As a recent convert to the Terrifier camp, Shawn sells Antony, Ray and Tori hard in Terrifier 2 with a spoiler-free reaction. Also, our spoiler-free reviews of V/H/S/99, Deadstream, Smile, Day Shift and a whole lot MORE!!!
WARNING!!! The first 10 minutes or so of this episode is our Spoiler-Free review/reaction to David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends. HOWEVER, after that – and we give you ample warning – for those of you who have seen the film, we go into a full-spoiler discussion on the film.
Fresh from our review/discussion of David Bruckner’s Hellraiser, special guests Madison and Kenta return to help Shawn give a SPOILER-FREE review/reaction to Scream-screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s awesome new Slasher flick SICK!
Beyondfest 2022 and Cinematic Void hosted the West Coast Premiere of Iconic Horror Auteur Dario Argento’s new film Dark Glasses at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica last night and Shawn gives his spoiler-free review/reaction.
We start the episode with our spoiler-free reaction to Pearl – Ti West’s follow-up to X, then give you clear warnings before launching into our full-spoiler discussion. Ti West is back and he’s making some pretty amazing films! Let’s talk about it!
Tori’s Back!!! We talk Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, more Predator, Popcorn, Silver Coin #13, Rocktober Blood, the f*&ked up films of Andrey Iskanov, plus a lot more!
Fresh from a Saturday afternoon theatrical viewing of Ti West’s first film in 5 years, Ray and Shawn give you a quick, spoiler-free review/reaction to X. It’s awesome and we’ll tell you why you want to see it on the big screen if you can!
We discuss the ups and downs of Fede Alvarez and David Blue Garcia’s new Texas Chainsaw Massacre from Netflix. Also, Classic Corner returns as a regular feature and we kick it off with 1960’s Eyes Without a Face. From there, it’s Image Comics’ Infidel, Vinegar Syndrome’s release of Beyond Dream’s Door, and Adam Ellis’ Dear David.
Spoiler-free reviews of all the big Autumn Horror flicks, as well as the awesome new Yellowjackets series on Showtime!
Ray and Shawn go over their recent viewings, and there are A LOT of recommendations therein. From Netflix’s new Fear Street: 1994 to Ray’s impressions on this year’s Etheria Film Festival, to a succession of films Shawn is already betting will end up in his top of the year six months from now, we have a lot for you this week. Oh yeah, and there’s a totally impromptu discussion about Terminator to begin the episode. Just ‘cuz.
We give you our reviews of the new Mortal Kombat flick, Jakob’s Wife, as well as discussing Steve Niles’ Winnebago Graveyard, Amazon’s Them, the Hail Satan documentary, Dark Horse’s reimagining of Dan O’Bannon’s original Alien Script and a lot more!!!
Alright fiends, let’s get cheesy!
I make no pretense about my love for cheesy cinema. Some movies are just so bad that they wrap around into the realm of being good again. Sometimes this is because of absurd plots that progress in bizarre or insane ways. Other times, the films are so poorly acted that they border on comedy gold; you know the kind, those movies worthy of group watches where the jokes that arise make viewing experience. Well, for today’s double feature, both films make such odd choices that they are charmingly eccentric and worth a watch, especially with friends (We’re getting there folks, but stay safe – Shawn). That’s right, today’s films are Don’t Panic and Doom Asylum.
Both of these films are so filled with cliches from the genres they draw from that I liken them to pizza, in that even bad pizza is still kind of good (definitely wouldn’t agree there – Shawn). One is the old “demon- summoning-by-mistake movie,” and the other is a straight-up slasher. In each case, these films know the tropes to exploit and the beats to hit and they do so with flair.Continue reading “Cineray – WTF?”
This episode, Anthony gives his review of Adam Wingard’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, and as a diehard fan of the giant lizard, we trust his opinion. Also, Shawn gives Wrong Turn 2021 its second chance on the show, Tori talks South-Western Giallo White of the Eye a holler before joining Shawn in salivating over Waxwork Records‘ new Lords of Salem vinyl release. Plus, Larry Fessenden’s graphic novel and LOTS more!
