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Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 slasher film directed and written by Robert Hiltzik.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Over the opening credits, we see a closed down summer camp in the autumn which is called Camp Arawak.

The film opens in the summer of 1975, with a family consisting of divorcee John Baker and his two children, Angela and Peter, out on a lake near a summer camp in upstate New York. After their small boat accidentally flips, John and the children begin to head ashore, where John's gay lover, Lenny, is calling to him. As the family swims, a pair of teenagers, named Marianne and Craig, are pulling a water skier, named Dolores, in a motorboat. Craig and Marianne switch places so that the girl can drive the boat, but they fail to notice the family in the water in time and hit them, killing both John and Angela. The survivor, Peter, is sent to live with his eccentric aunt, Dr. Martha Thomas, and Martha's son Richard "Ricky" Thomas and is forced to act like a girl because Martha always wanted one.

8 years in 1983 after John and Angela's deaths, Angela (14) and Ricky (15) are sent to Camp Arawak by Martha, who reminds them not to tell anyone how they got the signatures for their physical exams. The buses arrive at the camp, and Artie, the creepy-looking school cook, admires the children in a very suspicious way. Ricky introduces Angela to his best friend Paul, and he shows Angela around the camp since he was there last summer. Angela goes not respond when Paul talks to her and backs away after he finishes the tour. Ricky tries to talk to Judy, his former girlfriend from last summer at the camp, but she hardly acknowledges him.

Due to her introverted nature and her shyness, Angela is ridiculed and bullied, her main tormentors being Judy and camp counselor Meg. During lunchtime, Angela, having not eaten for some time, is taken into the kitchen by the sympathetic head counselor Ronnie to see if there is anything in there she would like to eat. Left alone with the greasy head cook Artie, Angela is taken into a back room by Artie, who intends to molest Angela. Before any harm can come to Angela, Artie is found in the midst of unfastening his pants by Ricky, who flees from the kitchen with Angela after Artie threatens him. After the incident in the pantry, Artie is seriously injured when he is knocked off a chair by an unseen figure while tending to a large pot of boiling water which spills on his face and hands. Artie's injuries are deemed accidental by camp owner Mel Costic, who pays off the rest of his kitchen staff, including the assistant cook Ben to keep the event quiet, and tells the replacement cooks to tell the campers that Artie left for another job.

The next day, Ricky, Paul and the rest of the boys in their cabin, including geek Mozart, are playing baseball with Kenny, Mike, Billy and the rest of the boys from another cabin. After Ricky wins the game to the older guys, Kenny talks with Mike on how to get back at Ricky.

Later that night in the recreation cabin during a dance, Angela is accosted by Kenny and Mike who begin mocking her for not speaking, prompting Ricky and his friend Paul to get into a fight with the boys which several others join in on, fulfilling their plan on getting back at Ricky. After the brawl is broken up by councelor Gene, Ricky and the rest of the boys involved in the fight leave while Paul stays behind and succeeds in befriending Angela by telling her about misadventures he and Ricky would get into when they were younger. The shy Angela still does not talk, but when Paul begins to leave, she speaks for the first time telling him "good night".

Later that night, Kenny is rowing a boat with his girlfriend Leslie in which he rocks and overturns the boat. Leslie angrily swims away as Kenny, underneath the overturned boat, is attacked and pushed underwater by an unseen person. In the morning, Kenny's dead and decomposing body is found and his death is also ruled accidental by Mel, despite suspicion from Ronnie, and the police, especially Frank the Cop.

Later that day, Angela walks up to Paul and begins to talk to him as he watches the girls play volleyball, much to the irritation of Judy. Meg tells Angela that she either must participate or do nothing (which includes talking with boys.)

That evening, Paul and Angela go to the rec room to watch a movie, and they later leave when the movie is over hand in hand as Angela slowly starts to become more friendly with him. When they are alone, Paul attempts to kiss Angela, but she reacts uptight and walks back to her cabin.

The next day at the lake, Paul sits beside Angela who tells him that she cannot go in the water. Paul gets up and leaves when Meg arrives. Meg then asks Angela if she is going to swim, but Angela stops talking. Meg angrily shakes the silent girl until Ronnie pulls her away and tells her to leave Angela alone.

In the girls cabin, Judy approaches Angela and is angry thinking that she got Meg in trouble. Then Judy begins mocking Angela again and asks her why she will not shower or go swimming, or change clothes with the other girls. Angela continues to be silent, but it is clear at this point onward that she is hiding something.

Later that day, Angela is hit in the face with a water balloon by Billy and his friends who are a cabin roof throwing water balloons at passersby. Mel reprimands the boys on the roof and then grounds Billy for the rest of the summer. Ricky comes to the aid of Angela and tells her "I'll kill him!" A little later, while his friends go off to play basketball, Billy stays behind in the cabin and goes to the restroom to take "a wicked dump". An unseen person locks him in the toilet stall. The unseen person then cuts the screen behind Billy and shakes a hive full of live bees into the room. Billy eventually breaks out of the stall but is stung to death, with bees covering his face.

When Mel learns about Billy's death, he becomes more unsettled because he thinks the camp will be shut down. Mel also grows suspicious of Ricky, who he believes is killing those who bully Angela.

The relationship between Angela and Paul grows strained when that evening Paul attempts to make out with Angela on the beach, causing Angela to have a flashback to her youth when she and her brother, Peter, witnessed their father in bed with Lenny. 

