Return to Sleepaway Camp
Review by Kloipy
I’ll start off by saying that I am a fan of the series. I like all three of them. And I can’t even say that I hate this one, because a little character named Alan. But we’ll get into the genius that is Alan a little later. This movie has apparently been in the making for around 5 or 6 years now. You’d think in those years they would have gone to greater lengths to make this movie better, but alas, that is not what transpires. I’m going to spoil the movie so be forewarned. And here it is at the top so we don’t have to keep in suspense. Yes, Angela is back and she is the killer. However, she spends the entire movie until the last 10 seconds dressed up like a male cop with a tracheotomy (she uses one of those things that makes her sound like a robot, which in my opinion only serves to make smoking even cooler). I kind of feel stupid for not seeing that it was her from the beginning so there, ya got me Sleepaway Camp. I did figure it out about 30 minutes before ending, but it’s pretty obvious looking back because the cop has a very feminine body type. So at the end of the movie, when she finally reveals herself/himself to be the killer, nothing happens except her laughing and then it goes to credits. This worked in the first movie, but this one doesn’t even earn it.
So, what’s good about this movie? Other than Alan, not a whole lot. There are a couple of decent kills here and there but each time they want to build suspense the soundtrack kicks in. The music sounds like someone with a Casio who got turned down at an audition for a spot in Oingo Boingo. It is ridiculously bad and takes you so far out of the movie you realize that you’re at Target buying bath beads and a wicker laundry hamper that you don’t need. Vincent Pastore (the one guy from The Soprano’s) runs the camp and he yells at everybody and seems to have a hate for every child. His character is great though because for no reason other than to set up a pretty lame kill later on in the movie, this guy loves birds. He has a pet cockatoo that he calls “daddy’s little baby” and he kisses it about 10 times in a row. I don’t know why, but this stuff just cracked me up. There’s just something about a fat Italian man who treats his bird better than his girl that just tickles my funny bone. He was even building an aviary for this bird, albeit an aviary made with mesh wire that was only about 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Isaac Hayes is in this movie. And by in this movie, I of course mean enough time in the movie to establish that he is the chef and then enough time for him to leave and never come back for the rest of the movie. If you really like this series of movies it’s kind of cool to see some of the people back, but then again it also reminds you that this isn’t like those movies. Also we learn that with time, acting ability can sometimes decrease. One thing I did like about this movie is how horrible the camp is. I mean you honestly wouldn’t need to have a killer to make this the worst camp of all time. The only reason to send you child to this camp is if you truly hate them. This camp makes the camp from Meatballs 2 look like a paradise, even though that camp was filled with horrible dialog and lazy everything. There are two great kills in this movie, but I won’t spoil them for you (unless you ask me to). But this isn’t the reason I’m sort of recommending this movie to you.
Here is that reason.
Daniel Day Lewis. Robert Redford. Dame Judy Dench. Fine actors, whose name brings an esteem and almost ethereal quality to their craft. And now add to that list, Michael Gibney, in his star making introductory role as Alan; the fat slob who once suffered from Rheumatic Fever (which I didn’t know a symptom of this was being a giant asshole), whose only friends are frogs, and who could quite possibly be the most obnoxious character in cinematic history just behind any role starring Paul “Pauly” Montgomery Shore. But don’t let that fool you. I wish there were 30 movies about this character; I would watch every single one of him. If there is one saving grace to this movie, Alan be thy name. He is a true definition of a paradox wrapped in an enigma. The shit that befalls this kid is unbelievable, and yet he’s so goddamn annoying you can’t feel that bad for him. Every single time you feel some sympathy for this kid he just goes and does something that just makes you want to punch him in his fat face. He is disgusting, vile, and crude. He wears the same clothes apparently weeks at a time (it’s covered in pit stains, eggs, and paintballs) and he stinks. He has a secret spot in the woods where he hangs out with frogs (the only thing other than a girl he shows any sort of good feelings towards in the whole movie). Anytime someone makes fun of him (which happens every second of screen time he’s in) his only comeback is to give them the finger, run away like a duck with a broken foot, and yell “your ass stinks!” I hope you like that catchphrase because he says it about 3000 times. But wait, there’s more!
There is only one person in this movie that even tries to help him, but she gets accused of being Angela just because she’s nice to him! Everyone else though treats this kid like a state park outhouse. One counselor makes him eat food off the floor. The guy who runs the camp slaps him in the face. His stepbrother threatens him with a knife and then later skins his frog pals and throws them at him the one time he is able to get the girl he likes to go to his secret spot (more on the stepbrother later). I’m now going to give you a taste of just some of what happens to our hapless friend. The cook calls him an idiot and throws raw eggs at him (Alan throws a knife at him). He goes to play paintball and the kids throw away his safety gear. While he’s hunting down the other team, they are all waiting for him and start shooting at him, then he runs into his own team and they start doing the same. Then they all circle him and just pummel him with paintballs. Kids trick him into smoking a joint made with cow crap. When he starts coughing because of the smoke he falls down and holds onto a kid’s legs. Then some kids see him doing this and nickname him “blow job” and keep calling that until he runs away (your ass stinks ensues). Then the girl he likes pretends that they are going to play spin the bottle, so they lure him backstage of the auditorium at camp, shut off all the lights, then a spotlight appears on the stage, which draws the attention of all the campers. Then Alan is shoved out wearing nothing but his underwear and a hat over his eyes. As if this isn’t bad enough for the kid, as he goes into a fetal like state in the councilor’s office, kids are outside chanting his nickname over and over until he runs (hobbles is more like it) into the woods. People drop the search for him fairly quickly. These are just a couple of things that happen to this kid, but that isn’t the coup-de-grace. Most people at this point suspect that he is the killer. So his stepbrother finds him hiding out in his secret spot (why wouldn’t this be the first place they looked as it isn’t much of a secret?) and then beats him half to death with a croquet mallet. Two minutes later the movie ends with Alan being a bloody mess that can hardly move.
So this kid, who by all means would probably be justified in murder, instead of getting one chance at redemption; gets beat almost to death by his stepbrother (who is also probably the parents favorite, I’m sure Alan has to sleep on a cot in the den, you know where the air conditioner is busted in the summer, and I’m sure they don’t trust him with a fire in the winter). The brother does get skinned to death but I’m sure Alan’s folks will take it out on him when he gets home from Intensive Care. If we continued the trials and tribulations of Alan after the film, I’m sure we would see him eating table scrapes off the floor as his parents sat at the dinner table trying to justify a reason to stay together. His biological mother (loving her stepchild more) will take to drinking heavily again (as she did before and during the time she got pregnant with Alan). After the constant abuse from his stepdad for failing completely at life, he will one night creep out of the den to the front door. His one outfit stained with years of regret, a whisper will pass from his lips to the quiet and darkened house. “Your ass stinks, your ass stinks forever”. Alan will make his way from the solitude of his suburban home to the bright lights of the city to blend in with the crowds and slip silently into anonymity. Unfortunately, his dreams will be crushed when only 2 miles from his home he stumbles out into the road and is crushed by a bus carrying his frog friends that had been skinned, now rehabilitated and being taken back to their natural environment. Oh sweet Mother Irony, your fates can be so cruel!
EDITOR’S NOTE: As an added bonus for Shitfest Summer, Kloipy and I have agreed to include the following GIF from Sleepaway Camp (the first one) – because nothing says Shitfest like this: