Combustible Celluloid Review - Sleepaway Camp (1983), Robert Hiltzik, Robert Hiltzik, Felissa Rose, Mike Kellin, Jonathan Tiersten, Christopher Collet, Paul DeAngelo, Susan Glaze, Katherine Kamhi, Karen Fields
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With: Felissa Rose, Mike Kellin, Jonathan Tiersten, Christopher Collet, Paul DeAngelo, Susan Glaze, Katherine Kamhi, Karen Fields
Written by: Robert Hiltzik
Directed by: Robert Hiltzik
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 84
Date: 11/18/1983
IMDB

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Slaycation

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sometimes you need a cult classic that is simply not all that good, a movie that can keep you on the edge of your seat with its sheer lunacy. Robert Hiltzik's bonkers Sleepaway Camp has a genuine cult following, based mainly on its off-the-rails, head-spinning twist ending, but also because the movie has so many "WTF?" moments along the way. After a flashback depicting a boating accident, the movie begins as Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) and his traumatized, mostly mute cousin Angela (Felissa Rose) show up to Camp Arawak for summer vacation. Angela is bullied by the camp's nasty girls, but the boys take a liking to her. Before long, horrific deaths begin happening; a cook is scalded by a pot of boiling water, a boy is drowned under an overturned canoe, another boy is stung to death by bees, etc. Who could the killer be? Some of the acting and dialogue is supremely awkward, and the movie feels naïve and raw; it's not even particularly scary or gory, but it's so strange and messed up that it may be worth a viewing. This was writer and director Hiltzik's only film until he returned to make the direct-to-video sequel Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008).

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