Published May 27, 2014Emerging from the booming slasher genre of the early '80s, Sleepaway Camp has developed a cult following (and spawned a bunch of sequels) thanks to its kitsch value and an audacious shocker of an ending. It's not exactly a great movie, but it does offer a fair share of base pleasures within the generic framework of a group of kids being picked off one by one by a faceless killer.
Angela (Felissa Rose) has grown up with her Aunt Martha (Desiree Gould) since a terrible boating accident killed her father. She joins her cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) in a summer excursion to Camp Arawak, where she confronts lecherous cooks, merciless bullies and potential romance. Slowly but surely, the body count accumulates as those who cross Angela are dispatched in a myriad of horrific ways.
It's the kind of movie best viewed at home with a few friends (and perhaps a few drinks), where you can make cracks about the fashion styles of the time and all of the ridiculous dialogue. There are some memorable death scenes, like the one where the victim doesn't seem to realize that he can crawl under a bathroom stall to escape a bee's nest, and the final twist still packs a punch all these years later.
The supplemental material features recent interviews with cast and crew and a selection of three commentary tracks, including a free-wheeling new one recorded for this release with Rose and Tiersten that is much better than the slightly uncomfortable one with director Robert Hiltzik and webmaster/superfan Jeff Hayes carried over from a prior DVD package.