Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989)

Tongue-in-cheek slasher spoof, made back-to-back with the previous installment, Unhappy Campers, from director Michael A Simpson and writer Fritz Gordon, has serial killing transsexual Angela Baker(Pamela Springsteen)assuming the identity of Maria, a street kid she plows through with a garbage truck, so she can infiltrate a new Summer Camp near where she was once counselor. The camp is an experiment where underprivileged and rich youth join together in a unified setting proving that “we all can get along” no matter what kind of family and locale we come from. It goes horribly wrong when Angela, under wig, returns to her “Angel of Death” role murdering those she considers morally corrupt. Three wilderness groups are formed with the various youth camps spreading out with a counselor assigned with Angela wiping out one set of victims at a time, moving to the next one when she’s finished. Before you know it, there are few left to slaughter.

Cute red-head Tracy Griffith(Skeeter;The Final Power)as a suburban band student, and potential boy-toy, East LA Latino “thug-with-a-heart-o-gold”, Tony(Mark Oliver) soon find themselves baring witness to Angela’s rampage perhaps doomed to the same fate. Kooky B-movie character actor Michael J Pollard has a funny role as one of the founding counselors, with a Playboy bunny belt buckle, who tries landing a wealthy “skank” in a tent, actually succeeding before Angela corners him for execution, sickened at his fornication. Cliff Brand is a cop, Barney Whitmore whose son was beheaded by Angela, the third counselor hoping to someday catch and kill the murderess responsible. Sandra Dorsey is lazy counselor Lily who has her campers performing menial tasks for her such as taking away the trash and bringing her bug spray. Her demise, through the use of a lawnmower, is rather unique. The other victims are the same clich├ęs paraded out for Angela to dispatch in one way or another. Those who either rent or purchase the DVD should check out the raw gore footage included in the special features. While most of them pretty remain intact within the finished product, there’s a beheading from Angela’s ax(..showing hands still moving with gushing blood flowing)and a nasty aftermath of a victim hoisted by Angela up a flag pole falling head-first splatting to the ground, that are rather memorable. While the sequels to the franchise have a fervent cult following(..Angela using various methods to destroy human lives, following up each murder with a type of witty/witless one-liner)who embrace them as cheesy 80’s slasher flicks, I really find them rather joy-less exercises, with most of the murders cheap and clumsy. They are really no different than those repeated Friday the 13th sequels, with Angela assuming Voorhies’ role, with the exception of her being a chick and alive. The idea that Angela can kill so many without being discovered is a stretch, to say the least, especially with all the screaming. And, while many love the warped humor Angela provides, this sequel even strains to deliver in that category, giving us something to smirk at here and there because most of the characters are developed for us to despise so that we can giggle when she destroys them in *creative* ways. One victim has his arms removed by a rope tied to a jeep Angela drives. An ignited fire-cracker is used on a practical joker’s face. Angela uses a stick to pummel victims across the head. One is shot several times by a gun into the chest. Tent spikes are hammered into a victim’s hand and head. But, even though they sound gruesome, director Simpson shies away from displaying the gory goods for the audience clamoring for such violence.