Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)

... aka: Nightmare Vacation II
... aka: Sleepaway Camp 2

Directed by:
Michael A. Simpson

Angela Baker, whom you may recall as the sexually-confused 13-year-old psycho who helped send a handful of bullies to an early grave in the original SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983), has gone through a number of changes since her original summer camp rampage. For starters, she's been locked away in a nuthouse and has been supposedly "cured" (uh huh) of her various psychoses. Secondly, Angela - who was born male but brought up to be a girl by her fruity auntie - has gone through a full-fledged sex change operation so that now her outsides match her insides. Third, she's ditched her familiar surname in favor of the less suspicious "Johnson" so that she's able to ingratiate herself back into society unnoticed. And finally, she's a completely different person; not just because she used to be shy and barely said a word and is now chipper, chatty and outgoing, but because she's played by a completely different actress. Because original Camp star Felissa Rose was busy in college at the time, Pamela Springsteen (sister of rocker Bruce), was drafted to play the role. It turned out to be a wise casting choice as this follow-up to the serious original opts for an over-the-top silly / campy approach; something Springsteen proves to be very adept at.







Angela has snagged a job as a counselor at Camp Rolling Hills, which isn't too far from Camp Arawak where the original string of grisly murders took place years earlier. Because of the name (and sex) change, no one is aware that this Angela is the same Angela responsible for the Arawak slayings who'd been dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the press. Apparently her psychiatric treatments have failed her because she's soon back to her old ways. Have sex, flash your tits, orchestrate a panty raid, use profanity, drink or do drugs, try to scare the others, have a nasty attitude or misbehave in any way? Well then, the uptight Angela will just send you home. And by send you home, I mean murder you and then pretend she sent you home. She begins to trim the roster of campers one-by-one, first starting with a pair of stoner sisters who are busted drinking, smoking weed, having sex and defiling Angela's precious Happy Camper Song all at once. She ties both of them up, covers them with gasoline and then burns them alive.







Others are killed off in quick succession in a variety of different ways (stabbings, decapitation, strangling, etc.) followed by a cheesy Angela one-liner. One girl gets it with a large portable drill and another scene spoofs Friday the 13th (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) all at once by making use of a machete, a chainsaw and Freddy's razor glove. Undoubtedly, the most memorable scene in the entire film is when Angela drowns queen bitch / slut Ally (Valerie Hartman) in an outhouse toilet full of leeches.







Renee Estevez (daughter of Martin Sheen and sister of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez) plays Molly; the lone sweet / shy girl at camp who Angela takes a liking to. Veteran British character actor Walter Gotell, who'd acted for Hitchcock and in several Hammer Studios productions and James Bond films, strangely shows up playing camp owner Uncle John. Brian Patrick Clarke is a counselor with a mullet and short-shorts and Carol Chambers (who may be related to Carrie Chambers, who got to play Angela in the unfinished Sleepaway Camp IV) is one of the victims. The requisite T&A is provided by both Hartman and former soap opera Susan Marie Snyder. Most of the characters are named after popular 80s "Brat Pack" actors.







Part 2 was filmed back-to-back with SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND (1989) in Georgia. They, along with the original and footage from the unreleased Part 4 were included in a box set from Anchor Bay. The embarrassingly awful Return to Sleepaway Camp (which brought back original director Robert Hiltzik and stars Rose, Jonathan Tiersten and Paul DeAngelo) was filmed in late 2003 but wasn't released until 2008. There are supposedly plans for another but nothing's happened yet.

★★1/2

1 comment:

Lord Crayak said...

One of my favorites.

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