Kids just aren’t as scared of summer camp as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they aren’t even going away to summer camp unless forced to by the state.
Still, the nostalgia of summer camp is enough to help us begin our Summer Camp Slasher Series, a tribute to horror movies featuring campers, camp counselors, and the maniacs who murder them.
We continue this summer horror series with Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers.
Movie: Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Plot: Angela Baker, now medically developed into a full woman, becomes a camp counselor. Unfortunately for both campers and other counselors, she’s still homicidal.
Killer: Angela Johnson, formerly known as Angela Baker with male genetalia.
Scene of Awesomeness: The problem with Sleepaway Camp 2 is that scenes are both ridiculous and awesome at the same time. But the most awesome scene is when Angela stabs Ally in the back and forces her into the outhouse, shoving her down the hole with a stick. It’s one of those ridiculously long scenes that make the Sleepaway Camp series great.
Scene of Ridiculousness: What isn’t ridiculous about this movie? I guess if I had to choose one random scene that isn’t the outhouse scene above, it would have to be T.C. running up to the abandoned cabin sweating with his mullet floating in the wind.
Body Count: 17
1 cracked in the head with a log before having her tongue cut out
2 grilled extra well-done
1 power-drilled to death
1 throat sliced by a Freddy Krueger glove
1 chainsaw butchering
1 backstabbing followed by being drowned in an outhouse (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 choke out by guitar wire
1 cup of battery acid to the face
1 beheading by machete
2 vague deaths, something to do with eyes and neck (off-camera)
1 hand chopped off before throat slashing (off-camera)
1 hanging while having a jockstrap shoved down the throat (off-camera)
2 pairs of breasts, multiple times
Actors/Actresses of Note: Bruce Springsteen’s sister Pamela plays Angela. And Renée Estavez of the Estavez/Sheen clan plays Molly, best known for nerdy Betty Finn in Heathers.
Quote: “I’ve got great recommendations from doctors, psychiatrists, even clergymen. I did my time. Two years of therapy, electroshock, was on every pill you ever heard of, plus an operation. I’m completely cured. If I wasn’t they wouldn’t have let me out.” – Angela
The first Sleepaway Camp may have been severely budgeted, but it had the heart of a good slasher movie. It created a realistic environment, summer camp with kids pulling pranks and playing games, and introduced the horrific elements of what could happen at summer camp. Not what would happen, but worst case scenarios like kids getting butchered in their sleeping bags, drownings, a pedophile cook, and fake moustaches.
The sequel, Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers, did away with any for of fear you would have of summer camp. The killer is known five minutes into the movie. Most of the “campers” look like they’re in college. The kills are campy (not summer campy), horror greats like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface make appearances, there’s frontal nudity, and we find out that Brice Springsteen has a sister. This all makes a great campy slasher, which is a far cry from the original.
Still, you can’t dismiss the one-liners and overall comedy of the film. It revels in its absurdity instead of trying to be better than it. For that, it has a special place in my film collection.