10/16/14 – 2014 OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #16 – Sleepaway Camp.

Sleepaway Camp

Okay, so the last few days have been more serious horror films. It’s time to break it up with something completely bizarre… zany… peculiar… oh man, there are so many other adjectives I could use here. Let’s just say Sleepaway Camp is one of those movies that kind of defies categorization and, well, all logic. But damn it all if isn’t completely entertaining and bizarrely intoxicating in its ridiculous insanity. Now, to fully enjoy Sleepaway Camp, first you need to know what you’re entering into. Yes, it is one of those wonderful 80’s slasher films, so expect that template — campers and counselors, killer on the loose, interesting deaths (including a “hinted at” off camera one that might be the single worst thing ever thought up.) But then, take that and put a seriously bizarre twist to it. Let’s just say there’s a reason “camp” is in the title. I like to describe Sleepaway Camp as the campiest slasher film ever made. It’s filled with weird sexual undertones, especially a lot of weird underage ogling from creepy older men. The characters are completely over-the-top (oh Aunt Martha you creep). The actors they found definitely graduated with honors from Overacting Academy. And the dialogue they’re given is exactly what you’d expect these types of actors to say. But listen, this isn’t a bad thing. It all just adds to the camp factor. Think of it this way. When you watch a grindhouse movie, you WANT the burnt film, the grainy shots, the whole shebang. Well, the same holds true here. You want the campy factor to be sky high, so the characters, acting and dialogue is perfect for this movie. What’s actually charming about this film is that it really has the feel of a sleepaway camp, complete with long unnecessary baseball games and dance socials. If you’ve ever gone to camp of any kind (especially in the 80’s), you’ll connect. But here’s the deal, let’s be honest. The main reason this movie is so famous is for its ending. The final shot. The big reveal. And if you don’t know, don’t Google it. And remember this is 1983. It. Was. SHOCKING. But don’t focus solely on the visual, also pay attention to the death metal sound that accompanies the moment. To me, that might be the single most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard. If you’re looking for an insane, over the top, campy camp slasher, you seriously need to take in Sleepaway Camp.

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