This Day in Horror

22 February 2012

Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers 1988 - Review

 Summer camps are supposed to be a place where children and teenagers can go and have fun for a few weeks every summer. That’s not the case when a killer is on the loose and even more disturbing is the fact that SHE used to be a HE.
The story begins years ago at a campfire with 1 girl and a group of boys telling horror stories around the fire in the woods.  It is learned that Angela/Peter Baker, the Camp Arawak killer from the first movie, has had a full sex change operation while in a mental institution and was released. Angela (Pamela Springsteen) is now a camp counselor at Camp New Horizons and no one knowing about her past.  She shows up to keep Phoebe (Heather Binion) from hanging with the boys and in Angela’s opinion acting like a slut.  Walking back to camp there is an argument and Angela leaves Phoebe to walk back by herself.  Phoebe loses her way but never fear, Angela shows up to help her find it with a stick to the head.  Since Phoebe had such a filthy mouth her tongue gets cut out as well.  Angela is at it again not stopping till she has “sent home” all of the campers that are not good kids.  In her opinion that is all of them.  Not even the macho head counselor T.C. (Brian Patrick Clarke) and his super mullet can stop her. 

I want to start with saying that the director Michael A Simpson did a fantastic job of continuing the storyline of the original Sleepaway camp.  While Robert Hiltzik did a great job with the original movie, Michael took it a step further and adding dark comedy and less of a serious atmosphere.  This sequel is also filled with famous names as well.  Pamela Springsteen the little sister of “the boss” Bruce Springsteen, Renee Estevez who is the sister of Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen and let’s not forget the late Walter Gotell.  Rule #1 for a good slasher movie is you can’t enjoy it nearly as much unless there is bad acting.  The acting is not horrible, but not really great either.  At the same time Unhappy Campers is able to deliver a fun movie to watch.
I first saw this movie at the young age of 9 years old.  Yes folks, I had very cool parents that let me watch this kind of filth at a young age which may explain my twisted mind at the age of 31.  Anyway, when I first watched this movie I was hooked.  My dad and I rented it from Blockbuster video and I made him watch it 4 times before we returned the movie the next day.  I have to admit I had a HUGE crush on Pamela Springsteen and not even afraid that her big brother Bruce might beat me up for it.  It’s no secret that I am a huge slasher fan but some of my favorites involve some kind of camp or just in the woods.  It adds so much more to the whole creepy stalking factor.  This movie eluded me for many years.  By the time I was able to actually buy the movie for myself when I had a job at the age of 17 the movie as long out of print with no plans of release on DVD just yet.  2002 came along and the morning the box set was released I was at Best Buy before they even opened to buy the first copy off the shelves.  This was a good move because 2 weeks later the Red Cross had a fit they used the cross on the front of the Survival Kit box set cover and they all had to be pulled off the shelves to have it removed.  While all incarnations of this movie are all out of print you are able to find it on Amazon.com for a pretty decent price.  If you have not seen this movie, you just flat out need to.  Stay Twisted Everyone!
Reviewed by: J.R. Watkins




1 comment:

  1. Great review! I miss the Sleepaway Camp movies. None of sequels though matched that fun ending from the original.

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