Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) - Michael A. Simpson


Middle of the road slasher that does nothing for me.

Director: Michael A. Simpson

Writers: Fritz Gordon and Robert Hiltzik

Starring: Pamela Springsteen, Renée Estevez, Susan Marie Snyder, Valerie Hartman and Tony Higgins

Release Date: August 26, 1988

Country: USA

Budget: $465,000


Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers is a comedic slasher movie directed by Michael A. Simpson and written by written by Fritz Gordon. Starring Pamela Springsteen in the lead role as Angela. Alongside, Renée Estevez, Susan Marie Snyder, and Valerie Hartman. It had a limited release in theaters on August 26th, 1988. I remember seeing this movie in the horror section at Blockbuster and loving the cover. It was like a hidden object painting. I am watching the Tubi version. It appears uncut but has intermittent commercials.

Angela is back, working at a new job as a counselor at Camp Rolling Hills. She has been through treatment and projects a strong moral compass. She follows the rules and is extremely passionate about camping. Traits that the other campers and staff just don’t share. But with Angela on patrol, bad campers will not be returning for the sequel… I mean next summer.

Sleepaway Camp II is a parody of various films in and out of the horror genre. The intro titles pay homage to Halloween. There is a very specific reference to Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface. But it also branches out into other genres with the characters being named after the infamous Hollywood Brat Pack like Molly, Ally, Rob, Demi, Judd, Charlie, Emilio, and TC, or Tom Cruise.

This is a great late-night slasher that would have been at home on USA’s Up All Night or something like that. It didn’t have much of a story. Campers are misbehaving and Angela is killing. That’s about all you need. The effects are minimal and the filmmaker appears to try to make up for it by presenting it as a schlock piece. It doesn’t take anything away from the movie. It is what it is.