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I guess I just like liking things

This is a first for Dire DVDs. It’s a movie I’ve seen before. Is that cheating? Maybe. My column my rules. Is this even a column? I don’t know. Am I asking too many questions? Probably.

Now, the Sleepaway Camp series is actually pretty decent. Starting in 1983 with the first movie, the series had a couple of sequels. I’m going to spoil the movie for you now, but you’ve had 31 years to see it so you’ve no one to blame but yourself. Short(ish) version is this – Angela and her brother are playing in a lake, but there’s an accident which kills her brother and parents. She’s sent to live with her Aunt and cousin Ricky who accompanies her to Summer Camp. Angela is shy and a little odd, and gets picked on a lot by other kids at the camp. One by one, those who are picking on her end up dead. At the end of the movie, it’s revealed that Angela is a boy (the sister died, not the brother, but mad Aunt Martha wanted a girl) and a murderer.

The original movie was quite dark and suspenseful. It’s not the best movie ever made, but it’s good fun and enjoyable to watch. The next two movies starred Pamela Springsteen as Angela who was back at camp as a camp counselor (no background checks, clearly). She resumes her murdering ways, punishing those campers she feels deserve it with various tortures and deaths. These two movies are not as dark, and also a lot of fun to watch. Sure there’s nonsense in them, but they’re still fun.

Then we come to this, “Return to Sleepaway Camp.” Pretty much ignoring the two other movies, this one reunites the original cast. This was mistake number one. Ready? I’m not, but let’s do this anyway.

The movie opens with a shaky overly filtered and processed shot of a newspaper advert for Camp Arawak. The advert promises Hiking, crafts, swimming lessons and “vollyball.” Blood splatters on the advert, and through the rest of the opening credits. The opening credits are all newspaper clippings about the murdery history of the camp, and I’m reminded that Isaac Hayes is in this as (wait for it) “The Chef.”

After the credits, we’re taken directly to camp with a shot of a red cabin at night. It’s one of the boy’s cabins. They have a cigarette lighter are taking it in turns to light their farts. Well, not all of them. The nerdy boy is just sitting around looking nerdy. It must be hard for camp admins to make sure each cabin gets a nerdy kid or a fat kid. Or a fat nerdy kid. The boys are laughing and laughing when a taller kid comes out of the bathroom and accuses them of laughing at him. He’s angry, and not very smart. He’s only had one line, but that’s all nice and clear. He’s a standard Dim Loser – a little overweight, and wearing nothing but a sweat stained teeshirt. The nerd is concerned because he owns the lighter, but the big guy – Alan – just does some ranty shouting about how stupid everyone is. The other guys pick on him, so he grabs an aerosol can and makes a flame thrower. Much screaming, establishing that Alan is a nutcase.

The counselor (Randy – name, not condition) comes in and twists Alan’s arm behind his back. Alan does some shouting like he’s five and then flees the cabin. Randy promises to punish Andy, but the other boys reckon it’ll never happen.

The next day, the campers are having lunch. Alan flicks mashed potato at the nerd, who begs Randy to tell Andy to stop it in a Movie Nerd Whine Voice. Randy tells Alan that if he wasn’t such a pain, his girlfriend wouldn’t be being seduced by Alan’s brother. There’s a shot of a valley girl type blonde being talked to by some guy. Randy explains that the guy is totally moving in on the girl. Randy seems to have quite a mean streak for a man in charge of kids all Summer.

The camp owner or guy in charge or whatever (Frank) calls for silence to introduce a “policeman.” Even on my first viewing I guessed this “policeman” was Angela in a pretty woeful disguise. The “policeman” is there to discuss the dangers of smoking, and the older teenage boys do some rebelling because they are so super cool. The “policeman” has one of those voice box things people get when they’ve had throat cancer, neatly disguising her lady voice. Not that it’s Angela (it’s totally Angela).

