Horror Movie Review: Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)

Released 5 years after the original, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers moves away from the serious tone of the previous film & instead goes for a more comedic style to very mixed results.

You can read our review of the first Sleepaway Camp here.

Written by Fritz Gordon, directed by Michael A. Simpson & starring Pamela Springsteen, the movie is set 5 years after the first. Angela (Springsteen) is now a counsellor at Camp Rolling Hills having seemingly gotten away with the murders in the first film.

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The camp teens are a rowdy bunch, obsessed with scary stories & having sex. Something that really gets under Angela’s skin. She wants an old-fashioned camp experience where they sit around toasting marshmallows & singing songs.

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Frustrated with the behaviour of the camp teens she starts murdering them in violent & sadistic ways. She manages to get away with this by telling the Camp leader that she has sent them home for bad behaviour. Naturally this is only going to work for so long but by time the truth is revealed Angela has murdered most of the camp!

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Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers misses the mark by some distance. The first movie wasn’t particularly original but it told a good story & built to a shocking & exciting end. This sequel does neither. The story is basic, the plot stretched to breaking point & the black humour falls flat for the most part.

The glee that Angela has during the more psychotic moments is about the only entertainment you’ll get from this campy horror. Pamela Springsteen is a good actress but the rest of the cast are cookie-cutter fodder, there to behave like idiots & be offed by Angela.

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Visually the film has style, even though it came out at the end of the 80s it has a more 90’s horror look about it. Flashy with plenty of detailed gory moments. The effects & makeup are good & there is plenty of imagination with the kills.

As a sequel, it was always going to go bigger & it does; with the gore & the nudity. Being ‘teens’ but obviously played by adult actors gave the film-makers more leeway & they ran with it. There is a lot of nudity, a lot of boobs on show. This is one of the horniest groups of campers I’ve ever seen.

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A sequel baiting ending fits the film’s campy comedic style but it inevitably disappoints. Expecting this to be any improvement on the original is a mistake & if you removed Angela from the story this could be any slasher horror ever.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers
  • 5/10
    The Final Score - 5/10
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