We review a bunch of new stuff, including Anthony Scott Burns’ new film, Come True, the Wrong Turn re-boot, and Jerren Lauder’s Stay Out of the F*&king Attic. Plus, Lucky, The Craft: Legacy, Anything for Jackson, and tips on how to overcome streaming’s Paradox of Choice!
Class is in sessions, fiends! All right, today I am recommending a double feature of foundational horror. Horror, like any other film genre, becomes more entertaining when you know its history. For one, the work that became the foundational building blocks are usually fantastic movies in their own right and are still as entertaining now as they were when they were first released. Knowing these historically significant films can enhance the viewing of later entries because they typically reference them. For today I have picked two films that were the building blocks for the slasher genre. They also have their genesis in the true-life story of the notorious serial killer Ed Gein. Today’s Cineray double feature is Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Tobe Hooper.Continue reading “Cineray: Slasher Fundamentals.”
Ray discusses Tobe Hooper’s 80s Space-Vampire movie Lifeforce as a homage to Hammer Horror by way of Twins of Evil. Tori has an awesome theory that Pyscho Goreman exists in the same world as another film we love, and Shawn sings the praises of Alex de la Iglesia’s recently finished HBO opus 30 Coins! Plus, The Love Witch, the new Mortal Combat trailer, and all the stuff in 2021 we’re waiting for!
All right, fiends, let’s get disturbed! I tend to build my double features based around my interests and what I find entertaining, but honestly, that can be short-sighted. I have long championed the opinion that just because a movie or genre is not my thing does not mean it is not good or worth a person’s time. Everyone has a right to their own opinions and tastes, and with that in mind, today’s double feature is one I have watched but don’t think I would put myself through again. Today’s territory is serial killers, and the movies are Random Acts of Violence and Found.Continue reading “The Serial Killer Cineray”
We talk Part for of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Love & Monsters, HBO’s Heaven’s Gate documentary, Fingers, Alex de la Iglesia’s 30 Coins, our favorite characters from John McTernan’s Predator, what we love and hate about Fede Alvarez’s 2013 Evil Dead, and what movies will be a better dose of Ninja action than 1983s Samurai Christmas Horror film Blood Beat (here’s a hint – the titles all contain the word “Ninja.” Oh, and a lot more!
All right, horror fiends! Today’s suggestion for a double feature will feature two of the best sequels in horror movie history. You may ask why not recommend the first movies in these series. Well, you almost certainly will either have seen them or already have plans to see those movies already; they are classics. But I will champion the opinion that these two sequels are better than the original films. I’m talking about Evil Dead 2, directed by Sam Raimi, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, directed by Tobe Hooper.Continue reading “Cineray’s Killer Sequels Double-Feature!”
It’s the end of the year (finally), and thus, time for the time-honored tradition of ranking our favorite Horror films from the last 12 months!
Happy Holidays, fiends! If you are like me, somewhere in an old family photo album or special holiday frame is a picture of a child version of you sitting on Santa’s lap while crying your eyes out. As we grow up, our parents tell us that Santa brings us presents and, therefore, we should not be afraid of him. But maybe that childhood instinct is correct. Perhaps, trusting a fat old man with beard dresses In a red suit who loves kids is a lot sketchier than we give the story credit. Today’s Cineray holiday recommendations are a couple of films about some very dangerous Santas and the badass kids who battle against them in Dial Code Santa Claus and Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.
Dial Code Santa Claus – AKA Deadly Games – is like a demented and scarier Home Alone with a kid that has watched all the best 80’s action movies. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in the home of Thomas. Thomas is a brilliant boy with a grand imagination and a wealthy mother that indulges him. He dresses for his day like a mini Rambo and spends his day capturing his dog in trap doors. Thomas has installed a camera system throughout his entire house and can see everything from a remote on his wrist.
