Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 24th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Director: Michael A. Simpson
Writers: Fritz Gordon, Robert Hiltzik
Cast: Pamela Springsteen, Renée Estevez, Tony Higgins, Valerie Hartman, Brian Patrick, Walter Gotell, Susan Marie Snyder
BluRay released: April 25th, 2016
Approximate running times: 80 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £14.99
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers is not your run of the mill sequel. Where most sequels are usually in production while their predecessors are still in theaters. There is a five-year gap between the Sleepaway Camp and its sequel. Another major change comes in the way that both are presented. With the sequel taking on a more satirical view of the Slasher film, then Sleepaway Camp which never diverts away from what is expected from a Slasher film.
By the time that Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers was unleashed on unsuspecting audiences. The landscape of the Horror genre had changed drastically and it would not be about another decade before the next revival of the Horror genre.
Fortunately to this sequel’s credit instead of rehashing what made its predecessor successful, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers is a film that walks to the beat of its own drum. With its greatest asset being the way it effortlessly combines Comedy and Horror. And in many ways this film can be seen as a precursor to the self-referential Horror films that rose to prominence in the latter half of the 1990’s.
From a performance stand point the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With the undeniable main attraction being Pamela Springsteen (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Modern Girls) in the role of Angela. She delivers a delightful menacing performance that perfectly captures the essence of her character. Another performance of note is Renée Estevez (Intruder) in the role of Molly, the obligatory good girl character.
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer used for this release improves upon all previous release in every way. With image clarity and black levels being two areas that show the largest improvement. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check. It should be noted that though grain is present throughout, that there is an inconsistency to how its looks.
This release comes with one audio option, LPCM stereo mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise things sound very good and there are no issues with background noise or hiss.
Extras for this release include, trailers for Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (2 minutes) and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1 minute 58 seconds) and Teenage Wasteland! Slasher expert Justin Kerswell on Sleepaway Camp (29 minutes 25 seconds).
Topics discussed in the extra tilted Teenage Wasteland! include, Sleepaway Camp and its place in the Slasher film genre, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and how it differs from its predecessor, how the sequels are parodies of 1980’s Horror films, why a new actress played Angela for the sequels, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, the special effects that appear in these films and additional sequels?
Other extras include, an 88 Films trailer reel – Creepshow 2, Subspecies 2: Bloodstone, Subspecies 3: Bloodlust and Trancers II.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and eight-page booklet that contains an interview with director Michael A. Simpson. Overall Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers gets a strong release from 88 Films.
Note: This film is also being released by 88 Films on DVD.