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 3: Teenage Wasteland.
Movie: Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland (1989)
Plot: A year after Angela’s last camp murder spree, she’s back to teach both under and over-privileged kids how to be nice, or have them die trying. Oh, and Officer Barney Whitmore, father of the now headless Sean Whitmore, is one of the counselors.
Killer: Angela Baker. Not dead yet!
Scene of Awesomeness: Once again, it’s the kill that takes its time. In this sequel, that kill is Lilly’s head being run over with a lawnmower. It’s not so much the actual lawnmower as the time it takes Angela to bury Lilly with the garbage up to her neck.
Scene of Ridiculousness: I didn’t think anything could be skeezier than a man over 60 trying to get with a teenager, but this film had Michael J. Pollard doing it while calling her, “Sweet Pea.” Mission accomplished!
Body Count: 16 (Angela did NOT slash last year’s record of 17)
1 run over by a garbage truck, and then crushed in the compactor (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 Drano snorting
1 face impaling with a branch
1 beating to death
1 facial explosion
1 beating and burnt to death
1 drop from a flagpole
1 head run over with a lawnmower
1 dismemberment by Jeep
2 booby-trap axes to the chest
2 hypodermic needle stabbings
3 pairs of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: Besides Bruce Springsteen’s sister, Pamela, back in action as Angela, we get Michael J. Pollard, known for such films as Bonnie & Clyde, Tango and Cash, Scrooged, and an episode of Tales from the Crypt.
Quote: “I’ve never chopped wood before. But I’ve chopped other things.” – Angela
There comes a point in every horror franchise that the films end up jumping the shark. One film just says, “Screw it,” and goes way off the path of the previous films with a goofy premise. That film for the Sleepaway Camp franchise was Sleepaway Camp 2. It did away with any suspense and rolled with all-out goofiness, from the kills to the outfits to the one-liners.
So what could we expect from Sleepaway Camp 3? I couldn’t tell you, but I didn’t expect it to be as dull as it was. There was just nowhere for the franchise to go, except maybe Hawaii. It wasn’t that the movie was really dull. It just didn’t have the unexpectedness, whether it be the suspense of the first or the ball-out lunacy of the second. It was really just a continuation of the second film with higher expectations than the film delivered on.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Sleepaway Camp 3, just not as much as the first two films.