And now we come to it. The final chapter (for now) in the Sleepaway Camp franchise. Return To Sleepaway Camp had, apparently, been stuck in development hell for like 6 years or something, because it was supposed to come out in 2002 and was only recently released last fall. This is truly a gem of the series.
Naaaah, I'm totally kidding. Actually, while it doesn't exactly suck out loud, nobody would mistake it for a Good Movie. Good to know a movie can be worked on for so long and still be a turkey. Fortunately, I enjoy turkey. For all it's turkiness, though, the movie does have some good qualities. For one thing, it tones down the self-referential slasher humor several hundred notches and makes a quasi-return to the campy yet serious tone of the first movie. For another, a shitload of cast members from the first movie have come back. So, yeah. Let's DO THIS. (By the way, if you haven't yet seen this particular entry in the series, this recap is going to be super duper spoilerific. So, consider yourself warned. It's also a lot longer than usual, so grab a sandwich or something).
Behold, dear readers: the DVD cover art for Return To Sleepaway Camp. I like it. I like it a lot. It reminds me of the poster for Friday The 13th. The only thing that bothers me is the weird capitalization of the word "mean." It looks out of place. Either capitalize everything, or capitalize "Kids" and leave the rest.
As is the tradition with Sleepaway Camp films, the film opens with a credits sequence featuring a shitty metal song that is probably playing in a Hot Topic near you as we speak, per se. The credits play out over newspaper clippings that basically recap the first movie for you. Apparently, this movie is going to pull a Halloween H20 on us and pretend that the last two sequels never happened. That kind of makes me want to cry, knowing that Death By Toilet never occurred. *Sniff*
Well, anyway. According to those clippings, our setting for slasher terror this time is the idyllic Camp Manabe, where a cabin full of 13 year old boys are currently lighting their farts on fire. Charming. As they are giggling over this, a boy named Alan comes out of the bathroom and demands to know what's so effing funny. Now, this isn't just any boy. This is a sweaty beast of a boy who appears to have not bathed in at least six months. Seriously, his hair is filthy, and there's huge greasy stains on his shirt and everything. Behold the disgustingness:
Since you undoubtedly now feel like you need a shower, I'll wait. I'll wait right here for you to come back.
*Humming "Wake Me up Before You Go-Go" and filing nails*
All done? Good. Now, Alan demands to be given a turn at creating Fart Fire. He is made fun of for being gross and lights some aerosol in retaliation, which gets him in trouble with Randy, the British counselor. Alan doesn't like being told what to do, so he hurls some choice insults at Randy before running out the door, including calling him a "big penis" and informing him that his ass stinks. His words, not mine. Randy mutters that he'll show that little jackass what's what one of these days.
In the mess hall the next day, Alan (still wearing the disgusting greasy shirt from the night before, eeew) hurls some kind of food stuff at one of the boys for no reason. Randy remarks that if Alan wasn't such a "wanker," maybe his brother wouldn't be moving in on his girlfriend. We follow Randy's gaze to a neighboring table, Alan's crush, Karen, is being talked up by Alan's brother. Everybody at the table has a good laugh at Alan's expense.
Presently, the camp owner gets up and, with the help of another counselor, gets everybody's attention. He announces that a police officer is here to speak to them about the dangers of smoking. The police officer, speaking through a voice box thingy, tells the sad story of how he smoked for 30 years and lost his voice due to cancer, and all the campers find this riotously funny. They laugh like hyenas for a few minutes to show us what big asshats they are.
Back at Randy's table, Alan is bitching that the camp food is gross and that he refuses to eat it. Randy is all "Tough, eat it anyhow." Alan still refuses, and Randy gets pissed and shoves Alan's head into his plate, yelling at him to "Eat the fucking chicken." Wow. Alan is an ass-cozy and all, but...that's just asking for a lawsuit, man. Anyway, when Alan still refuses to eat the chicken, Randy throws the plate onto the floor, and shoves Alan onto the floor as well, commanding him to clean it up. Lawsuits, lawsuits, let's watch the potential lawsuits pile up. Randy and Alan are about to beat the crap out of each other, when somebody intervenes. Who is it?
