers did that.

    Now, in his reviews, Dave said he enjoyed the second Sleepaway Camp movie much more. Dave must be smoking something good.

    The second one dispenses with almost everything that made the first one enjoyable, and descends to the level of the typical 80s slasher. THIS movie illustrates why I dislike the genre so much. OK, SC2 makes no effort to be anything more than what it is, but still...
    Just because you admit that you farted, doesn't make it smell any better.

    I do wonder if anyone picked up on two of the in-jokes though. For one, they mention that "Angela moved to Hollywood and plays the dark-haired girl on The Facts of Life". A nice double-level joke that pokes fun at Felissa Rose's similar appearance to Nancy McKeon, as well as the tomboyish nature of the Fats of Life, oops, I mean Facts of Life character she played.
    Also, the mention of two brothers, Charlie and Emilio, an obvious nod to the fact that one of the actresses, Renee Estevez, is the sister of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

    It's gonna have to be a real boring night before I make an attempt to watch the 3rd one, that's for sure...
     
  2. Atmims

    Atmims Guest

    man, if you thought part 2 was shit you will definetly not like part 3. I actually enjoyed Sleepaway Camp 2 but part 3 was pure boring.

    I had no idea about those in-jokes though. It's cool to know I guess. :cool:
     
  3. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    Dude don't bother with the 3rd one, I guarantee you will not like it at all if you didn't like part 2. I like part 2 a lot but part 3 is the pits.
     
  4. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I liked Part 3 to a point, but it is nowhere near as good as the first two. However, Part 1 will always be my favorite of the 3.
     
  5. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    As much as I enjoy SLEEPAWAY CAMP, I have an equal distaste for the SLEEPAWAY CAMP sequels. Whereas the original SLEEPAWAY CAMP was sincere in establishing the characters and situations outside of the usual slasher/exploitation model, the SLEEPAWAY CAMP sequels are, as Paff alluded to, merely content to be by-the-numbers slashers........mind-numbingly-by-the-numbers at that.

    SLEEPAWAY CAMP is definitely a guilty cult pleasure. Sure it's cheesy at times and is riddled with some annoying plot holes, but SLEEPAWAY CAMP ends up working in spite of itself with great, original characters, some truly unforgettable dialogue ( http://horrordvds.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7177&highlight=sleepaway+camp+dialogue ) and a well-thought-out final act.

    When I think of SLEEPAWAY CAMP, I think of all those great characters: The shy, sympathetic Angela......the crazy and aloof Aunt Martha...... Angela's combustible cousin Ricky.......sleazy chef Artie......the highly-charged, conspiracy-smelling camp owner Mel (the late Mike Kellin hams it up....and it actually works in his favor)....superbitch Judy and her partner-in-crime, M-E-G....the disgruntled lifeguard.......good guy Ronnie...the lovable nerd Mozart, who makes good in spite of electronic boxing.....the "Moustache" Cop.......and the list goes on and on.....

    When I think of the SLEEPAWAY CAMP sequels, I can't think of any memorable characters outside of Pamela Springsteen's Angela......and that's just by default. Interestingly enough, Felissa Rose is able to make her Angela much more memorable and effective with only a fraction of the dialogue or screen time afforded to Springsteen's turns in the SLEEPAWAY CAMP sequels. This is not a knock on Pamela's acting abilities, but rather shows how limited the character of Angela is in the sequels: the Angela in the sequels is written without mystery or sympathy.....she's just a one-dimensional-walking-punchline going from one murder scene to the next. The rest of the characters in the SLEEPAWAY CAMP sequels are interchangeable from any of the other hundred slasher films from that era....their only real purpose is to progress the "story" along to the next showing of breasts or to the next telegraphed kill........*yawns*
     
  6. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    I have always found it ingenius that the first SLEEPAWAY CAMP really played around with the genre's conventions. Think about it, it follows the standard slasher formula throughout the film, only to reveal itself in the final act as a very original work. It combines the two major final characters in a slasher film: the killer and the final girl, into a single entity. It calls into questions gender stereotypes and plays around with the notion of the castrating female.

    Sex has always been a cause for death in the slasher films, but SLEEPAWAY CAMP actually associates a reason to it. The preoccupation with sex and puberty is what drives Angela to rebel against her assigned secret. It is, at least to me, in the last frame that Angela finally matures from the sheathed person she once was into the proverbial butterfly. She is finally content with her body that she exposes it to her final victim as a kind of rights of passage.

    I agree with Paff too, the movie really works because it really sets up the entire camp atmosphere. The final shot is such a deliberate shift in tone from the rest of the film. Since the film is so comedic and cheesy throughout, the final shot becomes much more effective because of its contrast.


