Posted by: Andy | October 12, 2010

Andy`s Halloween Trailer Park: Sleep-Away Camp (1983)

Killers running amok at Summer Camp was already a tired genre thanks to at least three Friday the 13th’s and a slew of posers when Sleep-Away Camp hit select theatres back in 1983.

However this film snowballed into such an underground hit, that it’s developed a cult status over the years thanks to the power of home video and a legion of fans. Enough to warrant three sub-par sequels; two of them starring Bruce Springsteen’s sister and the final chapter co-starring Big Pussy from the Sopranos and Chef from South Park.

A young, orphaned, socially introverted Angela who has been keeping a dark secret years after her entire family was wiped out in a freak power boating accident (choice opening scene) gets sent to Camp Arawak with her beset upon Cousin Ricky as chaperon. Shortly after arriving though, people start dropping like flies thanks to increasingly inventive and violent manners. (The inferred curling iron scene shown only in silhouette is quite nasty)

Cookie Cutter serial Killer 101 aside, this flick does benefit from a creepy musical score, some of the most nasty, stab-worthy supporting characters ever committed to a slasher movie and  from an isolated, decrepit shooting location. (It only had a budget of $350,000)

Those contributions aside,  there is one important plot point that will always enable Sleep-Away Camp to remain one of the most referenced and remembered horror films decades after its release.  This film has one of the greatest mind-f**k, twist endings ever committed to film in which it is revealed why Angela is so messed up. Even a self proclaimed genre junkie like myself never saw it coming.

In your face “The Crying Game”. In your $%”%” face!

Knowing that you`ll never see this movie on video, head to You Tube and look up Sleep-Away Camp Ending. You`ll have to jump through a few hoops to get access it but it`s worth it.



  1. The thing I remember most is the back of the box which consisted of a kid’s letter home to his/her parents. The thing that bothered me was the letter started off normally and then read “Wait? What was that? I think there is someone sneaking up behind m…..” Who would actuallywrite that instead of just turning around? Can you find the actual text and post?

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