Just about the best descriptive review I’ve ever read for Sleepaway Camp.
Leaving a child molester alone with a young girl confused by her own sexual identity is a recipe for psycho-sexual disaster.
The good thing about your typical NAMBLA member is that they always dress the part. When some ten-year-old boys are getting sweaty playing basketball at the park, you immediately know that the dude with the creepy grandpa sweater sitting on the park bench is a full blown chicken hawk. As a parent, you can keep an eye on him, and if he gets too close to your son, you can run over and tackle his ass, maybe get him in a patented NAMBLA-plex.
Unfortunately, some child molesters wear a uniform as part of their job (hello priests), and cannot be properly identified in time. Take, for example, the chef in Sleepaway Camp. When you look at someone in a uniform, you tend to thoroughly identify them in that role. You see the chef costume and imagine he spends all day cooking, not aware that he has a personal life. The summer camp chef in this film definitely has a hobby, and it involves fucking kids, in his imagination or otherwise. I guess he found the right job to support his “lifestyle”. What a piece of shit. Of course, if any camp counselors catch wind of his “ways”, he can just join the clergy and be protected by the pope, free to finagle the children of the world without fear of repercussions. Unless, of course, one of the victim’s fathers finds out and manages to hunt him down. The former chef is, at the very least, gonna get hogtied to the back of a pick-up truck and driven around town.
This is really the story of Angela, a young girl dealing with a host of issues. Angela’s dad was killed in a freak boating accident eight years prior, and she has been living with cousin Ricky and aunt Martha since. Ricky is a good hearted soul looking to protect Angela, and does so through hostile means (like calling someone a cocksucker before punching them in the face), but Martha is, unfortunately, batshit insane (and this comes into play during the world renowned super twist ending). This home situation has traumatized Angela to the point of rendering her a wide eyed zombie, incapable of human interaction, or, indeed, being able to blink her eyes. The other kids see this as an opportunity to make fun of her, as young people are insecure enough to destroy the childhoods of others in order to feel better about themselves. If I were them, I’d keep my mouth shut, what with the parade of early 80’s fashion faux pas these schmucks are flaunting (half-shirts, full blown mullets, knee high socks, an Asia shirt, bandanas, etc.). Even super bitch Judy wears a “Judy” shirt at one point, which is easily the least ironic t-shirt I’ve ever seen. Oh yeah, and that baby fucker is running around.
She finally opens up to a nice young boy who develops a shining to her large, perpetually open puppy dog eyes. She has big time intimacy issues on top of everything else, not to mention issues on top of that. Meanwhile, anybody who fucks with Angela gets killed in some gimmicky way (no machetes to the face here). All of this is explained, albeit in initially confusing form, in the world renowned twist ending, followed by the much lesser known, yet no less stellar, Sleepaway Camp theme song.
The film was followed by two spoofy, but still pretty righteous sequels, starring Bruce Springsteen’s sister, no less (spot her quickly in the “Born to Run” video). However, they lack the psycho-sexual dynamics of the original. If your sexual identity is in flux, and you also suffer from gender confusion, it’s pretty hard to figure out who you’re supposed to schnook. Not to mention, your confidence is probably gonna take a big hit. Oh yeah…and you won’t be able to love other human beings. That’s a bit of an issue. Oh well…GO BRUCE! Who’s the boss? It still ain’t Tony Danza, that’s for sure. OH SNAP! Yeah, I said it Tony.