Weird Wednesday: Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers

For a lot of horror fans, the big reveal at the end of 1983’s Sleepaway Camp was earth-shattering. It was the first of its kind and how in the world were they going to top that.

Well, the filmmakers didn’t even really try. They start over again. Start from scratch except for one thing, Angela Baker in a new more secure form.

She returns some four years after the first film. And she’s hard at work at a new summer camp called Rolling Hills and this time as a deadly strict counselor.

In Part 2, Pamela Springsteen, younger sister of music legend Bruce Springsteen, takes over the starring role. Pamela burst onto the scene in the landmark teen comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Here she plays the snarky lead counselor with a grain of salt and some humor.

It is kind of funny but Pamela Springsteen reminds me a lot of Joanie (Erin Moran) off of Happy Days. Especially in the more subdued scenes like where she is giving an insecure camper some sincere advice.

Can you imagine if Erin Moran went psychotic on Happy Days? It is a really interesting thought because that could have at least made Joanie Loves Chachi watchable.

It is also interesting to note that Walter Gotell also stars in this film. He is probably best known for playing General Gogol in six James Bond films. His long career stretched back to 1942 where he had acted opposite such greats as Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck.

This 1988 entry in the series is more comedic than horror especially given the extremely low budget.

Like when a girl is beaten with a baseball hat, she falls to the floor with what looks like raspberry jam spread across the side of her head.

The first Sleepaway Camp has become a cult classic not only because of the reveal but because it tried to make the eventual murderer the most unsuspected in the camp.

This sequel we know right up front and the constantly frustrated Angela kills campers because they misbehave. In some ways, this movie is perfect example of the slasher stereotype. If you fornicate, do drugs, get drunk, get naked or listen to rock n roll… Angela is gonna get you!

One of my favorite lines from the film was when Angela says “I don’t like being the wicked witch of the west.” Yes, she does. She gets off on it. And that is what makes her so deliciously twisted. Giving Angela power in a place where she lost her mind is like waiting for a bomb to explode. And that is what the movie should have been.

My favorite scene in the movie is when some of the campers dress up has Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers. All the seminal 80s horror franchise monsters appear in a yet another horror franchise. If you are a movie geek like me than this is a real treat. The irony and cliche here is kind of priceless.

Unfortunately even with Pamela Springsteen starring and trying to breathe new life into the series, this sequel is pale in comparison to the original. This just isn’t as much of a treat.

(2 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

One thought on “Weird Wednesday: Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers

  1. Nice review! I love the sequels, I don’t care what anyone says, lol! Have you checked out my reviews of them? I’m not sure if you have yet, I can’t remember anything right now, haha. I also liked when the male campers dressed as Leatherface, Jason, and Freddy. How classic is that? Such a little guilty pleasure! Good post.

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