Blu-ray Review “Sleepaway Camp”

sleepaway campActors: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten
Directors: Robert Hiltzik
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Run Time: 84 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Man oh man! I remember the first time I snuck a screening of “Sleepaway Camp” late at night during a sleepover with some friends. I still remember our reaction to the famous “surprise” ending [shivers]. I think if you are a horror fan you will never forget that experience. This film is easily one of my favorites growing up and still today. The kills are so memorable and the make-up effects are top notch. This was 1983, it was peak in the middle of the slasher craze for horror films and it really left a mark on not just me but all of horror fans. This is the first time that this film is hitting Blu-ray, thanks to Scream Factory, and this is a must purchase for any horror fan. Hopefully this is just the beginning since I would love to see them also put out a double feature for the two sequels as well “Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers” and “Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland”, even though they are more campy, I still love them and fingers crossed this will be next!

Official Premise: After a terrible boating accident killed her family, shy Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) went to live with her eccentric Aunt Martha and her cousin Ricky. This summer, Martha decides to send them both to Camp Arawak, a place to enjoy the great outdoors. Shortly after their arrival, a series of bizarre and violent accidents begin to claim the lives of various campers. Has a dark secret returned from the camp’s past…or will an unspeakable horror end the Summer season for all? From its grisly makeup effects to the truly shocking, and unforgettable, climax, Sleepaway Camp is no ordinary slasher film…it’s a cult classic!

You will be happy to know that this isn’t just a simply port upscale of the last Blu-ray release. They did a brand new 2K scan of the original camera negative and to top it off this Blu-ray contains the uncut version as well, so double bonus. In this Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory they delivered this as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD. The 1080p transfer looks great. There are some gritty moments but it adds to the film and otherwise looks stunning. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track works perfectly with the film’s catchy score and great scares that are still effective.

Like Scream Factory is know for, they went out of their way to deliver some great new extras. There are two brand new commentary track one with the actors Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten (“Ricky”) and the other with writer/director Robert Hiltzik, moderated by webmaster Jeff Hayes. There is also the original audio commentary with writer/director Robert Hiltzik and star Felissa Rose for hardcore fans. “At the Waterfront After the Social: The Legacy of Sleepaway Camp” contains new interviews with Robert Hiltzik, Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Paul DeAngelo, Karen Fields, Desiree Gould, Frank Saladino and Ed French. There is the short film, “Judy” by Jeff Hayes starring Karen Fields. Lastly there is a music video for “Princess” by Jonathan Tiersten, “Camp Arawak Scrapbook”, which is a still gallery and Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots included.

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