Sleepaway Camp III Teenage Wasteland: Angela Off the Rails
Dir. Michael A. Simpson (1989)
Angela comes back to camp after killing another teenager and taking her place. She still wants people to follow the rules and has special punishment for those who don’t.
Picking up where the second film left off, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland has Angela pretty much immediately killing a person who was invited to the new camp and assuming her identity. Attending the new camp are underprivileged teenagers from across the country, so we get a wonderful view of late-80’s culture. This means, of course, the Hispanic gang member, the Black hip hop, uh, gang member, and a white guy who is destined for politics once he grows up.
And the two worst camp owners in history.
When the teenagers are introduced by a newscaster, whose story is focused more on the murders at the previous camp than these kids getting a “second chance” at life, we see that Angela has assumed her place as a camper instead of a counselor. She starts killing folks at the camp immediately, starting with the newscaster, who for some reason thinks it's a great idea to ask campers where to get some cocaine. Angela sells her "cocaine" that is actually drain opener, which does her in quite efficiently. We also see that one of the counselors is a cop who happens to be the father of one of the boys Angela murdered in the first sequel. This leads to the central conflict of the film, which doesn’t seem to be nearly as much a conflict as you would think it would be, because Angela is assigned to one of the different groups who head to a different part of the woods. They’ll link back up though, of course, so don’t worry.
What’s great about SCIII is that Angela kinda kills on a whim and without mercy, and also with no efforts to try to hide her action. The camp is split into three separate groups, and once she’s killed everyone from the first group, she moves to the next. Rinse and repeat. There are a ton of really creative deaths in this one, from burning someone alive to burying someone up to their neck in garbage and dirt and then running over their head with a lawnmower. There’s a lot more nudity in this one, and actually a good bit less gore, so the series fits right into the pattern of 90’s slasher movies. Unfortunately, the next sequel, which would have seen Felissa Rose returning as Angela, was never completed, though you can find it in some of the box sets as a bonus feature. It also has a 1.7/10 on iMDB, so… maybe don’t both trying to find it?
SCIII isn’t as good as II, but it’s still absolutely worth a watch. Angela is funny, with a dialogue filled with one-liners, and it’s worth it for the parody of late-80’s culture alone. It’s almost like a time capsule movie because you simply can’t see these kinds of caricatures anymore, whether it’s because of PC culture or just the advancement of what the culture itself looked like. Honestly, the whole trilogy is great, though. The second two are made with a completely different tone from the first one, but they’re worthwhile endeavors on their own. As horror comedies, they’re better than most, and are clearly made with a great respect for both horror and comedy.
Who this movie is for: Lovers of the first two films; People who want to relive summer camp memories; Gangsta rappers
Bottom line: As worth a watch as the second film, though perhaps not quite as good. Higher body count with less gore but more boobs, which sounds like an endorsement to me. Watch the whole trilogy together, just keep in mind that the second two films are wildly different from the first. While I love Felissa Rose, and absolutely appreciate her contribution to horror lore, the second two films are much better off casting Pamela Springsteen as Angela. Check out the film when you get the chance.