Robin Pierce OnLine
Addressing the Geek Nation......
Friday the 13th Pt VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Friday the 13th Pt VII - The New Blood (1988)
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Friday the 13th Pt VI - Jason Lives (1986)
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Friday the 13th Pt V - A New Beginning (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child (1989)
Friday the 13th Part IV - The Final Chapter (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 - The Dream Master (1988)
Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors (1987)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 - Freddy's Revenge (1985)
The Burning (1981)
Friday the 13th (1980)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
April Fool's Day (1986)
Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Sleepaway Camp III - Teenage Wasteland (1989)

“It seems every year I'm at camp someone loses their head.” -  Angela Baker

Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland (1989) – WorldFilmGeek

There’s a production company called The Asylum, who produce really awful films like Sharknado, Aquarium of the Dead, and rip-off titles like Alien Predator, Tomb Invader, Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train (nope, I’m not kidding). If (God forbid) The Asylum ever went down the road of slasher movies, then we could expect something along the lines of Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland.

It was filmed back-to-back with Sleepaway Camp II, Unhappy Campers on a budget of $465,000, with the production of both films together taking only six weeks. Pamela Springsteen repeats her role of Angela Baker, gleefully undertaking another killing spree in a film that has basically no plot – it’s literally a string of cheaply executed killings. It makes no sense, there is no logic or reason to it. My theory is that the producers felt they were maybe making a parody of slasher films. But again, that might be giving them far too much credit.

The storyline run-through will be quick for this one because there isn’t much to say.

A year has passed since the events of Sleepaway Camp II. We open with Maria (Kashina Kessler) on the morning she’s setting off for camp. Despite its absurdly high mortality rate twelve months ago, it’s the same camp that Angela did her slaying back then, only repackaged, with a new name. However, none of this concerns Maria, because she’s not even going to make it on the bus. She is followed, chased by and run over by a garbage truck driven by Angela, who is wearing identical clothing to Maria, as well as a wig. (How did she know what Maria was going to wear?) Then, having thrown Maria’s body in the compactor, leaving the truck in the alley where the murder took place, Angela assumes Maria’s identity, boards the camp bus and returns to her old stomping grounds to do some killing. We don’t exactly know why. Other than imposing her own moral code, she seems to have absolutely no motivation.

So, the camp is now called Camp New Horizons, and the intake is comprised of 50% rich kids and 50% underprivileged. The stay will comprise of the kids being split into three smaller groups, all going out camping and fishing and undertaking trust exercises. Despite the three groups camping within easy walking distance of each other and the actual home base, they don’t keep in touch and no camp ever hears any screams as Angela goes about her business. Also, nobody ever seems to miss much of anyone who gets killed. As for the casting – I find it hard to believe that other than a slumming Michael J Pollard, any of the cast were actually professional actors at this stage. I know that we’re not looking for Oscar nominations in this genre, but maybe just a little bit of ability would help. It’s easy to tell which kids belong to with group, as the underprivileged kids are all wearing denim, leather and swear a lot. It’s stereotyping taken to a crazy level. That’s without even mentioning their ethnicities.

Killing methods range from beheading to being burnt to death in a tent, being beaten to death with a stick, to being buried up to your neck and having a lawn mower go over your head, being hoisted up to the top of a flagpole and dropped to your death to having your arms pulled out of their sockets by a Jeep. All done seemingly with a special effects budget of around five dollars per kill.

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (Nightmare Vacation 3) (1989) -  Projected Figures

It’s a fast moving, witless eighty-four minutes, with the main entertainment coming from its sheer incompetence on ANY level. If there is a high point, it’s when Angela is fishing and reels in a hockey mask from the lake. Asking what the date is, she’s told Saturday the 14th.

Angela is still alive at the end of the film, but this would be the last of this particular run of the series. It would be rebooted several years later, with the return of Felissa Rose as Angela. Whether those completely ignore the second and third films and are a direct sequel to the first, I have no idea. I’ve never seen them. But it seems a shame that the original film, with its shock twist ending, and cult status, didn’t get a better follow up that might’ve explored Angela’s transexual homicidal tendencies a bit more rather than just have her “fixed” in an operation mentioned in a throwaway line then portray her as an annoyingly chirpy and gung-ho mass murderer. 

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