Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Directed by Robert Hiltzik

Written by Robert Hiltzik

Run Time: 88 minutes

A Monster Shack Video Bite

Yes, I stumbled upon some old slasher flicks from the 80’s, which is my personal favorite decade for movies of all types…so be expecting to see more reviews from that bygone era (sigh). Call me old and nostalgic. Hell, call me whatever you want, it’s my website.

To be honest, I never was a huge fan of “slasher” flicks while growing up. Sure, I saw “Halloween”, “Nightmare on Elm Street” (which technically speaking wasn’t really a slasher flick from the get-go, but the series certainly turned to that after a while), etc., etc., ad nauseam. But there was one movie that did stick out from the rest: Sleepaway Camp. It was actually the surprise ending of this movie that sort of freaked me out, and also gave me hope that some “slasher flicks” could contain glimmers of intelligence and surprise.

Sure, the film follows the “isolated and in danger” motif; this time a group of kids stuck out in the woods at, you guessed it, Sleepaway Camp. The camp staff and other kids are the usual mixture of nice (but unfortunately employed here) counselors, mean kids, nice kids, jerks, idiots, and so on. However there was one particularly odious cook that was overtly a pedophile, and in fact brags about it to some of the other staff: scenes which are distinctly repulsive given some of the news these days. (On a side note, this sleazebag received a fittingly cruel offing at the hands of the killer.)

The film’s murderous star, Angela, is a disturbed kid with a genuine lack of patience for other people’s cruelty towards her. The film really isn’t a “who done it”, since we see Angela coldly whacking the other characters one by one, but it does deliver moments of satisfaction as one jerk after another meets a grisly fate. As mentioned above, the film’s finale is (at least was…) shocking; and may still be so, even given the fact that today’s viewer is certainly more jaded now then we were back then.

Dennis Grisbeck (November 2012)

3 comments to Sleepaway Camp (1983)

  • Karl Hoegle

    Looks like a cross between “Meatballs” and “Friday the 13th”. I might have this one here somewhere, but if not I’ll add it to the list!

  • You can watch the whole thing on Youtube if you want 🙂

  • Karl Hoegle

    Nah, for a cinematic gem such as this, it deserves the big screen!

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