Video Rewind: Camping
With a couple of weeks left to the summer and some kids are getting ready to come home from camping. That is if they were lucky to survive.
Even though I never went camping (for which I'm grateful) I think I'd be a little scared if I were going to Camp(s) Arawak, Rolling Hills or New Horizons. The reason's simple- they were the scenes of massacres caused by demented camper Angela Baker.
In 1985, one of my friends and I were looking for a movie to rent and we came across Sleepaway Camp thinking it was going to be another slashtrash flick but were we surprised.
A good storyline, stunning ending and little gore make this a true horror cult classic.
Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) and her cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tierston) head to Camp Awawak for a few weeks. Ricky's a regular at the camp and while he's off having fun, poor Angela's being tormented by fellow campers.
Leading the pack is Judy (Karen Fields) and counselor Meg (Katherine Kamhi) who hate Angela with such a passion that every time they feel as though they've broken her down the better they feel about themselves. These are two characters you can't wait to get it.
Ricky steps in to protect his cousin and there's a series of "accidents" which make Ricky the prime suspect.
Angela slowly comes out of her shy shell when she's smitten by Paul (Christopher Collet) but is he safe? If he knew she was behind the murders I doubt he'd want to get to know her better.
After some time being rehabilitated, Angela (now played by Pamela Springsteen) shows up as a counselor at Camp Rolling Hills in the sequel, Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers.
Springsteen is utterly fantastic in this spoof of horror movies. Her delivery is very dry and when she's enthusiastic she's enthusiastic. She comes across as someone you'd want to be friends with (albeit her little killing secret).
The second installment also stars Renee Estevez and Brian Patrick Clarke as well as an inside joke regarding the character names. They are named after the Brat Pack of the '80's. (Two characters are named Emilio and Charlie which is ironic since they're named after Estevez's real life brothers Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen).
But getting back to the movie, Angela's rampage begins when one of her girls is sitting around the campfire with boys (a camp no-no for Angela). She starts to tell the story of the infamous Angela Baker and the massacre at Camp Arawak and how Angela's still out there. The story must trigger something in Angela so on the way back to camp she whacks poor Phoebe and then cuts out her tongue "for telling lies."
When the others ask where Phoebe went Angela casually says she sent her home. That's Angela's pat answer when other campers come up missing.
Once again Angela comes up with clever ways of offing her victims and at the movie's end we're left wondering if there will be a part three, which of course there is.
Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland was shot immediately after part two and Springsteen is back for more fun and murder only this time she "comes back" as a troubled inner city youth who goes to Camp New Horizons.
This weekend retreat is for rich and inner city kids from across the country as they are there to learn about each others cultures. As usual Angela doesn't like what she sees so it's only a matter of time before the body count begins.
What's good about this movie (besides Springsteen's performance) is the new inside joke as the rich kids are named after the Brady kids and the poor kids are named after characters from West Side Story. Plus there's a subplot which began in part two.
Rose and Tierston reprise their original roles in Return to Sleepaway Camp which is the "official" sequel to the first one, ignoring both two and three. It's best to stay with these two sequels instead.