The camera system is the least of his security measures.
Thomas also spends his days with Papy, his grandfather, and works to repair his mother’s old car while Julie, his mother, manages a department store. Meanwhile, a man spots the store is hiring for a Santa and takes the job. When a girl accuses Santa of being fake, the jolly bastard slaps her. Julie sees this happen and fires him immediately. He steals her address, though and after killing a delivery driver and stealing his van, goes to her home. When he breaks in, Thomas mistakes this criminal for the actual Santa until a brutal event shows him the truth. Thomas has to mount a defensive to save himself and his grandfather from the psycho Santa.
What makes this movie great is the motifs and sequences it borrows from 80s action movies we know and love. It’s not a movie with a lot of kills, but it’s smart with the kills it does have and fills in the gaps with action. I would even hazard that one kill can be downright polarizing for viewers and may anger them to consider stopping the film right there. But I think it’s a bold move to establish the unforgivable evil as the crazy man simply known as Par Noel and put him in a Santa suit. It creates an eerie undertone beneath those 80’s action motifs.
Take the opening scene of Thomas suiting up with boots, toy knives, and camouflage, all laced up and strapped on to a knock-off hard rock soundtrack. These shots would usually be close-ups on the tight, rippling muscles of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger, but here they’re of a kid whose only resemblance to those 80s action stars is a spectacular mullet. And considering the odds and events Thomas has to deal with, he’s a total badass. It’s not a perfect film by far; there’s an opening that is heavy with exposition, and some of the callbacks overstay their welcome. But it’s a French take on over-the-top American Cinema, so it kind of makes sense.
Next, we move from a psychotic Santa to a demonic one.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is an extremely original concept that is really brought to life by a fantastic cast. The story starts with a survey crew on a mountain. They’re using a drill to take soil samples and find what they’re looking for when the foreman presents Riley, the man finding the operation, with soil that contains sawdust. Riley is excited as he explains the dust’s presence as evidence of something trapped in ice. Riley tells his crew they are close to finding what they set out to find, none other than Santa Claus, or at the very least the being that the Santa myth is based on, frozen in this ice.
Nearby, local boys Jusso and Pietari are sneaking around the site, listening to all of this. They hurry home, and Pietari begins to read up on this creature buried in the mountain. He discovers old folklore about a horned man with goat’s feet who once ran free, whipping and sometimes eating children who misbehave. The next day during the town’s annual reindeer hunt, Pietari’s father Rauno and some other men discover the corpses of hundreds of reindeer, all gnawed and eaten. They believe wolves have been driven wild by the mountain’s excavation, but when the disappearance of some local children follows this, it’s Jusso and Pietari who know the truth. The kids know better than the adults because adults are conditioned to disregard folklore, while the children are open to the fantastic.
Rare Exports‘ crisp, sharp cinematography and excellent production and set design make it a joy to watch. Nothing here looks fake, and similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing, this entry into the “monster thawed from the ice” subgenre feels very original.
Again these are both foreign films with subtitles, one being French and the other Finnish, and they both are great. As is usually the case with a good foreign film, at some point, you forget you are reading as you watch and just start doing it automatically and enjoying the movie. To watch these, you can stream Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale from several places, with options to watch for free with ads or with the cost of a rental or subscription but as usual, it’s on Shudder along with Dial Code Santa Claus so why not watch there.
Well, it’s that season again, fiends! That time when we get crap for watching horror movies during the “holidays.” It’s also when we get together with family and take part in that thinly veiled dance where we try not to get angry at family members we have not seen for a while. So why not watch a couple of horror movies that take all those thoughts about the holidays we have and take them to the violent nth degree. Today’s Cineray holiday recommendations are Red Christmas, directed and written by Craig Anderson and Secret Santa, directed and co-written by Adam Marcus, and co-written by Debra Sullivan.
