06 February 2013

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland 1989 - REVIEW

In the late 1980's Michael A Simpson took on making not one but two sequel's to 1983's Sleepaway Camp.  Filming the movies back to back, part 2 released in 1988 while part 3 was released in 1989 by Double Helix.  Both were direct to video and were not really hits at the time but over the years have gained quite a cult following.  I even think that parts 2 and 3 are better than the original and a whole lot more entertaining, but no one can top the originals surprise ending.  Part 3 expands on the murder spree of Angela Baker Camp New Horizons which was formerly Camp Rolling Hills were Angela was a counslor at.

Maria (Kashina Kessler) wakes up bright and early and gets ready to go wait for her ride to go to camp.  Just outside of her apartment in New York a garbage truck comes roaring down the street chasing her into and alley and runs her over.  It is revealed the driver was Angela Baker (Pamela Springsteen) and she looks surprisingly just like Maria.  She puts her in the back of the truck and assumes her identity and is picked up by the Camp New Horizon's van.  She is now a camper and ready to slash away at some more terrible kids.

Another fun, cheesy slasher movie from the 80's that came at the end of the era but really was one of the great ones.  It's true that the acting really wasn't that great and really did not have much to offer in way of a soundtrack, but it was effective none the less.  Pamela Springsteen returns to the big screen as the mentally unbalanced trans sexual killer Angela and is really one of the brightest spots of the film.  She is in no way a great actress but she plays a great corny serial killer.  There was even a small part for film veteran Michael J Pollard in this one.  He really did not last too long but his character was a lot of fun.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this movie is the special effects.  The man in charge was none other than Bill "Splat" Johnson.  You really have to appreciate the use or really the non use of CGI that you see all too much these days.  It really was good old fashion slashing and blood splatter.  My favorite was the heavily edited death scene of Lily (Sandra Dorsey) getting her head run over with the lawn mower.  It really does not get any better than that.

I was only about 10 years old when I first saw this movie, and it was the first Sleepaway Camp movie that I had ever seen.  I was hooked after just one viewing.  VHS tapes from independent film company's were really hard to find on sale and not just for rent at the time.  I did not obtain a copy of this until the late 90's but that did not stop me from renting this endlessly from the local blockbuster video.  I cannot rate this as my favorite slasher movie of the time, but it is definitely in my top 10.  If you are a slasher fan and by some twist of fate you have not seen this movie, you need to right away.  Stay Twisted everyone!

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