Angela’s Slashes

sleepaway

I suppose most people write this flick off as a cheap quickie Friday The 13th ripoff…which, granted, it was ostensibly meant to be. Most people don’t even know about it…but those of us who know it and dig it, we love it on its own terms…I have always been floored by its full-throttle viciousness…not just in its murders but its tone. The camp is packed with incredibly unsympathetic characters: snooty mean girls…idiot pranksters and bullies…careless counselors…a skin-crawlingly skeevy cook…Even the few good people are boiling with anger. Imagine Friday The 13th rewritten by Edward Albee…or a Summer camp Heathers. It’s a very cathartic film to watch if you’re a young geek or any kind of outcast, or if you’ve just got that “I’m surrounded by assholes!” feeling…It’s not a perfect film of course…it still has those erroneous psycho-thriller notions about gender identity (especially prevalent in early 60s films, “before we knew better”…a trope that still pops up now and then) but the core message of the movie, I think, is that it’s a cold, hard world for sensitive people, and that they are often isolated because the people in their lives are too ignorant or self-absorbed to truly care about them or even notice that they are suffering…and any random news headline will show you that it takes something pretty extreme to get the public’s attention. Sleepaway Camp is extremely extreme…with an absolutely batshit crazy ending and final image that will haunt your subconscious forever… 

sleepaway2

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