Red Christmas is a slasher movie with an unusual killer and a mixed political message. This one starts at an abortion clinic that is bombed by a pro-life activist. In the aftermath, the bomber finds and takes with him the surviving result of a late-term abortion. Flash forward 20 years to Diane, played by Dee Wallace, hosting her family at her home in Australia. Tensions are high and old wounds show as the festivities begin. Her daughter Ginny is nine months pregnant and likes to smoke pit with her husband, supplied by her uncle, and her sister Suzy arrives with her pastor husband. The two clash and argue a lot with the family between them. And then a mysterious stranger named Cletus, wrapped in bandages, wearing a cloak arrives, and before they understand what’s happening, he is picking them off one at a time.
The slasher element of Red Christmas is pretty inventive, and once the kills start, they are pretty brutal. In typical slasher fashion, the killer has come for revenge, except here, his origin and rationale are pretty inventive. The kills could be a little more revealing, especially for a slasher, but it being an independent film, maybe that was the best way they felt they could keep down the cost. The special effect on the barely seen Cletus is cheesy looking, and honestly, the mystery of how he looks should have held for the entire film, but it’s quick and easy to see past. Finally, it’s a little muddled in its politics.
The next feature Secret Santa follows with more of a family killing spree but a lot more killing and some excellent dark humor. The film follows a family who meets for Christmas Eve dinner and their annual Secret Santa Ritual. Though blood, these are all different people with histories and issues between them. Tensions are high because, well, old wounds often do not heal. During a tense argument, violence ensues, and people start attacking others and complaining of feeling hot while others try to protect themselves and escape. But one of them has engineered the events of this evening and secretly knows what is going on.
The humor and violence of this film are entertaining, and the actors are great. It’s easy to hate some characters as the film progresses, but there’s a complicated family narrative afoot as well. Take the shrewish family matriarch Shari, played here in spiteful, vengeful glory by Debra Sullivan. Even though it’s an independent feature, the film spares no expense with the practical effects. The kills are fantastic, and some are outright funny. There is one WTF moment of particular gruesomeness in the film that will make you laugh out loud.
Now, to be completely honest, my fondness for Secret Santa transcends how great I think the movie is. This is because, when the Horror Vision podcast was only into its fifth episode, we got the chance to sit down and interview Adam Marcus and co-writer and star Debra Sullivan, and the film’s producer Bryan Sexton about the film. They were all excellent guests and very personable and open about the film process. Adam is generous in his advice and very positive, and Debra could not be farther from her character onscreen. She is very friendly and a great actor, considering how much you hate her character onscreen. That being said, more people need to see this horror film, and it’s always part of the reason I pick my Cineray features. Red Christmas can be rented from all the usual places but is free with Prime, Peacock, and Shudder, while Secret Santa is available for rent or purchase through Prime and YouTube.
Chris, Ray, and Shawn meet up to talk about all things Horror! First, hear Chris talk about the joys of not only Max Brooks’s new novel Devolution, but the full-cast Audio Book performance of both that and Brooks’s seminal zombie novel, World War Z! Next, Shawn has seen the new, Barbara Crampton-Produced Castle Freak remake and he LOVES it! Hear why. And Ray continues to methodically educate himself on Shudder’s entire catalog; this week he talks about Fulci’s New York Ripper, Bava’s The Body and the Whip, and the not-for-the-weak-of-heart Angst! Plus… Christopher Landon’s Freaky, and a lot more!
Hey horror fiends! This week was Thanksgiving, and if you are like me, you had enough turkey to last you a while. But thankfully, we never get tired of horror. For this week’s Cineray double feature, I have decided on a couple of slasher movies. One is legitimately set on the Thanksgiving holiday while the other is not, but there is a theme that ties them together I will reveal later. Today’s recommendations are Blood Rage, directed by John Grissmer, and The Mutilator, directed by Buddy Cooper.
