Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)

October got off to a pretty good start and then I guess I started slacking (or drinking). I'm still planning on exceeding last year's numbers (twelve reviews) for the month. Maybe thirteen? By the way, I'm counting my "return to the grindhouse" posting as two reviews. Hopefully, I'll be able to work a few classics into the mix by month's end. Unfortunately, this won't be one of them.

Also, what's with my strange habit of reviewing sequels without reviewing the originals? I'm sure my "blog followers" (all 1 of you) are as confused as I am; Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Mimic 3, Exorcist III, The Hidden 2, Jack Frost 2, and on and on. And now this thing. I plan to get to the originals someday. I guess I just have a thing for part IIs and IIIs. Also, the originals, in most cases, are actually good. Quality pictures kinda go against everything I stand for. In addition, sequels go better with booze. Coulda used some for Sleepaway Camp 2. I did this thing dry. Thank christ it was mercifully short (a mere 79 minutes). I saw the original a little while back and I was full in the bag at the time. It was the tail end of a triple feature so what do you expect? The only thing I remembered was the big reveal at the end (how can one possibly forget? She's got a penis?! Whoa...).

Luckily, they recount the plot of the first one as a campfire story except the camp has changed from Camp Arawak to Camp Rolling Hills or Camp Running Pines or something like that, I forget. These are the kind of camps I wish my parents had sent me to when I was a teen. Horny girls fornicating with anything that moves. Except for the killing since I guess that's not too fun of an activity. The campfire tale is interrupted by counselor Angela who scolds the young woman delivering the story ("the killer slaughtered 30 campers, was a guy pretending to be a woman, and then later had a sex change that we, the tax payers, financed, etc"). Wait a minute? Angela? He/She kept the same name!? The storyteller is brought out into the woods by Angela and promptly "sent home".

This is a very funny picture I think. Angela is played by Pamela "sister of Bruce" Springsteen and it's a pretty solid performance. All she really wants out of life is to run a camp full of good kids but, unfortunately, these kids are too into showing off their boobies, smoking pot, drinking, having sex in the woods, and running their amateur pornography distribution businesses. Not things good kids typically partake in. Again, why the fuck didn't my parents send me here? Jesus, I went to Camp Sunset (or sunrise, who the fuck can remember?) and it was almost as gay as Sleepaway Camp I. I was a cub scout at the time and I seem to remember winning an eagle feather at the awards ceremony the final night. The eagle feather basically means you are a good kid and a dork and will not be having sex with a lady anytime soon. Winning that fucking feather set my development back a good ten years I would think. Also, my frog lost it's race and my "cabin" was full of bees. Not a good week from what I remember. Oh, and I failed the swimming test which means I had to swim in the kiddie section all week while my friends got to swim wherever the fuck they wanted. Shit man, I think that feather I "won" was a pity feather. In addition, no one got murdered that week. I do wonder what the counselors were doing after we went to bed. Actually, no I don't. They were all guys.

This movie is not exactly horror. We immediately know who the killer is and that pretty much destroys the suspense. There are some pretty funny scenes though involving Angela taking bad girls aside and drilling, strangling, stabbing, chainsawing, grilling, stuffing in a shit-piss-leach filled toilet to death. She remains cheerful throughout and always seems to cap off a kill with a sweet little line like "once I start a task I always finish" or "no more whining" or "goodnight campers". Always the dilligent counselor. It's for this attitude that she won "counselor of the week" courtesy of Uncle John (guy who runs camp) . Uncle John lost patience with her though after she "sent everyone home" and fires her. This doesn't go over too well and so she's forced to send him home as well. I think Uncle John was a pretty good guy that just needed a better process for screening his counselors.

I don't know, this is a pretty bad picture that manages to be fun despite itself while serving as a microcosm for everything that was right and wrong about the 80s (mediocre slasher films, mullets, hair metal, camel toe). One kid in a pool (what kind of a lake-side camp has an inground pool??) delivers the pictures funniest line when, upon seeing Ally (hot slut who constantly shows her boobs) in a wet t-shirt blurts out "Hey Emilio! Party hats at twelve o'clock!". I loved those fucking kids. The picture references Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre all in the same scene. It's not scary at all or even close to good for that matter. Nearly everything about the production is mediocre (gore effects, atmosphere, acting) but fuck it man, this was pretty fun. I had a good time with it and I didn't have one drop of the sauce. Ms. Springsteen returns for the next sequel so I'll get to it at some point. Just don't bother with the teaser trailer on the dvd. It's pretty much just a still of the title. I guess it must be pretty hard to live in her brother's shadow so I can see why she'd hack out a career in schlock. She does play the guitar and sing a little song at one point that was pretty fun so maybe she could have been successful in that field or at least land a job with the E Street band in the future. Bruce can't say no to his sister, can he?


elmo said...

I forget, did this one have the violent inner city kids? If not, then they're in part III- hysterical. But yeah, it was the tone that won me over.

brian said...

nope, this one had the two pot head sisters that get barbecued.

Beepy said...

I've got to try these out sometime. Bring back memories of my camp days.

(It is true, Brian. All the girls were just having sex with anything that wore shorts and didn't wheeze. So sorry you missed out.)