Hey, it's Ronnie (aka Short Shorts) from the first movie! What a surprise! Short Shorts takes Alan aside and calmly requests that he refrain from being a turd. Alan puts on a pleasant facade and agrees, only to pull a girl's pigtails when Short Shorts isn't looking. A chick named Bella, who is made of sass and attitude (hereby referred to as sassitude), trips Alan and is all "Your face looks like my ass!" HAHAHAHAHAHA. I like Bella. Like Angela twenty years before him, Alan is given the Special Snowflake treatment and is sent to the kitchen to get something special to eat. Here we meet Charlie the chef. But I'm just gonna call him Chef. I think the following visual aid expresses my reason for that.
Chef is quitting for the day, but tells Alan that his assistant Mickey will take care of him. Mickey will do no such thing, and yells at Alan to get the hell out of the ice cream freezer. Naturally, Alan helps himself to ice cream anyway. By the way, his shirt has gotten REALLY gross over the course of the day. The grease stains are multiplying. EEEW EEEEW EEEEW. Anyway, Mickey gets pissed over that and starts throwing eggs at Alan. Alan throws knives at Mickey. Short Shorts, the camp owner, and a counselor named Petey put a stop to these shenanigans, and Alan runs off.
Michael, Alan's brother, has been sent to go fetch him, so he chases Alan until they end up in the woods. Alan sits down and starts playing with some frogs, and is all "The frogs are my friends." LMAO. It is revealed that Alan is an asshole because of a fever he had as a child. It is also revealed that Michael is really Alan's stepbrother, not that it has any bearing on the plot. Michael kicks some frogs just to piss Alan off, and Alan pulls a knife on him and is all "Go away."
So later, Mickey is in the kitchen by himself, picking his nose and preparing hamburgers and fries for his dinner. Presently, a pair of feet advance upon him and somebody pounces, lifting Mickey up and holding him aloft over the vat of french fry oil. This mysterious somebody listens to Mickey's pleading for a few minutes before awesomely dropping him face first into the oil. (Body Count: 1) If this kill sounds familiar, that's because it pretty much copies the first kill in Part 1. So, brownie points for that. Mystery Killer then tosses his burnt ass into a trash compacter, much like what was done to Milkshake in Part 3.
Later on, Chef and Short-Shorts go to Frank the camp owner and bitch that they told Mickey to take the damn trash out hours ago and it's still there, and now there's rats by the trash compacter. Frank's like "Fire him," and goes back to petting his pet parrot, Matilda. An awful lot of emphasis is placed on Matilda, which leads me to believe that something non-PETA approved is going to happen to her later.
Hey, there's a party going on in the rec hall! Just like in the first movie. Seriously, there's even a kid sitting on a bench eating a candy bar, exactly like Angela did in Part 1. If they could have done so, the filmmakers would have erected a huge flashing neon sign in the corner of the screen that says "LOOK AT THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THIS MOVIE AND THE ORIGINAL! AREN'T THEY GREAT?" Yeah, they're ok. Just ok.
Anyways, YAY PARTY! Alan comes strutting out in all his disgusting glory (his grease stained shirt has gotten still greasier and it's kind of starting to make me ill...you KNOW this kids smells like B.O., and possibly worse) and acts like a complete douche. He saunters up to Karen and tries to act all cool around her, which is kind of pathetic, and she's all "You smell!" Hahahaha. Then Alan withstands a bevy of physical abuse from his fellow campers until an all-out brawl has broken out. Unfortunately, the brawl is broken up by Frank and that Petey girl. Petey is shown to be the one counselor in the camp who is somewhat sympathetic to Alan, since she does acknowledge that the other campers actually started the fight.
Alan makes his way behind the rec hall's stage, where two guys are smoking weed. After a misunderstanding where they refer to a joint as "a fatty" and Alan almost gets pissed until he realizes they weren't talking about him (*Snort*), they offer him a joint. He starts smoking it and collapses from how disgusting it is. It's not a real joint, see, for instead of pot, it is filled with cow poo. Since Alan has never tried it before, he doesn't know any better and keeps saying "Yeah, this stuff is awesome!" between his gasps for clean air. And this movie has officially made me nauseous. Yet another brawl breaks out when Alan finds out, and once again it's broken up by Petey.
