Boy, this new Internet sure is fascinating. You just type in
a word or phrase and you get back info. You like, have a hobby,
share can your interests with others who do the same things. You
like a band, or book, or God forbid, a movie and you can dedicate
a web site to it. Low and behold, that is what more than one shut-in
has done in the case of my favorite movie (this week). Sleepaway
Camp. But what drives me crazy is NOT ONE OF THESE DAMN SITES
DEDICATED TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP TALKS ABOUT THE FRICKING MOVIE. Sorry.
So anyway, I will.
The films goes something like this: a brother and sister are
out on a lake with their dad, on a sailboat. There is some horseplay
on said sailboat which is bound to end up in tragedy and it does,
thank you Robert Hiltzik for cementing my notions on water safety
on celluloid forever, because from these monkeyshines the kids
and dad (ogled by an omnipresent flaming poofter) wind up in the
lake swimming around and having fun. Bullshit, they do too! What
they don't see, until it's too late, is a very slow speedboat
with some of those crazy, irresponsible teenagers coming right
at them. The boat kills the father and one of the children. I
think, it is hard to tell, but take my word for it. The omnipresent
homosexual (great band name, you can have that
Fred Durst side project) looks on upset about the fact that
horseplay has once again proven fatal.
Now it is eight years later. Angela (Felissa Rose), who survived
the boat accident, (once again, I think I am right here) and her
camp-wise bad-ass cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) are headed
off to Camp Arawak in upper state New York, why do I give you
that detail? Well, if you are from the South, like me, for a few
minutes, you think this is some sort of foreign film with that
damn accent, but eventually you get over it. Ricky's mom, Angela's
Aunt Martha (Desiree Gould), ponders her decision on lunch, reminds
herself of something with a string on her finger, looks like a
walking ad for Papagallo (look it is '83, if you don't know Papagallo,
fuck it) and turns in one of the more bizarro performances ever.
I mean, ever, she is awesome, I am not sure why but she is, kinda,
well, I talking myself out it. Shit she is okay, I guess.
Upon arriving at the camp, Ricky and Angela meet up with Paul
(Christopher Collet, from the shit burger The Langoliers), Ricky's
ex-girlfriend Judy (Karen Fields), who truly is the type of little
bitch who needs punched, and a host of other incredible characters.
And I mean incredible. I'll say something for our man Hiltzik,
he wrote this story originally as a thesis in college and the
fellow has a bent take on characters. Here are just a few of the
"characters" in Sleepaway Camp, not including Aunt Martha
and the aforementioned omnipresent homosexual (damn, that is good.
Fred, I'm waiting for my e-mail).
Ben (Robert Earl Jones -- yes, James Earl Jones' father), a
well-spoken total fucking step-and-fetch it. Ben reacts with all
the charm of that Black conductor from all the B & W Saturday
Matinees I remember from my childhood. Good stuff.
Artie, the demented pedophile chef with the largest roasting
ear pot I have ever laid eyes on and I'm from goddamned Georgetown,
Kentucky where there is more outhouses full of shit-ladden corn
than you can shake a whole kernel at. Artie delivers a few gems
like ("Just look all this young, fresh chicken... where I come
from, they call 'em 'baldies'!") He ain't talking poultry there,
Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo), the buff Italian counselor with a heart
of gold and the tightest shorts I think I have ever seen on a
grown man. I doubt Paul reproduced, I'll check one of the 7,000
fan sites dedicated only to his character within the Sleepaway
Camp web community.
Meg (Katherine Kamhi, All My Children) Judy's equally bitchy
friend and Camp Counselor who seems to have a problem with Angela's
"keep-to-herself, quiet, sweet personality. Sure. Why not?
Everyone hates sweet, innocent, quiet kids at Summer Camp, the
gall of Angela!
Mozart (Willy Kuskin), the brainiac, butt-of-all-practical-joke,
hero. No, not really, but he does get an ass in the face, shaving
cream in his hand that ends up on his face and carries around
a huge hunting knife. In 2001, the kid would get the electric
chair for packing that sucker in his duffle bag. Ah, the 80's.
Another element Hiltzik captures quite effectively is the use
of the minor characters in the film to capture the total asshole-like
nature of high school kids who are really just too old to be at
summer camp. Angela's choice to come to summer camp seems not
a wise one, since she never talks, she's especially shy and quiet,
and spends most of the film getting picked on, since she sits
out most activities and doesn't shower with the rest of the girls.
She gets called a lesbo because she won't shower with other girls?
Huh? I guess I am a lesbo too, but I would love to change that.
I am tired of all the carpet munching.
