Night #11: Sleepaway Camp II (1988)


Directed By: Michael A Simpson

Here ya go, Lea. It’ll keep your tits growing. Maybe you’ll quit looking at mine.”

Sequels are funny things. What do you do with a sequel? You can try and do something different (and risk annoying fans of what you did the first time around), you could give them more of the same, which is what almost every sequel does or for your third option you could throw your hands in the air say fuck it and just make fun of the whole thing.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers to use the full title tends to go for the last option. It has tongue firmly planted in cheek to deliver a story about a story about a camp counsellor who takes her job really seriously. This lacks the sleazy meanness and occasional dreamlike quality of its predecessor, but I don’t think they’d be able to replicate that if they tried (Particularly the memorable ending).

It’s been some years since Angela first killed a bunch of kids at camp, but now she’s grown up and is a camp counsellor herself and doesn’t take kindly to the slacking off and fornicating that the kids and adults alike get into. True, this does make Angela somewhat of a killjoy and literally the worst kind of busybody, but the movie still manages to make it work thanks to Pamela Springsteen’s performance. Yes, she’s the sister of Bruce so we get multiple scenes of her playing the guitar and singing. Weirdly though, that isn’t her on the poster up top. Go figure.

There’s really kind of nothing to the movie. We already know who the killer is and because as she’s the main attraction she’s more or less in every scene. It’s pretty much a case of Angela going through her day until someone annoys her and then she kills them. Rinse, repeat. Still, there’s fun to be had with it all, particularly the scene where two pranksters decide to scare Angela by dressing up as a couple of horror icons. That actually led to the UK poster of the movie, which I had assumed was some secret horror sequel.


How did they get away with that poster? I have no idea. But I think we should blatantly false advertise like that more often. I can only imagine the scores of people who rented this only to find that ‘Freddy’ and ‘Jason’ appear for about a minute in total. Still, being duped into something disappointing by the video cover is all part of the fun. The whole thing is kind of silly and the deaths are all ketchup and red syrup and people clutching their faces and going “arrgh!” but it’s the special kind of low-rent schlock they don’t make anymore. Some people would say that’s a good thing but there’s something that’s comforting, almost endearing, about the harmless fun of it all.


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