Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland (1989)

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Angela is back and this time, she’s back to old school as she disguises herself as a camper in this third installment of the franchise that is more like its previous installment.

One year after killing everyone at Camp Rolling Hills, “The Angel of Death”, Angela Baker has returned and this time, she has learned about a new program at Camp New Horizons. Disguising herself as a camper she killed before the trip, Angela at first attempts to make nice with the group. The program involves groups of teens who are getting involved in a rehabilitation program. New Horizons is located on the grounds of the former Rolling Hills, so for Angela, it’s returning “home”.

Angela once again begins the killing spree when she kills local reporter Tawny, followed by camp owner Herman and his side piece Jan. As the group of kids are split into groups, Angela proceeds to kill some of the campers and join other groups. However, what she soon learns is that one of the counselors in charge at New Horizons is Barney Whitmore, the policeman of Sean Whitmore, one of the victims at Rolling Hills. Barney has had revenge on his mind and hopes to find Angela to avenge his son. However, Barney is not going to be Angela’s only problem as campers Marcia and Tony soon begin to wonder what happened to the campers.

Shot back-to-back with Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers, for some reason, the film doesn’t feel more of a sequel rather than a basic reboot of the original sequel. Perhaps because it was because producer Jerry Silva, who got the licensing from Robert Hiltzik, decided to get the sequel written. Fritz Gordon, who is actually executive in charge of production Michael Hitchcock, wrote this film in quick time and perhaps it is that reason that this third installment is not as great as the others.

That doesn’t necessarily takeaway Pamela Springsteen’s performance as she reprises the role of killer Angela Baker, who now is in disguise as camper Maria, who is seen in the film’s opening moments and is the film’s first kill scene. However, it does become a set-up for what to expect. The film is set one year after the events of Sleepaway Camp 2, and to have the former campground become a new campground sound like a pretty good idea. The problem is that it does that have that rushed feel to things and that’s the major issue.

Like its previous installment, Springsteen is joined by another famous sibling. In this case, it’s Tracy Griffith, who is the half-sister of Melanie Griffith. Here, like Renee Estevez’s Molly, plays the innocent Marcia. Marcia crushes hard on bad boy Tony, played by Mark Oliver. However, Tony may act like a bad boy, but his character is reminiscent of John Mengatti’s Flash in Meatballs Part II. Underneath the bad boy, is one with a heart of gold. The one character one cannot have sympathy for is Michael J. Pollard’s Herman, who from his opening scene is very lecherous and you can’t just wait for him to get his and it happens early in the movie.

The kill scenes in this third installment aren’t as exciting as the previous film. Perhaps, once again, is because the film feels rushed. It takes away that suspenseful feel and even Springsteen’s attempt to add the dark humor feels a bit flat. Again, this is where I can’t blame Springsteen for this because she tries hard but it doesn’t feel as exciting. The kill scenes are more average rather than inventive with the exception of perhaps one death scene involving one camper getting theirs from a flagpole.

Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland is pretty much a waste of a third installment due to its rush into production. Pamela Springsteen is perhaps the film’s saving grace as she does her best to once again give it her all, but the rushed script and production is the issue that plagued this and some uninventive kill scenes that cannot top either of its predecessors.

WFG RATING: D

A Double Helix Films production. Director: Michael A. Simpson. Producers: Jerry Silva and Michael A. Simpson. Writer: Fritz Gordon; based on an original idea by Robert Hiltzik. Cinematography: Bill Mills. Editing: Amy Carey and John David Allen.

Cast: Pamela Springsteen, Tracy Griffith, Mark Oliver, Michael J. Pollard, Haynes Brooke, Sandra Dorsey, Daryl Wilcher, Kim Wall, Kyle Holman, Cliff Brand, Kashina Kessler, Randi Layne, Jarrett Beal, Chung Yen Tsay.

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