Monday, 24 January 2011

She's a real carpenter's dream: flat as a board and easy to screw!

Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Chosen by Lauren Parker who had this to say about it: 'Sleepaway Camp is the greatest bad film ever made. Everything about it is crap and yet it is one of the most entertaining films I've ever seen. If you don't crack at least a smile whilst watching I'm afraid you are dead inside!'

Sleepaway Camp is mostly famous for it's ending. A gloriously bonkers riff on Psycho, even knowing the end, as I did, going in doesn't diminish the sheer lunacy of it all.
Coming a few years after the likes of Friday the 13th, The Burning and their ilk, it follows a similar structure of first person stalking and killing but is focused less on a punishment on kids' irresponsibility but more about forcibly repressed sexuality (though i may have this theme on my mind at the moment as I saw Black Swan last night).
However I think this may be more of an accident than design, the film is a little confused (and has dodgy sexual politics generally) a rather horrid paedophile hick is horribly maimed but survives and some young kids whose only crime seems to be kicking some sand in the leads' face (perhaps, I'm a trifle unclear on who was actually murdered at the end) are viciously chopped up with an axe.
Relatively tame for a 'slasher' there is little gore (and most of what we have is reasonably effective, a decent arrow through the neck stunt makes up for a terribly unconvincing burn victim) and until the very end no nudity at all. Joe Bob Briggs may be disappointed.
The acting is pretty much what you would expect, ranging from competent (jonathan tierstan's delightfully foul mouthed teen) to hilariously awful (desiree gould's unbelievable turn as an oddball aunt) but Felissa Rose, as the lead Angela comes out of it very well. Perhaps because for half the movie she has no dialogue, but she gives an engaging and sympathetic performance.
The film is rather cheap looking. A pointless baseball game is very underpopulated (at one point you hear a crowd cheering them but see nobody but the few boys playing) and one actor has possibly the worst fake moustache ever committed to film.
Amazing. And they gave it a shot in full light.

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