    As for parts 2 & 3, I liked them as standard slasher films, but with all the aspirations of the first film in context, they are a huge letdown. They really could have taken the story into some intruiging directions regarding sexuality and violence, but instead they turned it into a farce of some sorts. Springsteen is enjoyable as Angela, and the films definitely have their moments, but they seem so much different than the original. I'd say parts 2 and 3 are about equal though, so I'd at least check out the third one Paff. It only runs a little over 80 mins, which is about as long as you have to take to get a cavity filling anyway. :D
     
  7. puddytay

    puddytay Guest

    part 1=awsome
    part 2, 3=100% pure crap
     
  8. Latency

    Latency Guest

    Part 1 - Fun and entertaining. Kills were pretty good, characters were fun, and the ending was not bad. Little nudity, lack of good music, and overrated ending is what I didn't like. Overall a good little slasher that I am happy to own.

    Part 2 - Even more fun and entertaining. Lots of boobies, lots of booze and drugs, and plenty o' kills. I am also a fan of rock + horror so the soundtrack was great IMO. A great slasher I will be watching over and over.

    Part 3 - Probably the worst of the series but still enjoyable. We still find nudity and drugs but it seems like the whole "inner city" thing ruined it for me. Maybe it's because I am not a fan of the late eighties but the washed out faded "grunge" look of the movie didn't appeal to me. I miss seeing Angela as a shy goody goody girl. instead she is this wannabe bad ass ruthless killer that in my opinion, killed people off way too fast. Anyways, even though I had a lot to complain about I still found this movie entertaining. I wouldn't by this flick on it's own but because it comes with the Survival Kit I am happy to have it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2003
  9. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    :lol: Latency, your avatar kills me every time!! Bruce Campbell rocks!! :lol: :D
     
  10. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I agree with almost everything you said, except that I think Part 1 is a far more better film than Part 2. But you can't really compare the two as they are really two different films.

    And I listened to the commentary track on Part 1 and why does Robert Hiltzik, Felissa Rose, and Jeff Hayes act as if there are no sequels? It's just strange and a little annoying, as they keep talking about a sequel, never talking about the ones that do exist. :confused:
     
  11. Latency

    Latency Guest

    I haven't listened to the commentary yet. Maybe I'll give it a spin after I watch Phantasm and Swamp Thing tonight.
     
  12. Nemesis

    Nemesis Guest

    i watched sleepaway camp last night.. still got 2 + 3 to watch.. im lucky i stopped reading this thread before rhett's post last week when i looked at it or it woulda wrecked the movie, spoiler tags would be good :)

    anyway my comments.. Immediately after watching it i thought it was a cool concept but could have been done better with better acting and stuff from angela and some of the other characters.. but since then ive thought about it more and as a cheesy horror movie it pulls it off fine :)

    good movie. wtf was with aunt martha?? i thought she was a guy with makeup and stuff on.. looked very malelike.. in fact it was only when i listened to the commentary that i realised it really was a woman
     
  13. Nemesis

    Nemesis Guest

    ps: does anyone know whats been cut in the "edited" version thats in the sleepaway camp survival kit?
     
  14. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    Another repost of mine (yes, I get a commission each time)

    SLEEPAWAY CAMP has yet to arrive on home video in its originally- intended form. A quick recap:

    Media Entertainment (1984): This initial home video release is still the most complete version of SLEEPAWAY CAMP available to date, with the full, uncut theatrical presentation intact. However, Media's effort is not without some major drawbacks. For starters, as was the norm at the time, this was released full-frame and not widescreen. In addition, the image was not properly matted, which resulted in a poor framing and actually exposed a few goofs(see below) that normally would have been eliminated through a better framing of the image.

    Video Treasures: SLEEPAWAY CAMP had its second life on home video on the el-cheapo Video Treasures label, which featured the same full-screen misframing that the Media version employed. In addition, this bargain bin bastard child had the usual drawbacks that came with all the other cheap tapes....EP mode....mono sound (ugh!)...and a nice faded picture quality that would jitter every few minutes to remind you that you truly do get what ya pay for. To add further insult to injury, this version is also missing the opening dedication by director Robert Hiltzik.

    Anchor Bay: The 2000 Anchor Bay release of SLEEPAWAY CAMP was truly a mixed-blessing, to say the least. On the plus side, this version was released in its proper widescreen format with, quite simply, the best audio and video quality that this film has seen to date on home video. On the downside, the print used for this transfer, while probably the best looking print available, was also marred with a number of audio and video edits:

    The shot of the male skinny-dippers racing down the dock into the water.