Later that night, the two stoner guys and their girlfriends are out in back of a cabin smoking and carelessly tossing their butts next to gasoline cans. Both girls and one stoner guy leave, leaving the other stoner all by his lonesome outside. Do you know what it's time for? No, not a sexy party. It's time for another kill! And a pretty awesome one, too. A mysterious somebody approaches Stoner Guy and ties him to his own chair. Then, a hose is attached to a gasoline can, and gasoline is pumped into Stoner's mouth. When that is finished, a piece of tape emblazoned with the words "Drugs are for Dummies" is pasted across Stoner's mouth with a single hole in it. In this hole is placed a cigarette, which is then lit. Body Count: 2
As the charred remains of the body are being cleaned up, Ronnie and Frank and Officer Voice Box discuss the tragic turn of events. Ronnie is like "Angela must be back!" and for the benefit of Officer VB, we are given the whole "Angela was really a dude who killed campers 20 years ago" back story. Frank disregards this theory as a load of codswallop and is all "Do NOT discuss this Angela person!"
Next day, Alan pesters Karen until she finally agrees to meet him later in his secret hiding place in the woods, where all the frogs are. Following that small triumph, Alan is continually shot at close range with paintball guns, adding a rainbow of paint stains to his already nasty, grease-filled shirt. I can hardly stand to look at the boy anymore, that's how disgusting his shirt has become. Meanwhile, that police officer has paid a visit to none other than Angela's cousin Ricky. He tells Ricky about the death of Stoner Boy and implies that it might be connected to the Great Camp Arawak Massacre of 1983. Ricky takes offense to that and is all "But she's been locked up in the nut house for 20 years and I see her every few weeks" and Police Officer is all "You mean him." HAHA. Anyway, Ricky is like "Screw off" and Police Officer drives away looking thoughtful behind the sunglasses that are permanently attached to his face.
So, back to Alan. As she promised, Karen meets him in his secret hideaway, only to haul ass out of there when she sees a bunch of dead skinned frogs lying around. Turns out that two of Karen's guy friends did the skinning both for the purpose of embarrassing Alan in front of her, and to just plain piss him off since he regards the frogs as friends. Alan runs after Karen to tell her he didn't kill the frogs, and they wind up on the pier during Free Swim. Karen is all "Get AWAY from me, freak" and every counselor comes to her defense. Randy takes that a step further and encourages some campers to give Alan a wedgie and then throw him in the water. (Hey, I got a great idea. Let's drink every time homage is paid to a scene from the first movie!) Unlike with Angela, I can't say I have any sympathy for Alan being tossed in the lake, because at least his shirt got cleaned a little in the process. THANK YOU. Petey, who is fast becoming this movie's answer to Ricky, assists Alan out of the water and tells off the counselors.
That night, another trick is played on Alan (Karen lures him behind the rec hall stage so that her guy friends can strip off all his clothes and then shove him out on the stage, where Alan is caught wearing nothing but undies). While this was mean of them, at least he's no longer wearing that nasty shirt. So, you know, whatever.
Once again, Petey saves the day. She and Ronnie take Alan back to his bunk (and put a clean shirt on him, I notice). After Alan falls asleep, Ronnie starts looking at Petey thoughtfully before absolutely losing his shit and demanding to know who Petey REALLY is, because it's awfully suspicious that she's constantly right there to save Alan's butt. Ronnie believes that Petey is Angela in disguise and is screaming at her when Police Officer interrupts the scene, with Frank hot on his heels. Ronnie starts babbling to them that Petey is Angela and needs to be stopped before she kills again. Frank is like "I told you to shut up about that crap." During this argument, a bunch of boys gather outside and start chanting obscene things, which wakes Alan up. Alan snaps and run off into the woods, which nobody seems to care about.
