Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

Year: 1988
Director: Michael A. Simpson
Writer: Fritz Gordon, Robert Hiltzik
Genre: Horror: Slasher

Here we go again. I didn't really love the original Sleepaway Camp too much but the famous ending certainly stuck with me. Later I realized that there were sequels to the film and wondered what they brought to the table, if anything. So here I am, slowly watching through each of them.

I liked this movie a lot more than the first. The characters felt more alive to me (certainly more annoying). There's something about annoying characters though... You just know that they're going to get it and keep watching to see when and how. I felt myself really digging the killer too, which certainly isn't the normal passing of events when watching a horror film. Usually we're made to fear or despise the killer. In this case, it felt like she was simply taking out the garbage.

Something I didn't enjoy was the first few minutes of the film where they basically rehash what happened in the first. Honestly, I'm glad they explained it because it was quite contrived in the original. Either way, I didn't like that the characters were poking fun at the possibly trans status of the killer. It seemed odd though, since the characters suggested the mother of the killer simply dressed her boy up as a girl since he was 3. Even if that were the case, if he still felt he were fully a boy inside he wouldn't be happy about the dresses and stuff his mother forced him into. So, that seems an odd way of describing his growing life. I guess there's not really much that can be said though since certainly most people of the 80s probably had no clue about the existence of transgender people beyond their awkward and psychotic depictions in media (which, of course, this film continues).

Getting past that stuff though it was a cool movie. I'm happy that I watched it and can't wait to see the third. I've heard that the 3rd is done on even more of a shoestring budget than this one. Personally, I couldn't tell that this was a low-budget flick any more than all the other low-budget horror films I'm accustomed to watching. Since the original film's story is summed up in the sequel you probably don't even need to watch or re-watch the first to have fun with the sequel. However, if you were crazy about the first it's entirely possible this version might not do it for you, since it definitely changes the reasons for killing.

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