Friday, June 12, 2015

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Welcome to Camp New Horizons, where an autumn retreat brings together a group of obnoxious rich kids and surly city thugs for an “experiment in sharing.” Under new inept management, this is the ideal setting for notorious psychopath Angela Baker (Pamela Springsteen, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers) to join the camp and do what she does best – eliminating “immoral” teenagers with everything from a knife to a lawnmower. Michael J. Pollard (House of 1000 Corpses, Bonnie & Clyde), Tracy Griffith (Fear City, The First Power) and Jill Terashita (Night of the Demons) co-star in this third installment of the cult series.

Film (2 out of 5 stars)
Angela Baker is back! Once again as a camper in this third installment of the Sleepaway Camp series. This time, Angela is posing as an inner city kid who has the opportunity to attend Camp New Horizons, a camp bringing together upper class families with those less fortunate. Of course, it’s not as simple as that. After disposing of Maria, the girl whose identity she stole in order to go to the camp, Angela begins wreaking havoc on the other campers and the counselors.

When they all arrive at the camp, they are broken up into three groups and go into the woods to camp for the first three days. After that, they are to return to camp for the last two day and be together as one group. Angela is assigned to co-owner Herman’s group and along with the others; they head off into the woods not far from camp. When her fellow campers begin showing signs of immoralities, Angela takes their punishments into her own hands.

As Angela offs each camper and counselor one by one, her methods of murder are more and more outrageous. From firecrackers in mouths to lawnmowers to the head, Angela takes matters into her own hands in order to preserve a moral way of life. However, when camp counselor Barney realizes who she is, things get a whole lot more interesting when Angela realizes that Barney is the father of one of her Camp Rolling Hills victims. After disposing of Barney, Angela captures Marcia and forces campers Tony, Anita and Greg to find her before killing Anita and Greg. Angela decides to let Marcia and Tony go, believing they are good kids, but Marcia attacks Angela and tries to kill her. When the police finally arrive, Angela is taken away in an ambulance where the police office riding with her and the paramedic plan to kill her. But, because she’s Angela Baker and she doesn’t go down that easily, she kills them first.

By the third movie in the series, the murders have gotten way out of hand. In a movie that is already unbelievable, the murders are super ridiculous and I can honestly say this is the weakest of the three movies in the series. Pamela Springsteen reprises her role as Angela Baker and still does a good job. The other actors were not as good and it seemed slightly high school drama class play. There also wasn’t much to the story, but how much can you write about teenagers doing bad things and getting murdered for it?  

I also realize that while I write about the acing and the story lacking in whatever it is you want to call it, it seems like I didn’t like the movie. That is not the case. I did like it. I liked it as much as a person can like the third in a campy series. Usually sequels of sequels are not as good as the first sequel and this is indeed the case. But to have all three movies progress what little bit of a story-line there is, is still fun. None of these movies are going to win any awards, but they are still going to live on in their cult following. Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, may be the weakest of the three, but it’s still good fun and really brings the 80s into your living room.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland’s 1080p high-definition transfer is good. It certainly is an upgrade from the original video. Colors are good and while everything is exaggerated, it wasn’t too over the top. There aren’t many issues with the picture, though some of the transitions seem a little forced and unnatural. That said, the picture is acceptable and not terrible to watch.
Audio (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
While the script and dialogue were a bit lacking, what was there was audible. The sound was a bit uneven and I had to adjust the volume when there was screaming. The DTS-HD master audio was good, though, and it was just okay.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Most of the special features were the same as in Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, but still interesting. The best on in this set was the second part of the “A Tale of Two Sequels’ feature that talked about the filming of the movie. Special features aren’t usually my thing, but I’d watch that one again.
  • A Tale of Two Sequels: Part Two – The 26 minute second half of the behind-the-scenes documentary with interviews from the director and cast and crew. In it, they talk about the different murders, how they had to do a lot of editing in order to even receive an R rating.
  • Behind the Scenes Footage – Eight minutes of behind the scenes footage of the opening scene where Angela takes out one of the campers before she even gets to camp. Like the behind the scenes footage in the special features of Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, this is narrated by the director.
  • Workprint of the Longer Cut (From VHS) – A really rough cut of the movie, complete with additional scenes that had to be cut out of the final film. It doesn’t include any background music and some parts of it have very little sound or missing scenes. This is a feature only for the die-hard fans of the series as I didn’t really find this interesting… it’s sort of like the director’s cut, without the finishing touches.
  • Deleted Scenes – Eighteen minutes of deleted scenes from the film. I’m not sure why they called these deleted scenes as they were just different versions of the scenes from the movie. They also included the extra gore that had to be cut out in order to receive the R rating from the MPAA.
  • Home Video Trailer – This is the trailer to the home video release of Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland.
  • Short Film: Tony Lives! – Another one of those super short “films,” this time showing what happened to Tony after the massacre.
  • Still Gallery – A photo slideshow of the film and production. There’s no sound attached to it, and I became really bored after the first few photos.

Under the Setup Tab
  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael A. Simpson and Writer Fritz Gordon

Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
In the third of the series, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland was the weakest of the bunch. It was still entertaining and with what little story there was, it still held my attention. Like the second one, I may not watch it as often as the original, but it definitely has earned a place on the shelf. If you are looking for something to watch in the background, put this on and be entertained for the next 80ish minutes.

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