Blood Rage is a great slasher that happens to take place on Thanksgiving. The story focuses on twin brothers Todd and Terry and their mother, Louise. One night while at a drive-in, Louise, played by Louise Lasser, begins to make out with her husband while her sons sleep in the back of the station wagon. Terry wakes up and wakes his brother and tells him to sneak out of the car with him. While out looking in car windows and around, Terry finds an ax. He happens upon a couple having sex in their car and gets caught pepping with Todd standing behind him in the distance. Terry hacks the man’s face to death, then gives the ax to Todd and smears blood on him. Todd is traumatized and left catatonic and institutionalized. Ten years later, after Louise visits on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes. Meanwhile, after Louise announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Terry gets triggered into a killing spree at the apartment complex where they live.
Blood Rage is a fantastic slasher movie with lots of gore and a pretty inventive plot. Once Terry starts offing people, it’s pretty great. He hacks and slashes his way through his victims, and the effects are all practical and excellent. The dismembered hand clutching a can of beer is pretty memorable. Mark Soper plays the twin brothers Todd and Terry, and he does a great job of it. Terry is ruthless and cruel in his actions, while Todd, by comparison, is soft-spoken and just kind of lost in how to stop his brother. As the film progresses, there is an indication that there may be an incestuous Oedipal relationship between Louise and Terry. From a man killing to eliminate competition for his mother’s love, we shift to a movie whose action focuses on a man’s accidental murder of his mother.
The Mutilator focuses on the story of Ed and his father, Big Ed. One day while his father is out, Ed is cleaning one of his father’s hunting rifles to surprise him when the weapon accidentally discharges and shoots his mother in the next room, killing her. When Big Ed comes home, he blames Ed and has a psychotic break. Many years later, Ed is now in college and decides to go with his college friends to his father’s beach home for Fall Break. What they don’t know is that Big Ed is hiding at the beach house, waiting to exact his revenge on his son after all these years.
What makes this film fun is how odd of a slasher movie it is. It’s fairly formulaic in its plot and structure, with the killer ramp up in violence and the characters indulging in episodes of making out. But the tone of this film is bonkers. It starts with the very stark, almost overly dramatic mother’s death and then cuts to the friends meeting and deciding to go to the beach house, which is a very light-hearted scene. And then the film’s original title Fall Break, comes on screen over a music montage more fitting for a cheesy 80’s comedy. The film does this more than a few times. It will be a slasher movie one moment and then decide it wants to be a teen sex comedy for a moment or two.
These films are worth a watch because they have largely been forgotten about, even amidst the increased market for regional slasher movies. Plus, both films both focus on killers motivated by family relationships and anger. If you have been on either a zoom call or a small family gathering, this season chances are you may feel homicidal too. The Mutilator is on Amazon prime video, and Blood Rage is on Prime, Kanopy, and best of all Shudder. Now you can watch Blood Rage all on its own, but as I always do, I recommend it watched as part of the
Tori spent her October doing the unthinkable – watching ALL 9 seasons of American Horror Story start to finish. Hear her talk about the experience. Ray does a tribute to Drive-ins in cinema with Psycho Beach Party and Chillerama, and Shawn watched The Dark and the Wicked! Plus, Joe R. Lansdale’s The Drive-In, The Driller Killer, Shudder’s WNUF Halloween Special, and a bloody lot more. (Really bloody!)
Mark it – the first in-person episode of our show since COVID began! Anthony and Shawn gather under the same room but at a safe social distance to watch Scream Factory’s BR of William Malone’s 1999 remake of The House on Haunted Hill! Also, Netflix’s new haunter His House, which is really just fan-freakin’-tastic! Also also, Shudder’s new Creepshow Animated Special, NOTLD, Halloween, and a whole lot more!
Hey fiends! So Halloween has come and gone, and if you were like me, it was somewhat uneventful while you sat at home being safe. But maybe you are not ready to let the season go by quite just yet. So why not take in a couple of great anthologies that are perfect for saying goodbye for the season with Scare Package and Tales of Halloween.