The next day, Paul, being confused and angered by Angela's rejection of his advances, is easily seduced by Judy, who lures him away from a game of capture the flag, a game assembled by counselor Jeff, and into the woods where the two are found kissing by Angela and Ricky. Guilty about what happened between him and Judy, Paul attempts to explain himself to Angela while on the beach, but this time, she does not want to talk to him.

Later that day, as Paul tries again to talk to Angela, he is shooed away by Judy and Meg, who pick up Angela and throw her into the water. After being taken out of the lake by lifeguard Hal and having sand flung at her by several small children, a clearly disturbed Angela is comforted by Ricky, who swears revenge on her aggressors.

That evening, Meg, while preparing for a date with Mel, is murdered with a knife while taking a shower, having her back sliced open.

Meg's disappearance goes largely unnoticed and camp activities go on as usual with a social being held. At the social dance, Angela is approached by Paul who again tries to apologize over the Judy incident. Angela, for some strange reason, tells Paul to meet her later tonight at the waterfront after the social.

Next, six young children, the ones who threw sand at Angela, are taken out to go camping with counselor Eddie, and when two of them ask to go back for they feel sick, Eddie takes the two back to his car and drives back to the camp. But when Eddie comes back, he finds the other four children in their sleeping bags, hacked to bits with Eddie's axe (which was used to cut wood) lying on the ground dripping in blood.

Meanwhile, Mike and Judy are kissing, and Mike hides when Mel stops to ask where Meg is. After Mel leaves, Mike decides that he'd better leave. Mel finds Meg's dead body in the shower stall and thinks that Ricky killed her to get back at him.

Judy, who had decided to skip the social to be with Mike, goes back to the girls' cabin where is killed when the unseen killer enters and punches her out. The murderer shoves a pillow on her face and forces a curling iron somewhere unknown.

After the social, the camp is thrown into a panic when Eddie arrives and tells the counselors about the deaths of the four children. Ricky, who had missed the social due to feeling ill, overhears this news before being attacked by Mel and he accuses him of killing Meg and all the others. After beating Ricky seemingly to death, Mel stumbles into the camp archery range, where he is shot in the throat with an arrow by the real killer.

Ronnie calls the police and then tells Marie to gather the other counselors to round up the surviving campers to put them into one cabin until they can root out the killer. As the counselors and the police scour the camp, Angela meets Paul on the beach, where she tells him to undress, which Paul enthusiastically agrees to do. Ronnie and Marie find the dead Meg and Mel, while Frank the cop and Gene find Ricky who is still alive. Gene carries the badly beaten Ricky away to a waiting ambulance as Frank radios for backup.

Ronnie and Susie find Angela nude on the beach, softly singing to herself and clutching a large knife and Paul's severed head in her hands. Angela is revealed to be both the killer and a boy... the thought-to-be-dead Peter.

Through flashbacks it is shown that after Martha gained custody of him, she decided to raise Peter as a girl, already having a son and coming to the conclusion that another boy "simply would not do." It's also implied that Peter/Angela was mentally affected in a very negative way by seeing his father sharing a homosexual embrace with another man. The film suddenly ends with the nude and blood-covered "Angela", male genitalia in full view, standing before Susie and Ronnie, letting out an animalistic hissing sound.

List of deaths[edit | edit source]

Name Cause of Death Killer On Screen Notes
John Baker Hit by speedboat Mary 'Maryanne'Ann Yes Accident
Kenny Head forcefully shoved under water/drowned in lake Peter "Angela" Baker Yes Revenge and punishment for bullying her and fighting with Ricky
Billy Stung multiple times by bees Peter "Angela" Baker Yes Revenge and punishment for bullying her and fighting with Ricky
Meg Knifed in back/sliced down through shower stall Peter "Angela" Baker Yes Revenge and punishment for bullying her, telling her off, angrily shaking her for being silent and throwing her into the water
4 Young Campers Hacked apart/several times with hatchet Peter "Angela" Baker No Revenge and punishmentfor throwing sand on her and Ricky
Judy Hot curling iron inserted into vagina Peter "Angela" Baker Yes Revenge and punishment for bullying her, kissing Paul, having sex, scolding Susie, treating Ricky like dirt, and being a "camp bitch"
Mel Kostic Shot through throat with arrow Peter "Angela" Baker Yes Punishment for being greedy and revenge for beating up Ricky and nearly to death
Paul Decapitated with hunting knife Peter "Angela" Baker No Discovered her secret

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Felissa Rose as Angela Baker / Peter Baker
  • Jonathan Tiersten as Ricky Thomas
  • Karen Fields as Judy
  • Christopher Collet as Paul
  • Mike Kellin as Mel Costic
  • Amy Baio as Brooker Warner
  • Katherine Kamhi as Meg
  • Paul DeAngelo as Ronnie Angelo
  • Susan Glaze as Susie
  • Tom Van Dell as Mike
  • Loris Sallahain as Billy
  • John E. Dunn as Kenny
  • Ethan Larosa as Jimmy
  • Willy Kuskin as Mozart
  • Desiree Golud as Aunt Martha Thomas
  • Owen Hughes as Artie
  • Robert Earl Jones as Ben
  • Frank Trent Saladino as Gene
  • Rick Edrich as Jeff
  • Fred Greene as Eddie
  • Allen Breton as Frank Breton
  • Michael C. Mahon as Hal
  • Dan Tursi as John Baker
  • James Paradise as Lenny

External links[edit | edit source]

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