Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 19: Return to Sleepaway Camp

I heart the HELL out of the Sleepaway Camp films. I try to watch them every summer and I was really excited to hear that the director/writer of the original, Robert Hiltzik, was bringing back the series. (He also wrote part II and III). After all, it wasn't a remake, and I thought it was a series that had a decent shot of adding another film that would fit in with the first three.

Then it came out - and the word I heard wasn't good. added it to my Netflix and had planned on streaming it forever.

I guess I figured after Halloween II, it couldn't be any worse - and if it really sucked, I figured I'd just turn it off and pick something else.

But I ended up liking it - well, for the most part.

I thought it fit in well with the spirit of the first three films - the kills were weird with a touch of humor, and it was nice to see the return of characters such as Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo) and Ricky (Johnathan Tiersten).
Ricky. Still angry. Still delivering every line like it was poison. I LOVE IT.
We still get cheesy special effects:
That somehow, in a movie like this, don't take away from the film, they just add to the fun.

One thing that's hard for me to review, and that's whether or not the identity of the killer is as transparent as it was to me- and whether or not that's on purpose. Unfortunately I knew a couple of spoilers that made it pretty obvious as to what was going on. We're also thrown the requisite 'red herring' as to who the killer might be - but when you compare that person's body type to the real killer (dressed in black, face hidden) it's painfully obvious that those two are not the same person. I couldn't tell if that was done with a purposeful sense of humor - or just a huge oversight on the part of the filmmakers.

The only real bone I have to pick with the movie is this dude:
That would be Alan (right) played by Michael Gibney. He's the kid everyone picks on - and I do mean everyone - including counselors. I would imagine we're supposed to feel some kind of empathy for this character - as we did for Angela in the first Camp.

But whereas Angela was a sad, withdrawn scapegoat for the mean kids - Alan is just a little creep. He bullies the smaller kids, he sasses the counselors, he plays mean tricks on everyone - and when he's called out on it, he whines and throws a tantrum. In short, he's an Asshole. Which makes it pretty hard to be sympathetic towards him when the other kids (and counselors) give him shit (even though they probably cross the line a couple of times). Was I supposed to hate him? Was I supposed to feel like he was just a misunderstood, socially inept, isolated kid?

Oh well. I still enjoyed the movie and I think it's a good addition to the first three. I see that Sleepaway Camp: The Reunion is being planned for a 2010 release, also written/directed by Hiltzik. No info is given except for this:

Following the events of Return to Sleepaway Camp, "Reunion" focuses on the long-awaited return of Aunt Martha as well as Ricky and Angela Baker.

YES! Aunt Martha ROCKS. You can click on the picture to watch the first ten minutes of Sleepaway Camp (Aunt Martha shows up around 6:15) and revel in her awesomeness:
Goodness, no. That won't do at all!

-Mother Firefly

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