Friday, October 16, 2009

Return to Sleepaway Camp

20 some years later, Robert Hiltzik, the same man who made the original Sleepaway Camp made this, only his second film, a direct follow-up to the original, even bringing back some of the original cast. A fat, unpleasant weirdo named Alan is getting picked on at summer camp when, much like in the original, all the kids picking on him start turning up dead. Is Alan the new Angela?

I like Sleepaway Camp a lot, but the Return is in a class of its own, for my money one of the strangest and funniest slasher films of all time. It takes all of the memorable elements of the original (the foulmouthed humor, the bizarre murders, the bratty New York attitude), turns them up to 11, adds a layer of self-awareness and then goes hog wild. Hiltzik isn't anyone's idea of a great director, but in the 20 some years between films he clearly learned a thing or two; some of the set pieces in this film are kind of ingenious in their rapidly building tension/hilarity.

In one part, the killer ties a fishing line to a man's dick, with the other end tied to a jeep, and scares the driver into driving away. It's all false starts and stops (the car won't start, but then it does. The car gets stuck in a hole, but the driver remembers it has four-wheel drive.), toying with the audience and dragging the scene out beyond all reason. The movie would be worth the price of admission for this scene alone, and its not even the best one. My favorite scene involves a couple of moron campers taking turns looking through a hole in the floor that is almost certainly about to have a sharp object shoved through it.

I have watched this 4 or 5 times in the past year and it does not get old.

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