Cousin Ricky frequently comes to her aid. And it begs the question
was Ricky's parents on the set during the filming? His character
cuts loose with expletives that would make a butt-fucking, cock-sucking
sea captain blush. Soon, people start dying. One guy has an unfortunate
pants-around-his-ankles encounter with a beehive. Not American
Pie like but taking a shit like. We got a drowning, a knifing
and a bow and arrowing but the be all end all is the curling ironing
which takes place in shadows but involves a cooter and curls and
gives new meaning to the cliché' "hot sex"
Who's responsible for all these murders? Well the old fish faced,
cigar-chomping Jewish camp owner thinks he knows and out of the
blue tries to beat Ricky to death, seriously, to death. Not just
a ass-kicking... he tries, and thinks he does, to kill him. Weird
and definitely left-fieldish. Though the identity of the killer
isn't exactly hard to figure out, it comes with the kind of BIG-TIME
payoff ending we areound here at Brains On Film relish, which
includes a homo flashback, incesterly touching, wacko adult/kid
interaction and well...aw hell, I can't spoil it, even though
you can go to the Sleepaway Camp portal and visit 31,352 chats
on the subject. Okay get your spoiler right here,
you can see the killer, in full screaming color. Damn I am weak,
sometimes, most of the time, okay, always.
Well shit, here is some shit I found out about this sucka...
Robert Hiltzik attended Camp Algonquin as a boy and came back
years later to direct his first movie about kids going away to
a summer camp. He then disappeared as far as film making goes,
but has been tracked down by a zealous (or overzealous) web geek
fanguy who may have resurrected his career. Talk of a fourth installment
is all over the web, there are 2 sequels which revive the characters
only in name and are thought to be "funny" by most Sleepaway
The actress who played Angela is still acting in off-off-Broadway
crap with her hubby and just completed a short horror titled called
Birds of a Feather. Ricky is rocking in a band.
Given the genre of stalk and kill slasher, Sleepaway camp elevates
to a different level In fact, Hiltzik combined a slew of strange
and deviant characters, sexual subtexts, disturbing flashbacks,
one hell of an ending and a cast of virtual unknowns to create
a movie that is different in a group of movies largely though
of as "the same." Hiltzik tried something a little different,
unaware of what he was creating to some extent, his story was
unique. That is a different notion than most who toyed with slasherdom.
Gore them out, boogeyman to death but Hiltzik's is a better story
than that so he didn't pull the cheap shit (much). The unfortunate
part is it was made in the early 80s. The fashions are plastic,
the hairstyles even more plastic and unfortunately one cannot
sit through the first 30 minutes and not think thoughts of Velveeta.
We got tight, camel-toe inducing, jogging shorts, tight, midriff
bearing, half T-shirts and beautiful pre-mullet, large, feathered
hair and all of that is just on the boyz. Not to mention the ManBeef
and plenty of it. There are are couple realing "in-shape"
fellas who look like they could fight or fuck with the best of
'em. Much has been made of Hiltzik gay references in the film,
but rumor has it he likes women. Wow. Who knew?
Nonetheless, Sleepaway Camp rises above it all with the kewl
ending and the feeling the viewer is left having. Like Nightmare,
Mother's Day and other gems that survived this period in filmaking,
sometimes it is the idea of a film that makes it a classic. Sleepaway
Camp is that. Ask any of the godawful webmasters and their handful
of minions and they will back me up. You can buy Sleepaway Camp
on DVD now, with commentary from Hiltzik and Felissa Rose (Angela)
and including super-fanboy and webmaster over at sleepawaycampmovies.com.
(and dot org and dot net) Seriously, I ain't lying, he even got
Fangoria to do a Reunion of the whole cast back in April of this
year. So remember kids, your stupid obsessions can pay big dividends,
by getting you autographs of people who were lucky enough to make
one movie. So keep up the banter and keep looking for that version
of Sleepaway Camp where the gay dad comes back and kills them
all. Me, I am happy with this one. Bro. George fetch me those
scissors, I'm making me a half shirt out of my new BOF T. WoooHooo!
|Acting and shit.
|Water balloon goes
pop on Angela
|Ricky uses words
like cocksucker, mother-fucker and pussy + more. Nice
|These are the cocksucker,
motherfucker and pussy + more.
|Spoiler Alert Cick
here for photos
that give the ending away!
Gestapo Black Exploitation?
From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Squad Join Today!
Meateater Do Not Touch!
Stranger Run Run Opie!
House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Massacre Some Like It.
Pussy It had to be done
Alley It is Rock.
Woman Truck. Woman.
Freak A Classic for You!
Geek Bigfoot Porn
School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Island You Must See!
Not that kinda Cock!
Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Island Vanity and the Beast
Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Tramp She is sumpin' else.
Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Knievel Evel of Course!
Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
- The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Losers Ya Loser!
of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
Grim Reaper Reap on.
One of William Girdler's triumphs.
At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried.
A Should-be Classic.
Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To
Terror Choo Choo!
Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Russ Meyer and breasts!
Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Deadly Darling! Pigs!
the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
County Express! Glug, Glug!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists
City Slickers get offed!
Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Eyes See It
Greatest Sinner One of the best!
Baby! Goo Goo!
Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Play Dead Incest craziness!
of Death Vacation madness!
Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown
Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
People Across The Lake Good TV!
Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
Are The Damned Dammit!
Farm TV movie Classic!