The cool boys react with mocking and jokes because they are too cool to listen to a “policeman” telling them not to smoke. I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t one of those camps for kids with psychological issues. The “policeman” gives up the talk and sits back down, so we can rejoin Alan who is whining about his food. He has one of the all time most annoying voice tones in the history of cinema, so this should be fun for the next hour or so. Alan refuses to eat the chicken, so Randy grabs him by the back of the head and forces his face to the plate. Alan manages to throw the plate the floor, so Randy throws Alan to the floor and demands he clean up the mess. Considering Randy is pinning Alan to the floor, I’m not sure how he’s supposed to clean it up. Ronnie arrives to break up the fight. Ronnie is from the original movie, and in the 30ish years between movies his acting ability has fled, but at least his hair is dyed an unbelievable colour.

Alan tells Ronnie he can’t behave because everyone picks on him because he’s “different.” I’m not sure what kind of “different” Alan is supposed to be, unless it’s the kind of brat you’d like to see murdered horribly in a C-Grade movie. Last I checked, being a whiny moron wasn’t “different.” Ronnie is nice and understanding, and Alan promises to be good.  Alan wanders off to the kitchen to get something else to eat, but he’s punched in the chest by a sassy black girl on his way. Alan throws some food at the girl, who is named Bella, and she’s about to kick him firmly in the butt when her cabin leader settles her down. No one wants to upset Ronnie.

In the kitchen, the Chef arrives. He’s on his way out and can’t get Alan any other food, but Mickey will take care of it. As Mickey walks in, the Chef abuses him for not taking the trash out because there’s rats everywhere. Mickey loses his mind and starts screaming. Everyone so far is kind of tense. Alan decides to have some ice cream. As he’s rummaging in the sliding top freezer, Mickey slams the door shut. I say slams, I mean “gently closes in a way which will not injure even those with the slowest reaction times.” Alan squeals like his hand was about to be broken. No ice cream, egg salad or tuna salad. Mickey’s orders. Shouty orders from a tense, angry man. Mickey storms out carrying a tray of cookies and Alan takes his chance to cram ice cream bars into his mouth. Micky busts him and shouts at him some more, calling him a little girl. “You suck!” says Alan, wiping ice cream on his shirt. To prove that he does indeed suck, Mickey takes some eggs and throws them at Alan. Alan retaliates with a saucepan. The clatter draws the attention of everyone in the dining hall, except one extra who is right in the foreground of the shot, and too distracted by the table to notice the noise.

People rush into the kitchen just as Alan throws a knife at Mickey, landing it perfectly in the door frame. The camp owner grabs Alan and Alan squirms free, having a high pitched tantrum before fleeing the room. “I hope you all die,” screams Alan as he goes. Alan’s brother, Michael,  is sent to fetch him, and the “policeman” wanders in. Standing next to Ronnie makes the “policeman” look even tinier and more waif like, but everyone is still convinced.

Michael is chasing Alan through the woods while the music tries to make it sound like everything’s a bit scary. Michael tells Alan that Alan has to go back to camp, but Alan is crying (well, whining) that he won’t go back because everyone is mean. He’s a complete jerk to everyone anyway, so I don’t know what he expects. Michael tells him to stop crying and calls him a baby. Michael, for some reason, is whittling during this exchange. Alan sits on a log and is surrounded by frogs, who apparently like him and are his friends. There’s a big fat frog on a rock, which Michael kicks away.

Alan screams, and picks up the kicked frog. The frogs don’t care if he was sick one time, they like him anyway. Apparently he had rheumatic fever, which according to the internet can cause a permanent loss of co-ordination but apparently does not turn people into whiny morons. Michael reaches to grab Alan to drag him back to camp, but Alan throws him backwards to the ground. Alan picks up Michael’s knife and points it at Michael, while clutching a frog in his other hand. Being as I am a frog nut, I am concerned for the well being of the frog.

There’s a long sequence that flashes from knife, to Michael, to Alan, to knife, to Alan etc. At least one of these go arounds is a repeat of the one before it. Eventually Michael grabs the knife and storms off into the woods, after telling Alan he’s on his own from now on. He actually says that in a much more sweary way.

