Sleepaway Camp (1983)

R  |   |  Horror  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
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Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky (as Jonathan Tierston)
Karen Fields ...
Christopher Collet ...
Paul DeAngelo ...
Mike (as Tom Van Dell)
Loris Sallahian ...
John E. Dunn ...
Kenny (as John Dunn)
Willy Kuskin ...
Desiree Gould ...
Owen Hughes ...
Robert Earl Jones ...
Susan Glaze ...


After a horrible boating accident kills her family, Angela, a shy and sullen young girl, moves in with her eccentric aunt Martha, alongside her protective cousin Ricky. One summer, Martha sends the kids to Camp Arawak. Soon after their arrival, a series of bizarre and increasingly violent accidents begins to claim the lives of various campers. Who is the twisted individual behind these murders? The disclosure of the murderer's identity is one of the most shocking climaxes in the history of American cinema. Written by Drew

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sleepaway Camp has never been so scary! See more »




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Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nightmare Vacation  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


There were three original songs (which were not just orchestrated) used in the movie, but only one of them was released on a soundtrack album. See more »


The two boys that Judy is sitting with when Paul first gets Angela to talk to him in the rec hall change between shots. See more »


Artie: Look at all that young fresh chicken. Where I come from, we call 'em baldies. Makes your mouth water, don't it?
Ben: Artie, they're too young to even understand what's on your mind.
Artie: There ain't no such thing as being too young. You're just too old.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end when all the credits are finished, the freeze-frame of Angela stays onscreen for about 10 more seconds. See more »


Referenced in Cheerleader Massacre (2003) See more »


Take a Chance
Written and Performed by Frankie Vinci
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the Very Best Slashers of the Early 1980s
20 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Slightly disturbed and painfully shy Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) is sent away to summer camp with her foul-mouthed cousin Ricky Thomas (Jonathan Tiersten). Not long after Angela's arrival, things start to go horribly wrong for anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions.

This film is either loved or hated, and with good reason, but it has been embraced more and more as the years go on by fans of the horror genre. The acting is excessively cheesy, especially from Desiree Gould, but purposely so. The kills are grisly and nasty, even if not always shown on screen. When that curling iron strikes, you know the situation. And the pedophile cook? Oh man... that is pushing boundaries that even horror films dare not cross (Freddy Krueger can be a child killer, but not a child molester).

One cannot vouch for the next two sequels, which have little connection to this film, but the original stands as a true modern classic, and if you have not seen it, you are really missing out on an important piece of horror history. What could have been a ripoff of other horror slashers that take place at camp (notably "Friday the 13th") turns out to be far different from any other title out there. And keep in mind the whole crew, more or less, had just come from "Creepshow", so these were folks who knew what they were doing.

Writer-director Robert Hiltzik (who graduated NYU with Ang Lee) mysteriously went decades without directing again. Many of the actors also never acted again, at least for a long time. And then you have Christopher Collet, going on to make such things as "Prayer of the Rollerboys"... does that make him the biggest success from this film?

Not only does the film get better with repeated viewings (which make the humor and camp more fun), but there are actually some clever subplots that will likely be missed on the first time or two. Mel Kostic (portrayed wonderfully by the late Mike Kellin) not only is one of the best characters, but has his own story and relationship with the campers and counselors that may not be immediately evident.

The Scream Factory Blu-ray is ridiculously good and worth owning. Beyond the excellent presentation, it has three different audio commentaries, where you learn odd trivia like Felissa Rose's husband Deron Miller meeting her as a fan, and much more. There is even a short film showing whatever happened to Judy (although it is not very good).

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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