Sleepaway Camp II Unhappy Campers: Camp Until You Die
Dir. Michael A. Simpson (1988)
Five years after the original camp massacre, a group of camp counselors decide to ignore the legends and continue being camp counselors.
So of course I’ve seen Sleepaway Camp (before my rewatch to review it for you folks). I watched the original a bit later in life when my wife expressed extreme disappointment in my not having seen it. I just watched Sleepaway Camp II for the first time today, and holy fuck, this movie is amazing. Filled with terrible campy acting and amazingly self-aware humor, SCII is like Saved by the Bell with tits and murders. And I’ll never in my life complain about that.
Nope, no complaints here.
This one is much funnier than the original, a complete tongue-in-cheek ode to slashers that came before. The killer, who we find out in the beginning of the film is a grown-up Angela from the original who is now a camp counselor, kills with impunity. She just wants people to obey the camp rules, is that so hard? She slices and dices throughout the camp with some great creativity, and there’s even an extended sequence where she is listening to another counselor drone on and on while searching the room for the best implement with which to slaughter her.
The first film was a slasher movie through and through, even utilizing the first-person killer’s view that so many have used as well. This one heavily embraces the horror comedy, and it takes the exact opposite approach of the first film. Rather than close the film out with a ghastly twist, this one really does show you who’s doing the damage from the very first scenes. I did not believe my wife when she said the sequels were almost better than the originals, and let me tell you, she was 100% wrong: Sleepaway Camp II is better than the original in every way.
It's even gorier with better kills!
My favorite kill of the movie is the disgusting outhouse scene, where Angela kills one of the counselors by stabbing her and then drowning her in the outhouse poo. They decided to add a gurgling sound that manages to make the scene almost unbearably disgusting, and it’s the perfect addition to a movie that is already incredibly funny and has a not-so-serious view of itself. It’s a great fucking movie, and quickly moved itself into my favorite horror comedies list. (It’s not actually on the Top 10 list, so don’t go check it. Or, actually, do go check it, but this one isn’t on there.)
Who this movie is for: 80’s horror fans; Horror comedy fans; People who have cut themselves with a guitar string and know how bad that fucking hurts
Bottom line: Sleepaway Camp II is a fucking blast, and should immediately go on a watchlist if you haven’t seen it. It’s loads of fun and is genuinely funny. It’s easily as good as the first, though it has a wildly different feel, and it’s criminally underseen. How this one isn’t held in the same regards as the original is beyond me, and I think that if more people see it, it will take its rightful place as a cult classic.