41. Sleepaway Camp
One could argue this is the shittiest movie on the list. They would not be wrong. It’s time to clarify/remind you that this isn’t a list of the greatest movies ever made. This is a list of the movies that make me love film, that doesn’t mean they’re masterpieces, it just means their entertaining and make me want to continue to watch movies and even make some of my own. By those rules Sleepaway Camp should almost be ranked higher.
Sleepaway Camp is slasher film from 1981. It’s been called the best of the worst in that particular genre. The movie itself is terrible. Let’s discuss the plot line. However I should warn that I will tell the whole movie at this point. It’ll be packed with spoilers. If you love so bad it’s good horror movies and you don’t know the twist at the end of this film yet... watch Sleepaway Camp and don’t read this. You’ll thank me (maybe) later.
We open with a father and his two kids (Angela and Peter) sitting on a boat. While horsing around the boat topples over. Elsewhere a group of teenagers are skiing on a motorboat. Not seeing the group they collide into the boat and kill two of the three family members.
We flash forward a few years later. Angela is the sole survivor of the accident and now lives with her cousin Ricky and Ricky’s weird aunt. The two leave for summer camp. Ricky’s been there a few times but this is Angela’s first year.
Angela is a cute but shy girl who spends the first 45 minutes or so being picked on. She never fights back, just stares blankly. Ricky always jumps in to her rescue. It seems that whoever picks on Angela ends up dead a few days later. Camp Owner Mel is convinced that Ricky is the culprit.
In the end it’s revealed that Angela has been doing all the killing (sort of). Angela died in the boating accident all those years ago. Angela is actually Peter. Ricky’s aunt didn’t want two boys so she choose to raise Peter as a girl.
This ending sounds ridiculous (mostly because it is) but for whatever reason it was one of the most effectively chilling endings to a horror movie I’ve ever experienced.
This movie OOZES 80’s. It’s poorly-written and cheesy for sure, but it’s the clothing, crappy dialogue and the weird shit in the back ground (like a man randomly lifting weights) that really make the movie charming.
Every single time I watch this movie it makes me want to write my own stupid 80’s camp movie. Recently I’ve wanted to just shoot a shot by shot remake of Sleepaway camp. Maybe one day you’ll be luckily enough to see it.