    The audio during the "moment of impact" in the mind over matter
    scene with Mozart is jumbled enough to ruin the great punchline of that scene!

    When Kenny's corpse is discovered under the beached canoe, the beginning shot of the watersnake starting to slide out his mouth is gone.

    After Mel scolds the kids for their water balloon attack on Angela. the kids start insulting Mel as he's walking away. Some of their comments are missing from the audio in this version.

    When Mel discovers Meg's corpse in shower area, there are less shots of Meg's corpse than in the original release.

    When Ricky flips Judy off, Judy's final retort is cut out.

    Granted, none of these cuts are really consequential in the grand scheme of things, but they are CUTS nonetheless! Still, despite the cuts and audio miscues, this version seems the best bet for the time being simply because of the widescreen presentation and the great quality of the print.

    NOTE: I mentioned earlier about how the lack of proper framing on the original Media release of SLEEPAWAY CAMP resulted in a number of goofs showing up that normally wouldn't have with a correct composition. Here are a famous few:

    The boom mike visible above Lenny at the lake.

    The infamous red tube top that Felissa wore for the final scene was visible on the first batch of Media tapes!

    Apparently, Meg's black tube top for her shower scene was also visible.....although I haven't seen anything to confirm that.

    On the Media release, when Paul and Judy are kissing in the woods, look carefully between them and you will see a bit of Felissa Rose's head peeking out toward the bottom of the screen as she is obviously in the background awaiting her cue to stand up. No matter which version you watch, you can see Felissa rising in the background though.

    For the Survival Kit, AB just repackaged their original (slightly-edited) release of SLEEPAWAY CAMP.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2003
  15. Nemesis

    Nemesis Guest

    cool, thanks for the info on that mate :)

    i didnt get the limited edition partially complete sleepaway camp 4 with my kit.. was that any good? how much footage? is it just a few bits of rough footage here or there or is there some sort of resemblance of a movie in there somewhere?
     
  16. Mortis

    Mortis GARBAGE DAY!

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    The fourth disc is terrible. I wanted to gouge my eyes out. It's a bunch of goofy footage that they do over and over again. I haven't seen it forever, but it's some new chick who's supposed to play Angela I think.
     
  17. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I don't have the set with the fourth disc. Frankly, I don't care now that I have heard some terrible comments. :(
     
  18. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    It's pretty bad.......you aren't missing a thing:

    http://horrordvds.com/reviews/n-z/scamp4/
     
  19. It's me Billy

    It's me Billy New Member

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    Well, once again, I'm going to be the odd man out. The original Sleepaway is a complete bore for me. It's cheaply made and not in the good way. Everything about it screams "amateur." The characters are beyond weird. Aunt Martha? What was wrong with her? My guess would be "a lot." Then you've got that fat pederass cook. Gross. I don't think the kill scenes are all that great either. Just a lousy film, IMO, and keep in mind that I love most low budget early 80s horror. Terror Train, Prom Night, Basket Case.... I love 'em all. Now, Sleepaway 2 and 3 are both wonderful IMO. First, Pamela Springsteen is what really made these two films great for me. She is just excellent, no question about it. Not only is she sadistic, she's drop dead sexy too. I love her attitude.

    What about that scene in part 3 where she's remembering back to the (happier) events in part 2. The music is very moody and sad and I got the feeling that scene was intended to show some remorse from (and for) Angela. She wanted to be a good person and to be loved, but was fully aware that she wasn't and was never going to be. She was alone and resigned to her fate, no matter how much she hated it.

    We get some female nudity in parts 2 and 3 (lots of breasts!), and while not a requirement, it sure is nice to see. The characters are much better than those flat ones presented in the original film. Renee Estevez was a really good choice for Molly Nagle. She's just as beautiful as Pam Springsteen and she made a great heroine. Molly was really likeable. Some of the funniest characters come from part 3. Riff is probably my favorite. When Lily Miranda asks him to clean the fish, he fires back with a, "Aw, fuck that shit!" retort. :lol: Snowboy was also hilarious with his "Geez, what a dildo." and "Party all night! Teenage wasteland!" attitude. I also love the rock music used on the soundtrack of both films. It's so much better than that el-cheapo "scare" music on the original.
     
  20. Spacevis

    Spacevis There's some Dettol in the jeep!

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    but those other two don't have this line in them:

    "Hey-bob-a-ree-bob!! Hey-hey-bob-a-ree-bob!! ... oh, it's you, what the hell are you doing here?" :lol: :lol: :lol:
     

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