In the kitchen, Mickey is reading a comic and picking his nose. He’s making himself a couple of hamburgers for dinner, and gets up to flip the patties before lifting the fries out of the oil. While the fryer is still on and the oil is still bubbling away, Mickey decides it’d be a great idea to clean the thing. The music goes all “Oh no!” and someone appears in the frame. This person runs at Mickey and lifts up his feet. Thankfully his hands were already planted on the sides of the fryer, so he’s safe for now. The person holding Mickey’s legs grabs a chair and stands on it, tipping Mickey forward. After ages (in which Mickey swears and screams a lot), Mickey’s thumb touches the oil. He pulls his hand back and is therefore plunged head first into the vat of boiling oil. Once he stops struggling, the murderer pulls him out and drops him and we’re treated to some terrible special effects as a dummy hits the floor, the red raw burned face flapping in the neck area because they stopped making the burned face a good half inch before the collar. The next shot is the murderer carrying Mickey’s body which is wrapped in garbage bags. The body is dumped in a big industrial style trash compactor and is squished with a sort of slurpy sound.

Please don't tell this bird's mother he was in this

Please don’t tell this bird’s mother he was in this

The Chef and Ronnie are visiting with Frank, the camp owner. There’s a bunch of cage wire and wood on the porch, and Ronnie explains that Frank is building an aviary for his bird. Inside, Frank is stroking the bird which is a large cockatoo. The cockatoo is kind of hunched over, like it’s hoping this appearance won’t end up on IMDB. The Chef tells Frank he wants to fire Mickey, but Ronnie knows if they replace Mickey they’ll have to pay someone else more. Frank tells them to go away, but Ronnie asks him to do something about the rats. Poor Ronnie, must be hard being the only staff member who cares about health and safety. Turns out that Ronnie owns a small share in the camp.

It’s night time at camp Manabe, and the kids are being kids. Which apparently means laughing a lot and sitting on walls. Inside the rec hall, people are gathering at the snack bar. The nerd from earlier is sitting beside his cabin mates, nerdily. Behind the curtains on a stage at the end of the hall, two boys are rolling a joint made of cow poop. They’re very much styled on Beavis and Butthead and one of them is the kid from “Picket Fences.” The poop joint is a practical joke, they’re trying to think of someone to give it to, which is going to be Alan. Of course.

Speaking of Alan, here he is now, stomping around the rec hall and shouting abuse at people. He steals the nerd’s chocolate bar, and the nerd tells him to go bother Karen. Alan looks around and spots her sitting with the cool gang, in a typical “Teenage goddess” way – right in the middle of a laughing group. She’s soooo popular you guys. She glances up and sees Alan waving at her, so she asks her friends to ignore him so he won’t come over. Of course, one of the guys calls Alan over. This guy is named TC, so he’s obviously got his own issues.

Karen asks her friends to stay with her, because she doesn’t want to be left alone with him. So they ditch her to go to the snack bar. Apparently Karen’s legs don’t work, she could have easily gone with them instead of putting up with Alan. Karen tells Alan he stinks, because he’s never changed his clothes, and tells him he’s as disgusting as Mickey. “Oh you don’t like Mickey either?” says Alan, like they’re bonding. “I don’t!” says Karen, and explains that Mickey pressed her up against a wall. Why she’s telling this to some guy she hates I don’t know. “I would have killed him if he’d hurt you,” says Alan. Karen is freaked out and backing away when Bella appears to grab Alan by the crotch. When she lets go, TC jumps in to give Alan a purple nurple. Alan pushes him over and that makes TC angry. Just as he’s about to go the punch, Frank appears which makes the other counselors decide to help instead of watch. Frank sends Alan back to his cabin, but Alan gets up on the stage instead. Stepping behind the curtain he finds the stoners smoking a joint (which I guess none of the staff could smell). They give Alan the cow poop joint. He coughs fit to die and falls to his knees. TC and some other guy wander in and the stoners tell them about the hilarious joint. One of the counselors (Petey) takes Alan away, and Ronnie walks in as she’s leading him out. “They were making fun of Alan again,” she says. She’s popped up a lot to say that.

