Sleepaway Camp 3 Teenage Wasteland
Director: Michael A. Simpson
Year of release: 1989
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 80 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Also known as: Nightmare Vacation 3
Tagline: She's back to slash last year's record
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: At camp New Horizons, the newly named Camp Rolling Hills from the previous film a scheme has been set up that sees six teenagers from impoverished backgrounds mixing with six from rich affluent families. It is kind of a social experiment with aims of building bonds between those that wouldn't normally come into contact with one another. In the beginning of the film we see Angela killing one of the teens lined up for the experiment. She then assumes her victims identity in order to gain access to the camp herself. Once the event gets under way the kids are soon slit up into groups with an adult in charge of each and sent into the woods for camping, bonding and generally living off the land. To muddy the waters one of those in charge is a police officer and the father of a teen Angela killed in the previous film. Undeterred, Angela is soon up to her old tricks, dealing out rough justice to anyone she deems immoral.
Good points: Really fun and entertaining throughout and although quite cheesy it certainly held my attention. Some have labeled it boring so it won't be to everyone's taste but with a relatively short running time it never outstays its welcome and keeps up a swift pace with the frequent kills keeping things ticking over nicely.
There are some creative kills which although sadly edited are still fun to watch with the lawnmower and flagpole kills perhaps being the stand outs.
Although they are heavily stereotyped there are some humerous characters that are very fun to watch like Riff, Snowboy and wannabe politician Bobby. The two older people in charge Herman and Lilly are also good value. There are also some funny lines from Angela herself on a few occasions throughout the film.
As it was filmed around the same time of the second film by the same director it has a great sense of continuity with the previous installment, something which was definitely missing between parts one and two. We see a number of things tying the two films together such as the aforementioned police officer character, the hockey mask being fished out of the lake, the writing about Angela on the wall and several of the buildings are referenced as being used in part two.
This one goes into a bit more detail than number two in terms of trying to explain how Angela gets to camp and although it is far fetched that she could assume someones identity so easily at least they give us something. I thought it was too unrealistic in part two how she becomes a counselor with little explanation. This one also goes into a small amount of detail regarding what the police know of Angela and her history. It is only brief but better than nothing.
Unfortunately there is very little gore on display with many of the kills being cut away jobs. This is commonly blamed on the company over spending on the second film and running out of money for special effects for this one but as explained in the Blu ray extras this wasn't the case. Instead it was cut to ribbons by the censors before they would pass it with an R certificate. This is perhaps due to the gore appearing more graphic and visceral than normal with most of the film taking place in bright daylight.
Although most of it takes place during the day there is a bit towards the end at night and even on the Blu ray these parts can be a little too dark and hard to see what's happening. For example there is a scene where some of the kids stumble upon a cabin where Angela has stored the bodies of those she has already killed but it is so dark we can barely see anything.
As it is quite a short film with a lot of characters some of them are very under developed. There are a couple that die near the end that barely get a word of dialogue with others such as Arab showing promise but ultimately being underutilised.
It is a bit silly in a few places and overly unrealistic. At the end Angela overpowers the paramedics too easily seeing she is supposed to be injured and it is never explained why Jan is so willing to have sex with the elderly Herman. They could have justified it by having her confide to Angela she was going to get a new car or whatever as a gift from her parents if she got good reports from the counselors seeing that she was of the rich kids group.
Verdict: Very much recommended to fans of horror with a comedic twist and of course fans of the previous installments. Although some may say it is lacking in story and is just Angela quickly hacking through teens in the woods I found it quirky and entertaining and I enjoyed the mix of rich and poor kids. A shame about the lack of gore but I still enjoyed it, probably more so than the second one.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Maria: Run down by a garbage truck and corpse stuffed in the trash compactor.
2) Tawny: Dies due to snorting cocaine which Angela had tampered with.
3) Herman: Beaten to death with a tree branch.
4) Jan: Killed straight after Herman also with the tree branch.
5) Peter: A firecracker is placed on his face whilst sleeping which explodes killing him.
6) Snowboy: Hit in the head with a branch resembling a baseball bat as he was lying down.
7) Arab: Has her head cut of with an axe after getting caught up in the tent.
8) Cindy: Suspended from a flagpole and then dropped to earth which splits her head open.
9) Lily: Buried up to her neck in dirt and trashbags and then her head is run over with a lawnmower.
10) Bobby: Has his arms ripped off after they are attached to a vehicle which Angela drives away in while he is tied to a tree.
11) Barney: Shot with a handgun.
12) Riff: bludgeoned while inside his tent and then impaled with camping gear stakes.
13) Anita: Killed after triggering an axe trap that Angela had set up.
14) Greg: Killed along with Anita also via the axe trap.
15) Paramedic #1: Stabbed with some kind of big needle type thing.
16) Paramedic #2: Also killed with the needle type thing, stabbed with it in the eye.