Scare Package is a fun anthology of horror shorts all tied together by a couple of framing devices and tons of fun horror and gore. The film is not just an homage to the horror genre but is also how most horror fans over the age of 30 were first introduced to horror movies, the local video store. The film’s primary framing device is Rad Chad’s video store, where the stories usually have their genesis as either a story or a videotape being played or discussed. Rad Chad is the know-it-all horror guy, and Sam is one of his customers, the attention-seeking horror nerd. Later Chad acknowledges his role as a know-it-all horror guy and that he is a part of a horror movie. Most of the characters in the meta situations are easily recognizable in horror, and the way they are used and displayed is comic and fun.
Many genres of horror are referenced, and usually, every short references more than one. From slashers to monsters to devil worshippers to body melt to black government scientists, so many troupes are referenced and made fun of but in the most loving of ways. The people involved in this love horror movies and wanted to create something that showed that love. There is a fun reference early on to a horror icon who later makes a cameo as a character. Among some of my favorite moments are a short involving body melt and a secret government experiment. There is also a wrap-around framing device and an entertaining character in it.
Tales of Halloween is a lot less meta but still pays its share of homage while utilizing a more cemented location and a fun run start to finish. The film takes place on Halloween in a suburban town. A local DJ, played by Adrienne Barbeau, narrates and is heard throughout the film when characters listen to the radio. For fans of the Fog, you will live the use of Barbary. Some of the stories are very horror focused while others are horror-comedy. Among the genres referenced are urban legends, vengeful ghosts, devils and imps, slashers, aliens, witches, and demons. I tend to like the more comedic, but a couple took me by surprise with their twists.
I think the order of Scare Package and then Tales of Halloween is the better choice because of how the stories are presented. Scare Package tends to ramp up and even ends with a bang. Continuing with Tales of Halloween is a good way to end the night because it’s almost a cool down and all of the tales take place on Halloween night. If you feel ambitious or just have lots of time, you could always make this a triple feature with Trick-r-Treat if you did not already watch it this past Halloween season. I would probably place it right between the two or after Tales of Halloween, but that one I will leave for you to decide.
Finally, both Scare Package and Tales of Halloween are available on Shudder, where I suggest watching them. For one, they are both conveniently streaming in one place, so whether you are watching from a computer or smart tv you can stay in one application. Tales of Halloween is on the main page under a Shudder Halloween and Scare Package is in the separate category Exclusive and Original. But I would recommend looking up the Last Drive-In presentation of Scare Package just to add another element of fun with Joe Bob Briggs.
This episode, Tori, Ray, Anthony, and Shawn meet back up on Zoom to discuss The Shed and Random Acts of Violence, both recent additions to Shudder’s streaming service. Also, Anthony reviews The Barge People and Tori Impetigore! From there the discussion ranges from whether or not Nick Cage was the right man for Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space, HBO’s Lovecraft Country and Raised By Wolves, and really, a helluva lot more.
Show Notes: As we mention on the episode, we’re in the final days to back Vincent DiSanti’s upcoming Friday the 13th Fan Film Never Hike in the Snow (You can support the IndieGoGo campaign for the next 8 days HERE, campaign trailer below:
Also, this episode we finished with what we are most looking forward to coming up; here’s the trailers for everything we talk about in that Coming Attractions section:
All right fiends, the summertime is about to come to a close! But before it does, how about some fun summertime slashers? Today will be a little different because I am suggesting a triple feature of camper-killing fun. No Fridays here, sorry to disappoint anyone, but I wanted this list to represent what I feel are under-viewed films from the Slasher genre: The Burning and Sleepaway Camps 2 and 3.
Released in 1981, The Burning is an early Miramax production written by Peter Lawrence and Bob Weinstein. To be clear, Bob is the brother still working in film, and Harvey is the now notorious abuser. The Burning is their take on the New York Cropsey urban legend. In this film, Cropsey is the caretaker at Camp Blackfoot. One night some boys sneak out of their cabin to prank Cropsey while he sleeps. They plant a worm-riddled skull with candles in the eyes on his bedside table and then bang on the window to his cabin to scare him. Cropsey wakes startled and knocks the skull over, causing everything in the room to go up in flames, including Cropsey. After running to the lake, Cropsey survives and is taken to a hospital.