Later that night, four campers are out by the boathouse enjoying the night air. Well. Enjoying some joints. It’s the stoners and their girlfriends. One of the stoners is rolling another joint, and flicks the spent one over his shoulder where it lands next to some gas cans. The girl who is awake freaks out and tells him he’s an idiot. She’s annoyed, and wakes her friend to take them back to the cabin. The other stoner goes to join the girls, but the first one is too stoned to move and falls asleep in the chair. A shadowy figure appears and picks up a gas can. Tying the stoner to the chair, the figure feeds a tube down his throat and pumps him full of gas. The ropes, by the way, are loose enough for the stoner to basically stand up and run away, but he doesn’t. The shadowy figure removes the hose, slaps a sticker over the stoner’s mouth and then lights a joint which has been crammed through the sticker. The stoner shakes his head, causing sparks to ignite the gas in his clothes and he explodes.

As a side note, at this point we’re supposed to believe that Alan is the one killing people, because they are being mean to him and we’ve established already he’s a violent nutcase when he needs to be. This theory is completely let down by the shadowy figure who is considerably shorter and thinner than Alan. I mean, I know black is slimming, but it’s not that slimming. Back to the action.

No, your nose looks completely not-fake-at-all

No, your nose looks completely not-fake-at-all

A team of paramedics are zipping the blackened remains of the stoner into a body bag, while the other stoner screams and cries. The entire camp is hanging out watching this happen, but Frank – aware how bad it will look when the kids email home – sends them all back to bed. The “policeman” arrives to hand over a bag of weed which was “found near the body.” Frank is mostly concerned that kids might be withdrawn from the camp, losing him thousands of dollars. Ronnie, of course, having a heart of gold is concerned about safety. “It’s like Arawak,” says Ronnie.

Frank won’t hear this, but the “policeman” wants to know more. Frank explains that Ronnie was the head counselor at Arawak when Angela killed a bunch of people. Ronnie has yet to notice the “policeman” is Angela, despite knowing her back in ’83. Still, I suppose he sees a lot of teenagers on murderous rampages. Ronnie tells the “Policeman” that Angela is locked up in a looney bin. The “policeman” wants to know if Ronnie is sure Angela is still locked up, so Ronnie directs her to Angela’s cousin Ricky.

It’s a shiny Summery day and all the campers are playing some kind of sport. Alan runs in to disturb a kickball game and everyone shouts at him. The cool girls are playing croquet, except for the Girl Nerd who is reading. Alan arrives, messes up the game and gets told off (again, this is copy paste script at its finest). He wants to ask Karen to visit his secret hideaway. He begs, but Karen sends him away. Alan refuses to leave until Karen agrees, so their cabin counselor tells Karen she has to say yes. Karen kicks up a stink, but agrees to go if she can take a friend.

Evening is falling as two teams of boys head into the woods to play paintball. Alan is running late, and trails behind as they all jog off into the trees. Do I have to tell you at this point he’s whining? Thought not. He’s lost the teams, but can hear the shots. Some of the boys call out to him, and he’s ambushed. A line of boys marches toward him, shooting paintballs which do not hit him because they shoot like Stormtroopers. His own team is standing in a line too, and the do the same thing (and also miss). Alan runs whimpering and squealing into the woods before he trips over. This close shot shows a couple of paintballs did actually hit him. Out of the 30,000 fired. So you know, good odds. As he cowers on the ground, both teams approach and find it much easier to hit a still target. They circle around him and fire their guns like machine guns. It’s all gone very Lord of the Flies. Except with paintball.

The “policeman” arrives at a building site, where Angela’s cousin Ricky works. Another from the original cast. He’s pretty hostile. The “policeman” explains that the camp people think Angela might be back, but Ricky says she’s been locked up tight for 20 years, even though he’s looking right at her. I guess a big false nose really does change a face. Ricky visits Angela every few weeks, so he’s seen her recently too. Angela’s eyes are clearly visible through the sunglasses, I’m just saying.

