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Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Posted in Good Good, Slasher on April 9th, 2011 by bill

SYNOPSIS

After her father and brother are killed in a boating accident, Angela is sent to live with her crazy Aunt Martha who sends Angela and her cousin Ricky to Camp Arawak, but this summer kids aren’t having the time of their lives at camp, but the time of their DEATHS!

REVIEW

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that after seeing “Sleepaway Camp” for the first time it quickly became one of my more favorited cheesy horror films. Having said that, let the review commence!

What do “Friday the 13th” and “The Burning” have in common? Neither of them hold a candle, or a flashlight, to “Sleepaway Camp.” This movie does what the others don’t, it makes the movie about the campers, not the counselors. And it’s not afraid to kill off these youngings, which makes it extra harsh AND the kids swear like sailors which is awesome! Also, this movie has an element of “whodunnit?” as you know one of the campers is the killer but which one is it???

The kills in this movie are very… creative, well like every other one at least. They’re definitely not anything you’ve seen before (and if you have it’s most likely as an homage to this flick). One of the best and hilarious performances is the aftermath of the chef’s injury, which isn’t exactly a death but it might as well be. It’s an agonizing scream that seems to go on for days. And no matter what happens Mel, the camp director, always finds a way to cover it up or rationalize it to keep the camp from closing down, which is also funny in and of itself. Though most of the death scenes show you the before and the after and not the actual act (Friday the 13th was good for that i.e. the harpoon through the throat shot) the execution -pun intended- of said kills is awesome, most memorably the one involving a hair curler used sadistically as a murder weapon.

The acting is pretty good – even Angela’s non-acting acting- and the story is slightly bizarre yet surprisingly original. The homoerotic overtones are rampant, based solely on the guy’s clothing oh yeah and the fact that “they don’t need girls” to go skinny dipping. And the ending, is well amazing. I shan’t give anything away but I’m pretty sure M. Night Shyamalan saw this movie growing up and said, “Fuck yes! EVERY movie should have this awesome of an ending!” and the rest is, much like his current career, history.

This is one sleepaway camp you definitely want to write home to your parent’s about (although don’t invite them to visit for parent’s weekend, because it’s in-a-pro-priate!). “Sleepaway Camp” is definitely a sleeper hit that you’ll never forget… at least not the ending which will be burned in your memory.

RATING:

**ENDING SPOILER**

I hate that I’ve hyped up the ending so much that your anticipation could ruin it, but for those who can’t wait… (select the space below to reveal the inviso text)

Are you fraking serious? Did you not read my review? This movie has one of the best endings EVER, do you really think I’d even give you the option of reading it online? Go watch the movie and experience it for yourself NOW!

***

4 out of 3 spooky campfires 

TRIVIA: My favorite piece of trivia about this film is that director Robert Hiltzik had no idea it became a cult hit until a fan group recently contacted him to record a DVD commentary of the film.

*BONUS: Watch the full movie HERE*

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Cujo (1983)

Posted in Classic, Monsters/Creatures on March 16th, 2011 by bill

SYNOPSIS

A mom and her child are terrorized and trapped in their car by a rabid St. Bernard.

REVIEW

What if Travis hadn’t taken out Old Yeller at the end of that movie? Well he probably would have trapped Dee Wallace and her son in a car after mauling  few hillbillies…. that’s my guess, and Stephen King’s apparently.

Cujo” just may be the quintessential “car won’t start” movie. The movie has a few decent hillbilly deaths (which are always a plus in my book, that and stepping on spiders), though when dealing with a rabid dog, there’s only so many times you can see a canine chew out someone’s throat before it gets redundant. It lacks the creative variety in killing techniques native to films like “Friday the 13th.”

Although the dog gets bitten by a rabid bat in the opening of the film, it takes a while for it’s wild rampage to begin. Though it took it’s time getting started, I really liked the way it spent that time setting up the kid’s fear of monsters in the closet and the relationships of the family as well as the dad’s job/predicament.

The blood/make-up effects were minimal, mostly just corn syrup blood and an egg whites and sugar concoction for rabid foam. What was really cool were some of the camera shots/lighting. Good use of POV and tension within a fog cloud and what’s probably the orgin of the “That 70s Show” styled round table shot but within the confines of a vehicle. Very cool stuff.

Though it may not be the most horrific horror movie, it has some good moments and a few scares (it’s based more on tension than jump out scares and gore). It’s definitely in that “Classic” category. So for that reason I say definitely check out “Cujo” and remember, “It’s not a monster, it’s just a dog!”

RATING: 3 out of 5 human bones buried by a rabid dog. 

FUN FACTS: Five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and a guy in a dog costume. ”Cujo” is an ancient Indian word meaning “unstoppable force.” To make the St. Bernards attack the car, animal trainers put the dog’s favorite toys inside the car so the dogs would try to get them. (more)

BONUS: Watch the full movie HERE*

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