Five years later, Cropsey is released. Still horribly scarred after failed skin grafts, he hides in a hat and trench coat. On the streets of New York City, a prostitute lures him up to an apartment, and he murders her with scissors in a fit of rage. From there, Cropsey returns to the camp with his mindset on exacting revenge on campers. It takes a little bit for him to start murdering campers. This film is somewhat reminiscent of Michael Myers in Halloween, as both killers appear in shadows around the characters, and we get the view from Cropsey’s perspective throughout the film instead of peeks of him. When he does start murdering campers, the effects are fantastic, created by FX master Tom Savini.
The Burning is pretty standard fair as slasher films go. The story of a mistreated weirdo who gets his revenge is nothing new, but I appreciated the concept of his being mauled by fire and driven to revenge. I am not saying I would hunt down and murder people for a prank gone wrong [Editor’s note: Ray would totally do that!], but it does make Cropsey a lot more sympathetic than the usual slasher. The film has a small twist reveal in the finale, and the cast is littered with future stars like Jason Alexander, Holly Hutton, and Fisher Stevens.
Our next two films in this triple feature, Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3, go together well and are very similar. I did not include the first film in the series because most horror fans will have seen it by now. The story picks up years later, Angela is now an adult counselor at Camp Arawak. She has been through therapy and full sexual reassignment since the first film and deemed sane. She is an enthusiastic and chipper counselor who leads the camp in singalongs and has been chosen as one of the camp’s best counselors. The girls she is in charge of are somewhat unruly and don’t like Angela. When she catches one girl out at night with some boys at a campfire, she murders her and says she had to send the girl home to the rest of the camp. It’s not long before Angela is hacking up and murdering anyone she deems unfavorable and explaining their disappearances with the story that she is sending them all home.
This one is a lot of fun with the kills and dark humor running throughout. Angela is played by Pamela Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen’s sister, and she plays the role with a demented chipper persona akin to Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom. The kills are creative and somewhat gruesome, with a couple making me laugh out loud. The film runs fast, which is perfect because you can jump right into the third film next.
The third movie, Sleepaway Camp 3, takes place a year later. Camp Arawak has been shut down, and the police are on the hunt for Angela. She kills and assumes the identity of a girl who is about to leave for a new camp being conducted on Camp Arawak’s grounds. Camp New Horizons is composed of half juvenile delinquents and half rich kids doing community service. The adults in charge are Officer Barney Whitmore, a man whose son was murdered by Angela, and owners Herman and Lily Miranda. Veteran character actor Michael J Pollard plays Herman. Pollard is known for playing lovable weirdos, but in this role, he is a creep. It’s awesome. When one of the girls takes a liking to him, his character returns the affection with a pervy zeal. Unlike the previous film’s campers, many of these characters deserve Angela’s version of moral justice. The so-called good kids are mostly creeps, and the others are outright punks. Although you may feel a slight sadness when the punks get killed, I did. They are just so prototypical of the 80’s era bad kids that they are somewhat endearing.
Sleepaway Camp 3 is also a good way to end because it’s a comedown from the second film as far as kills go. Yes, there is a murder with a lawnmower, but the blood is more of an understood concept; you don’t see it. Not quite sure why the filmmakers decided to tone down the violence in this third film. Maybe it was to return the original Sleepaway Camp’s tone, where except for the bloody severed head seen in the last moments, the kills in that one are somewhat tame.
These films are easily accessible on Shudder, and as a horror fan, if you don’t have a subscription get on it. It’s got a lot of great horrors and exclusive films every horror fan needs to sit down and watch. Of course, many of these films are on other sites, but for $5.99 a month, it’s about $2 a movie and a whole month of more content. A note, shudder is not a sponsor of this column or theHorrorvision.com; we are all just fans of the service.