Alan is back with his frogs. Karen and her friend arrive. Alan is all happy and offers them soda. The girls sit down and are squicked out by all the frogs. The girls are trying to make conversation when a large frog lands on them. They scream and run off because the frog has been skinned alive. I think the actual frog is dead, and hopefully was dead pre-skinning. Anyway, there’s a bunch of dead frogs on the ground and Alan snaps, screaming and wailing about his frogs. At least this I can understand. Michael and his friend appear to claim the frog murders, and Alan vows to kill them both. He suddenly remembers Karen and chases after her to explain he’s not a sicko.

Karen and her friend rush to their counselor who tells Alan to leave. Randy rocks up to talk to him while a bunch of the boys sneak up behind. On Randy’s orders, the boys give Alan a massive wedgie. Since the entire camp is there on the waterside, the entire camp is laughing at Alan who is then thrown into the water. The nice counselor, Petey, sees him in the water and swims out to save him.

It’s night time again, and Michael and TC are talking Karen into helping them prank Alan again. Karen, to her credit, is getting uncomfortable with how cruel everyone is.

Frank is going out with some girl who may be a counselor or may not (generic blonde) while his bird is kept in a tiny cage. Frank is saying goodbye to the bird when it repeats Alan’s catchphrase, which I haven’t mentioned here because it’s crude. Think along the lines of “Your donkey smells” and you’re there. Frank is furious, and strides off to talk to Alan. The generic blonde is unimpressed.

Basically unlikable

Basically unlikable

Alan is in the rec hall, lining up for the snackbar and basically being a pain in the neck. Bella spots him, and starts preparing spit balls. She hits him in the neck, and Alan blames the Nerd who is behind him in line. After the second hit, Alan looks around and spots Bella just before she hits him again. He barges over and picks up a drink, throwing it at Bella. “I told you to stop picking on me you fat pig!” he shouts, but then is collared by Frank so he switches to the high pitched whine we know and love. Crying, Alan runs from the hall.

Outside, Karen is waiting on a wall. She invites Alan to play spin the bottle and he falls for it. She leads him to the backstage area, which is in pitch darkness. Telling him spin the bottle is always played in the dark, Karen leads him inside. She leaves him in the dark, giving someone a chance to grab his jeans. A group of boys run out from behind the curtain waving Alan’s clothes, and then a spotlight comes on as Alan walks through the curtains in his underwear. The camp laughs and laughs, including the counselors. The nice counselor rescues him, and Ronnie demands Randy finds out who did this to Alan.

In one of the staff cabins, Alan is sleeping while Petey strokes his hair. Ronnie is looking thoughtful. “Any time Alan is in trouble, you’re right there” says Ronnie, “who are you?” He does some rambling about how he doesn’t know where Petey comes from, and then calls her Peter which was Angela’s name before she was Angela. Petey runs to the other side of the room and Ronnie is about to attack her when the “policeman” shows up to stop him. The “policeman” pins Ronnie to the wall and Frank arrives as Ronnie screams that Angela is at the camp. Frank is pretty much over hearing about Angela, but Ronnie points to Petey who is a good 10 years younger than Angela would be anyway. Frank sends Petey to her cabin, and one of the other counselors rushes in to say something is going on.

The boys are all standing outside, chanting Alan’s name in low voices. Frank tells them to shut up, but they continue as Alan thrashes around on the bunk. There’s a lot of shots of the boys hiding behind tress with their faces poking out and I note they are chanting without moving their lips. Alan runs outside onto the lawn and screams before snapping into silence and looking around to see who’s chanting. He runs off into the night.

Frank is at his house, and Ronnie comes in to report they can’t find Alan. Ronnie is worried, Frank isn’t because Frank hates Alan as much as anyone else. Ronnie goes off to keep looking for Alan while Frank heads off to get some food. The shadowy figure appears and takes the cockatoo out of the tiny cage. Hearing the bird in distress, Frank comes back into the room and is knocked out with a hammer.

