Queer Horror

Sleepaway Camp

movie      fiction

  • Sleepaway Camp
  • Author: Robert Hiltzik
  • Director: Robert Hitzik
  • Producer: Media Home Video
  • Year: 1983
  • Country: US
  • 88 minutes
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After a horrible boating accident kills her family, Angela, a shy and sullen young girl, moves in with her eccentric aunt Martha and her cousin Ricky. One summer, Martha sends the kids to Camp Arawak. Soon after their arrival, a series of bizarre and increasingly violent accidents begins to claim the lives of various campers. Who is the twisted individual behind these murders and what could have twisted someone to commit such horrific murders? The disclosure of the murderer's identity is one the most surprising endings to a slasher movie in the history of American cinema.

Qvamp says:

Sorry, just by including this movie in this site, I've spoiled the ending for you... Angela is the murder and she's a he! But, what are the chances you'd try to see this without having read a review of it in the first place?

This movie is fairly awful, but it did not appear to be trying to be good. It is typical 80s camp with poor actors, setting and plot. But, it is light-years better than the ill-conceived Sleepaway Camp II and III. The later movies have no positive queer content and are just homophobic and nasty in nature.

The movie is fairly homophobic, letting viewers know that gender identity issues can turn people evil. In truth, Angela was forced to live as a girl by her aunt, rather than it being a choice. In addition to that, we learn that Angel also saw her father in bed with his male lover sharing a moment more tender than sexual. With that said, it does introduce viewers to the idea of gay parents --- though with the view that it will lead your children to become transgendered sociopathic killers.

Rating D-
Queer Vampire Rating D-
Amount of Gay Content alluded to


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Overall Rating: B-     Queer horror Rating: C    

SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983 - movie) This is one of those really quite cheesy FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) rip-offs, but also one which really manages to grow on you in some offbeat way. The plot is basically the same: unseen maniac slashes his/her/its way through a summer camp, but the added bonus is that not only are there children present at this camp, but many of them get slaughtered along with the adults. In fact, more of the campers perish than the counselors! Snaps for that! The special make up fx vary from ultra fake to ultra cool (the arrow in the neck bit still grabs my curiosity in the 'how did they do that?' catagory). The film is also quite violent, especially a shower stabbing sequence and another where a girl -- an extremely bitchy one I might add -- is first punched in the face, then assaulted with a hot curling iron 'way down there...' Probably not going to be a favorite among the ladies. There's thankfully little t&a, though we do get many shots of the young boys... and I do mean 'young.' The murders are rather inventive and the film does manage a few scares.

Giving away why this film fits into the queer category would be giving away both the killer and the truly surprising ending, which sticks with anyone who's ever seen it. There are also scenes towards the beginning of the film involving one of the characters father in bed with another man, supposedly explaining some of the maniacs 'reasoning.'

SLEEPAWAY CAMP is definitely one for aquired tastes and fans of cheesy slasher flicks. It's sequels - SLEEPAWAY CAMP II: UNHAPPY CAMPERS (1988) and SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND (1989) - play the story with intended 'campiness' (tee hee) and are all the better for it (plus they star siblings of famous people!) You could definitely far worse than admit to enjoying this series. -- Jason Paul Collum


By: Rosemary ( Xoxolvr@aol.com )
Overall Rating: B+     Queer horror Rating: B    

I thought it was a very good movie, but some of the acting was a bit corney. The killer was obvious, though the ending certainly wasn't. Yet when I look at the plot afterwards, I found that the clues given throughout the movie, such as Angela not wanting to go swiming or take a shower with the girls, it makes some sense. But the reason the aunt made 'Peter' become Angela when she went to go stay with them after the tragic accident is unknown except that she'd always wanted a girl and if that was true why didn't she get a sex change? I thought this was a flaw in the movie.

Of course another question that comes to mind how did she get away with wearing those short shorts if she was truly a guy? She would've hit puberty and for sure her voice wouldn't have been that high. Another thing that my friend Emma wanted to know was, when Angela was burning Judy with the hair curler, where did she stick it? And why was Meg sleeping with the old man? And did Angela's cousin know that she was a boy? And if she liked that blonde boy so much why did she eat his head off? And why was she petting it? The only thing wrong with this movie was that it made you ask many questions but it didn't succeed in answering them all. It left you hanging and assuming things that could possibly not be true.


By: Michelle McDonnell ( michellemcdonnell124@hotmail.com )
Overall Rating: A+     Queer horror Rating: A+    

I thought this film was excellent! However I didnt hear of it until a friend told me it was a must see. I would like to know a few things: does Ricky know Angela is a boy? Why was there a girl about 3 years old playing a ball game with the teenagers? If Angela is afraid of water how did she kill the guy under the boat? Where did Angela burn Judy with the curling tongs?and comments

The movie put me off thinking it was Angela when Paul snuck up behind her and she said 'I thought you were the killer!' The ending was very unexpected and I havent seen the sequels yet but look forward to it!


Overall Rating: A+     Queer horror Rating: A    

I first saw this movie when I was 14 years old, I rented it together with my sister on video. A week ago (12 years have passed since) I got it as a present on dvd (survival kit the 3 movies).

After all these years I do wonder about her cousin, did he know she was a boy?

When she is sent to her aunt to go live with her and her son, did she know Angela was in fact Peter, because I thought it wasn't explained clearly in the movie.

About the killing with the curling iron, where does angela put it?

About the ending.... At first I thought she (Angela) was a hermafrodite = both female and male sex organs, So peter got killed in the accident.... and later on I started thinking, Who drowned, Peter or Angela? Because you don't see the face of the kid when the accident happens.

But I think that in it's genre and after all this time it's still a very good movie. I was very surprised at the ending of this movie, I had never seen a girl with a penis I had an idea the killer would be angela, but the fact that she was Peter, blew me right out of my socks and very few horror films now a days have a great surprise ending. Even though it has gaps here and there I give it an A+

About sleepaway camp 2, I loved the performance of Pamela Springsteen, she seems sweet and sometimes you can really sympathise with her, in spite of the horrible things she does. Pamela managed to maintain the sweetness and the innocence of the character of angela played by Felissa rose in the first movie. One of the things I love about pamala's performance is that she adds humor to the character.

The one little thing, call it a gap, I think is when the movie starts, they are all sitting around the camp fire telling stories and one of the guys say's that at camp arawak all these kids get killed by a psyco called peter baker, the angel of death, for people who haven't seen the first movie it's difficult to link angela baker, who is doing the killing in the second movie, to the peter baker who they are talking about at the camp fire.

I'm going to watch the second part of the the third movie tomorrow but I would like to say the following, at the beginning of the movie one of the girls who get's to go to camp get's run over by a truck, here's the thing during that scene, there where other people who saw her being chased by the truck, I just think it's a bit strange, the other people do not wonder what is happening, none of them go and have a look, I know no one goes down there to look because the movie would be over but I still think it's strange.

I'll get back to you



P.s must see movie Fright night horror classic


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