Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway Camp 1983
Director: Robert Hiltzik
Writer: Robert Hiltzik
Starring Felissa Rose, Jonathon Tiersten, Karen Fields, Desiree Gold, Christopher Collet, Mike Kellin and Katherine Kamhi

I had heard a lot about this film and what is funny is I saw the 3rd sequel before I saw this film. I did really enjoy that one, but this is where it all started and I am glad to have finally viewed it. It is a great slasher film, that at first makes you think it is just another knock off of the Friday the 13th variety. The ending of the film though, throws all those ideas through the window and really leaves an impression in your head. This film would not work though, without the charisma and bravura acting of Felissa Rose. You are mesmerized by her anytime she is onscreen. I am not going to talk too much about plot, because if you have not seen the film, it really should not be spoiled for you.
The plot basics are this, we meet Angela (Rose) as a young girl and a horrible boating accident and she then goes to live with her weird and strange Aunt Martha (Gold)and her over protective cousin, Ricky (Tiersten). Years later, Angela is a withdrawn and lonely girl and she gets sent to Camp Arawak along with her cousin Ricky. Not long after she arrives bizarre deaths begin occurring. This leads to a investigation on who is behind these deaths and the shocking climax is one that will keep you thinking long after the film is over.
This is really a great slasher film, that is done very economically and is pulled off flawlessly. The direction is quite good, at first the film likes a comedy in the vein of Meatballs, but soon evolves into a bloody slasher fest. The script also by Hiltzik is great, you really feel for the character of Angela and hope she survives all the trauma that she endures in the film. It is also a pretty funny film that balances the laughs with sheer moments of terror. The acting is very good for a film of this caliber, and most of the praise goes to Rose, she is magnetic and really brings great pathos to the character of Angela. The SFX are really quite realistic and will leave people faint of heart quite queasy. This is a must see for fans of the slasher genre and I don think anyone will be disappointed.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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