The tiny, waif like shadowy figure has managed to haul the overweight and tall Frank into a chair, and as he comes to, the birdcage (which has been quickly altered to fit his head inside) is snapped around his neck. He looks up to see the figure holding a writhing burlap sack, which turns out to be full of rats. These are emptied into the cage and the screen goes black to the sounds of chomping.

In Karen’s cabin, Karen is fretting about Alan. Not so much because everyone is horrible to him, but because she’s scared he’ll seek revenge on her. The girls decide to go to the rec hall, and as they leave the shadowy figure walks into frame inside the cabin.

Randy is out with Linda, who is the counselor for Karen’s cabin. They’re zooming around in a jeep in the woods. They get out of the car and are kissing when Linda hears something. Randy dismisses it and leads her off into the dark. They don’t see the shadowy figure, who is looking at the razor wire on top of a fence. Randy and Linda are about to get cozy when Linda asks where the sleeping bag is. It’s in the jeep, and Randy sends her up to get it because he needs to pee. Linda walks off, and Randy begins to relieve himself when a rope is thrown around him and he’s tied to a tree. A loop of fishing line is lowered onto his penis. The other end of the fishing line is tied to the jeep, aaaaaaall the way up the hill through the trees.

Linda is poking around in the jeep looking for the beer when Randy decides Alan is the one tying him up. He starts screaming for Alan to stop, and Linda hears and decides Alan is coming for her too. She runs back to the jeep, tripping on the way (of course) and then speeding off. The fishing line entirely fails to snap by getting caught on trees, and is pulled tight as the jeep heads away down the road and Randy’s penis is torn off.

Linda is driving down the road and spots razor wire stretched at head height across the road. It takes fully 8 seconds for her to hit it and she doesn’t even try and brake. The wire wraps around her body as she screams. If you think about this scenario, if Randy had gone to the jeep or if Linda had rushed to his aid, it all would have failed. The shadowy figure is lucky the required specific conditions happened. Anyway, the jeep hits a tree and stops.

TC is wandering aimlessly around the cabin. There’s a hole in the floor with a pointed stick moving around in it. He doesn’t notice, sitting with his feet either side of the hole to resume his magazine. The stick plunges upwards, tearing the magazine from his hands. He falls to is knees and peers down the hole, which seems like a stupid thing to do. Luckily, the stick is laying on the ground. One of the other boys comes in covered in panties and TC tells him what happened. The boys take turns to peer down the hole and eventually TC has the stick rammed into his eye. While he’s stumbling around screaming, he rams the other end into a wall so the stick is pushed right through his head. The other boy screams with huge volume.

Oblivious to the screaming, Ronnie is looking for Frank who didn’t answer the phone. He’s with another counselor and they’re surprised to see the cockatoo on the porch. It repeats Alan’s catchphrase and Ronnie freaks out, running into the house to find Frank who is being eaten by rats. They’re eating his belly out, so I guess they ate down his throat?

Bella is back from the rec hall and alone in the girls cabin. She doesn’t notice that the sheet she hangs over her bed is bulging lower than usual, and climbs into her bunk. The shadowy figure is sitting in the rafters and pulls a string to drop the sheet, revealing a board full of nails. The figure jumps onto the top bunk, making the board drop and spilling cherry kool-aid everywhere. Wait, no, it’s supposed to be blood. My bad.

Michael and Karen are walking around when another kid runs up to tell them TC is dead. Michael is all “Yeah right” but the kid insists it’s true. Michael still doesn’t believe it, but Karen does and runs back to her cabin. She gets there at the same time as another girl, who doesn’t believe the thing about TC either, but when they get in and see all the kool-aid they freak out. “Alan did this!” screams Karen, “and I’m next!” Convinced she’s about to die, she… runs into the woods. In the dark.

The other girl has the sense to run to the counselors, who are standing around listening to Ronnie shout about Angela. The “policeman” arrives and Ronnie tells him that Angela is here. He’s right, you know. Michael turns up, hears that Alan’s killing people, and goes off to find him. The “policeman” sends everyone back to their cabins. Ricky turns up next, the “policeman” told him to come to help. The “policeman” denies this, but Ricky says “You called me an hour ago.” Something is afoot!

