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dog days

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Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 11

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland
1989
Michael A. Simpson

Again, Angela (Pamela Springsteen) decides it’s time to head back to camp. She quickly disposes (literally) of a would-be camp counselor, assumes her identity, and boards the bus to Camp New Horizon (formerly Camp Rolling Hills which was formerly Camp Arawak). The camp is the site of some experimentation with kids of various social standing being grouped together. Just as in past camp excursions, everyone who displays rude or illicit behavior soon meets a violent end at the hands of Angela. She then sets up the last few survivors in a game that may allow some of them to live.

Sleepaway Camp III takes a step back from over the top comedy of part II, but never fully commits to either horror or comedy and it results in a muddled tone. The violence is still far from realistic but there is a much meaner edge to it than previous films. The whole social experiment element is introduced early on but amounts to very little at all. This would have been a good opportunity to parody the ‘Slobs vs. Snobs’ type of comedy that many other summer camp based movies indulged in, but Sleepaway Camp III sticks to the same lazily constructed slasher set-ups as II, with very little connecting material. Once again things start to show a little life in the third act, and the coda that more or less wraps up the series, but it’s too little too late. Sleepaway Camp III isn’t a complete waste of time but its damn close.

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