As a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I had a collection of scary masks and would plan out what I would be months in advance! Every year in middle school my posse of friends and I would get dropped off at a haunted house and scream our guts out after we had been chased by chainsaws. Afterwards we would go back and watch scary movies. Unfortunately, as an adult my dedication to costumes have lessened. I know, lame.
However, I do have a few Halloween traditions left including picking a pumpkin from the tangled fields of Sauvie’s Island and renting a few scary movies on Netflix. I have classic favorites such as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Nightmare on Elm Street.
One of my favorites is the cult classic series, Sleepaway Camp. Like many horror movies and their million sequels, the Sleepaway Camp series centers around an outcast who finally sought revenge! In the first movie, main character Angela is sent to Camp Arawak where she is bullied for her shy demeanor. Eventually, campers and counselors begin to die in odd ways… ***SPOILER*** In the end we find out the killer is Angela whom turns out to be a boy named Peter! Apparently, the “real” Angela had passed away and her brother Peter was socialized to be a girl by his sick Aunt who was so upset about Angela’s death. Sorry to ruin it for you but that movie was a bit boring…
May as well just skip to my favorite of the series, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers which is downright campy and hilarious! There isn’t anything really to give away…you know there will be blood, gore and a kill spree! After being released from a mental institution, post-op transsexual, Angela (from movie #1) becomes a camp counselor at Camp Rolling Hills. Turns out the psycho-therapy didn’t work out because Angela is ready to kill all the sex-obsessed hetero campers in a heartbeat!
Check out the trailer:
While Sleepaway Camp does seem to stereotype and even demonize homosexuality and trans issues I can’t decide if it is propaganda or done in good humor. Regardless, I still think the presence of these topics in the 80’s was revolutionary for it’s time. Looking back at my gay ass self at age 14, I think Sleepaway Camp was the first time I was introduced to trans issues