Is there something in my teeth?

Is there something in my teeth?

Karen is running around in the woods and finds Randy who is slowly bleeding to death. Being kind and caring she runs off to leave him in peace to get on with the dying and finds the jeep. Linda is still alive too, but not comfortable due to the razor wire. Linda looks up at Karen hopefully, but Karen runs off again. What a cow. Finally, she runs into the shadowy figure, and promptly faints.

When she wakes, she’s in the rec hall, laying on the bleachers with a rope around her neck. The shadowy figure turns on the spotlights. This seems less stealthy than it could be. The other end of the rope is attached to a basket ball hoop. The figure turns a key and the hoop begins to rise into the rafters. For once, someone actually hears the screams and Michael has come to save the day, holding Karen up so she won’t hang. The “policeman” walks in and lowers the net. “It was Alan!” screams Karen again, even though she saw the shadowy figure and knows Alan is way taller than that.

Alan is off with his frogs. Michael arrives carrying a croquet mallet and Alan grabs his legs and weeps. Michael says he knows what Alan did to Karen, Bella and TC. Alan stands up to ask what he means and gets a mallet to the face. Michael starts really belting him with the mallet, which is hilariously and obviously made of rubber. A hand grabs the mallet on the upswing and the screen goes black.

Ronnie, Ricky and the girl I don’t know the name of are still hunting for Karen and Alan. Ricky hears something and they head off to investigate. They find Alan in a bleeding heap by the fire. “Who did this to you?” says Ronnie. Alan points behind him and murmurs “Michael.”

Gosh. There's a twist.

Gosh. There’s a twist.

From the darkness comes the “policeman’s” electronic voice. “They never learn, do they?” The “policeman” gives a speech about bullies while walking toward the fire. The camera shows just his boots, and bits of disguise being dropped as he walks. “I knew it was you,” says Ronnie. “Michael thought skinning frogs was cool,” replies Angela, “ask him how cool it is now.” On cue, the girl screams and runs off. Ronnie and Ricky look where she was and find Michael without his skin on.

Angela laughs like a crazy person for about an hour, then credits. After the credits, a cop car pulls up beside another car which is up on a jack. He offers to help, and the woman tells him there’s a leak. He climbs under to see, placing his head neatly under the wheel (the tyre is off). The woman releases the jack, squishing the cop’s head and smiles. It’s Angela.

I just don’t know how serious this movie was supposed to be. Usually I can spot a spoof movie, but this one took itself very seriously indeed. Every single cliche was there from the nerdy kids to the “running off into the woods to get killed” bits. Predictable and terrible.

Now, Alan. Was he supposed to be a sympathetic character? Were we supposed to be sad or upset he was so horribly tormented? If he’d been a dim-but-nice guy, it would have been horrible to see him so badly treated. He wasn’t though – he was whiny, manipulative and a bully so there was no sadness to be had. I’m not saying he deserved to be tortured, just that I didn’t much care when he was.

As for the camp – surely after the weird burny death of the stoner the kids would have maybe wanted to go home. No one seemed that bothered that he’d died, or that Mickey had vanished. The Chef vanished too, with no explanation.  He just stopped being in it after a bit.

Basically, with the exception of Ronnie and Petey (oh and the nerds of course), everyone in this movie was a horrible person. Most of the counselors were heartless bullies, all of the kids were cruel and hateful and even Ricky was obnoxious and angry. So angry. Everyone, all the time.

The murders were outlandish, which was fun, but none of them stand up to scrutiny. They all rely on ideal circumstances. The stoner had to be alone, so the other three had to leave. Bella had to come back to the cabin alone for hers to work. Randy had to stay in the woods while Linda left. Mickey’s death was an exact copy of a murder in the first movie, so a tribute I guess. Or laziness.

There’s another movie that was made after this one, and is apparently worse. I will do my best to find it for you, because I care. I do absolutely encourage you to see the original, and parts 2 and 3. Pamela Springsteen really makes the character something great even in the middle of your standard Summer Camp Slasher.


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