To be honest, this movie is kind of starting to bore me. Luckily, it is now time for another kill. Sweet. The victim this time is Frank. Our mysterious somebody removes Matilda from her cage, which causes the bird to squawk. Frank emerges to see what the bird's problem is and gets whacked on the head. When he wakes up, he finds that he is tied to a chair, with Matilda's cage placed over his head. The killer advances on him with a bag full of something that is moving and he/she hits the bag to make sure whatever is in there is also pissed. They then empty the contents of the bag, which turns out to be rats, into the cage to share space with Frank's head. Body Count: 3
As a special treat, we're gonna be given another kill scene. Randy and his girlfriend Linda are in the woods in order to get down and dirty. However, they forgot their sleeping bag, and, like a real gentleman, Randy orders Linda to go fetch it while he takes a piss. Such chivalry. *Eye roll* As Randy is getting his business done, our Mysterious Killer ties him to a tree. Randy assumes it's his girlfriend, as is the horror cliche. So he isn't really upset about the tying. He does, however, start to protest when a piece of sharp wire is tied around his junk. Linda hears his screams and is all "You're on your own, I ain't waiting around to be killed with you." So she hops into the Jeep and speeds off. Unfortunately for Randy, the other piece of the wire is attached to the car. As Linda speeds away, Randy's penis pops right the hell off. Seriously, it POPS. RIGHT. OFF. With an actual "Pop" sound and everything. It's hilarious. I think we can assume he died of massive blood loss, even though it isn't shown. So, Body Count: 4. Don't worry, the killer didn't forget about Linda. They set up a nice piece of barbed wire for her to run into while she speeds out of the woods. Body Count: 5
Moving right along, a boy alone in his cabin is looking at a dirty magazine when a sharpened broomstick pops up through a hole in the floor and nearly misses his head. Naturally, he decides to put his eye right up close to the hole, which is always a smart thing to do in a horror movie. Needless to say, the broomstick comes right back up and impales the kid right through the head. Body Count: 6. In the midst of all these happenings, Ronnie discovers Frank's body, which is all the proof he needs that he was right and Angela has returned. Or has she? Nobody knows.
As if the movie has realized that it's practically over and not enough kills have occurred, the kill scenes just keep on coming like Pez candy. The next victim is Bella, the awesome girl with the sassitude from earlier in the movie. Bella enters her cabin to find it empty, and flops down on her bottom bunk. She turns onto her back to see that the bottom of the bunk above her has been riddled with sharp nails. Before she has much time to ponder why there's so many nails pointing at her face, Mysterious Killer throws him or herself upon the top bunk with all their might, breaking it and effectively driving every last nail into Bella. Body Count: 7, and I have to say, I'm sorry to see Bella go. I enjoyed her sassitude.
Now that bodies are starting to be discovered, Ronnie is on a mission to track down Petey, whom he is still convinced is Angela in disguise. Campers gather around him and insist that Alan is the killer, since everybody who has been discovered dead so far had been a total jackass to him and he hasn't been seen since he ran off earlier. Police Officer Dude appears and tells everybody to shut the fuck up, as they are not helping by causing more commotion. Cousin Ricky suddenly shows up, and asks Police Officer why the hell he asked him to come here. Police Officer is all "I didn't" and says that somebody must have pretended to be him and asked Ricky to come. Finally, it is decided that Police Officer will search for Alan on one end of the camp and Ronnie and Ricky will search on the other. Everybody disperses.
Meanwhile, Karen is running like a maniac through the woods, because she has discovered Bella's body, is convinced that Alan is responsible, and believes she will be killed next. She runs and runs until she is knocked out by the killer. She comes to and discovers that her neck is tied to the basketball hoop in the rec hall. She is slowly hoisted upward and is about to be hung when Alan's stepbrother Michael and Police Officer Dude come rushing in and stop the rope from being hoisted any further. Karen is hysterical and is all 'It's ALAN!!! HE DID IT!"
Speaking of Alan, the movie now shows us that he's sitting in his secret hiding place, crying over his dead frogs. Michael suddenly shows up, ready to kick his ass. He beats the crap out of Alan before being interrupted by a Mysterious Somebody. Fade to black.
Ronnie and Ricky are still searching for Alan and eventually wander into his secret hiding spot. They find Alan beaten but concious, and then look around some more. They are quite shocked by what meets their eyes, although I am not, because I saw it coming from the beginning of the movie.
We see a pair of feet walking slowly towards Ronnie and Ricky, and the distinctive robotic sound of a voice being filtered through an artificial voice box, saying that the dead people were mean and deserved their fates. We also see various things being tossed onto the ground as the feet walk, such as a fake mustache, a wig, and a rubber nose. Finally, the voice box is thrown onto the ground, and the normal voice of Angela informs them that Michael has been skinned alive, made to suffer the same fate as the frogs. Cool. Body Count: 8 The movie ends with an awesome shot of Angela laughing maniacally before giving us in the audience the Icy Glare of Death.
Well, there you have it. We have officially covered every last Sleepaway Camp film there is. Hasn't it been awesome? Stay tuned for next time, when I recap...well...something. I haven't decided yet.