Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Article 3928 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-6-2012
Posting Date: 5-16-2012
Directed by Robert Hiltzik
Featuring Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
Country: USA
What it is: Slasher film

A painfully shy young girl, the sole survivor of a boating accident that killed the rest of her family, finds herself tormented by cruel people when she goes off to summer camp. Pretty soon, her tormentors start dying in horrible ways…

I’ll give the movie some credit; the final revelation isn’t half bad. The movie even gives a clue to the twist in what seems at the time to be an impenetrable flashback. Unfortunately, to get to the ending, you have to sit through the rest of the movie, which is populated with one-dimensional characters, has a bad case of Tourette syndrome, and features some of the worst overacting I’ve seen in years. The only reason you don’t spend most of the movie trying to figure out which performance is the worst is because that performance comes before we even reach the campground. Still, I’m not surprised this one has a bit of a cult reputation; the ending alone would guarantee that, as well as certain truly weird sequences. But I’m also not surprised that director Hiltzik has only one other directorial credit; a direct-to-video sequel made a quarter of a century later.


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