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Michael A. Simpson
Pamela Springsteen, Tracey Griffith, Michael J. Pollard, Mark Oliver, Haynes Brooks
Writing Credits:
Fritz Gordon

After murdering a young girl, Angela Baker assumes her identity and travels to Camp New Horizons, built on the grounds of the camp she terrorized the year before, and starts killing again.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 80 min.
Price: $29.93
Release Date: 6/9/2015

• Audio Commentary with Director Michael A. Simpson and Writer Fritz Gordon
• “A Tale of Two Sequels – Part Two” Featurette
• Workprint for Longer Cut of Film
• Behind the Scenes Footage
• Home Video Trailer
• “Tony Lives!” Short Film
• Deleted Scenes
• Still Gallery
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland [Blu-Ray] (1988)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 1, 2015)

Given that I thought 1983’s Sleepaway Camp and 1987’s Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers stunk, what led me to take a look at 1988’s Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland? Perverse curiosity, I guess, as I wanted to see if the third film would be as awful as its two predecessors.

In the first flick, gender-confused teen Angela killed a lot of folks at Camp Arawak. In the second movie, Angela slaughtered a bunch of people at Camp Rolling Hills. Anyone want to guess where Wasteland goes?

Set a year after Unhappy Campers, Angela (Pamela Springsteen) murders Maria Nicostro (Kashina Kessler) and takes her place as a guest at Camp New Horizons. Built on the same spot as Camp Rolling Hills, Herman Miranda (Michael J. Pollard) and wife Lily (Sandra Dorsey) run New Horizons as a place where privileged kids can interact with needy youth.

In disguise as “Maria”, Angela falls into the “needy” category, and she experiences rude, unpleasant behavior from some of her fellow campers. As in the past, this offends Angela, and she reacts with violence. Much bloodshed/death results.

Like Campers, Wasteland dispenses with anything that really resembles a plot. Sure, it gives us a different set-up via the mix of rich and poor kids, but that theme adds nothing to the tale. The movie doesn’t use the potential conflicts in a satisfying manner; the “culture clash” exists as a gimmick that goes nowhere.

Really, the only aspect of Wasteland that differentiates it from Campers comes from the presence of counselor Barney Whitmore (Cliff Brand). A police officer, Whitmore works at the camp to compensate for the time he never spent with his son Sean, one of the kids Angela killed a year earlier. With an adult law enforcement official involved, we sense that Wasteland includes someone who could potentially stop Angela.

Despite that minor twist, Wasteland plays out in virtually the same manner as Campers. People perform actions that displease Angela so she kills them – etc. and etc. and etc. We find some superficial changes in the movies, but these add up to little.

If Wasteland came up with creative violence, it might become more interesting. Instead, it tends toward fairly forgettable slayings that work even less well due to poor effects. It gives us unconvincing kills rendered with weak visuals.

As usual, the acting remains lackluster at best. Actually, Pollard gives us some quirky moments that threaten to become interesting, but he doesn’t get enough screen time to make a dent.

If you liked Campers, you’ll probably like Wasteland, as it’s an awfully similar film. I didn’t enjoy the second Sleepaway Camp movie and Wasteland did nothing to change my views.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus B

Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Shot by the same filmmaking team in the same locations at virtually the same time, should it surprise anyone that Wasteland came with a transfer virtually identical to what I saw for Campers?

No, it shouldn’t, so at the risk of looking like a slacker, I’ll just repeat my comments about Campers. Why reinvent that particular wheel?

Sharpness varied a fair amount. Much of the film showed reasonable accuracy; I’d never call it razor-sharp, but it usually offered good delineation. Sporadic soft shots popped up, though. No issues with shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. The movie looked rather grainy at times, and semi-frequent specks, marks and debris could be seen; these didn’t dominate but the movie could’ve used a good cleaning.

Colors seemed acceptable. Wasteland provided a natural palette that favored greens given the wooded setting. The hues lacked much pop but they appeared fine overall. Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and low-light shots showed fair clarity. This came across as a watchable image that needed some work.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD monaural soundtrack, it also seemed average for its age. Speech appeared a little reedy and thin, but the lines showed good intelligibility and lacked overt flaws. Music demonstrated limited range as well, but the score was clear enough and showed moderate pep.

Effects fell into the same range. Outside of the killings, the track didn’t ask for much, and the elements sounded decent; they could be somewhat flat but they showed no distortion and represented the material well enough. All of this left us with a “C” soundtrack.

When we go to the Blu-ray’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Michael A. Simpson and screenwriter Fritz Gordon. Hosted by Sleepawaycampfilms.com’s John Klyza, we get a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, sets and locations, various effects, editing, cast and performances, music and related topics.

The Blu-ray for Sleepaway Camp 2 also included a commentary from Simpson, Gordon and Klyza, and this one strongly resembles it. Once again, we get a smattering of decent movie-making facts, but much of the track passes without useful information. The participants joke around and narrate the action a lot of the time, so we get too little good material to make this a worthwhile listen.

A continuation of a program from the Campers Blu-ray, A Tale of Two Sequels – Part Two runs 26 minutes, 12 seconds and offers notes from Simpson, director of photography Bill Mills, editor John David Allen, special makeup effects creator Bill “Splat” Johnson, filmmaker/series fan Jeff Hayes, and actors Mark Oliver, Sandra Dorsey, Kim Wall and Daryl Wilcher. We learn of the quick turnaround from Camp 2 to Camp 3 and related challenges, photography, cast and performances, various effects, locations, rating issues and editing, and final thoughts about the films. Though this doesn’t turn into a stellar documentary, it gives a good overview. It certainly tops the tedious commentary.

Behind the Scenes Footage takes up eight minutes, 28 seconds. We see raw material from the set and hear narration from Simpson. The director doesn’t add a ton, but the video footage itself can be interesting.

A potentially enticing feature shows up with a Workprint Version of Wasteland. Taken from a VHS tape, it lasts one hour, 24 minutes and 48 seconds. The quality makes the “Workprint” tough to watch, but I’m sure fans will enjoy the chance to check out this alternate cut of the movie.

Next we find 12 Deleted Scenes. These fill a total of 18 minutes, 46 seconds and don’t really offer “deleted scenes”. Instead, they extend existing sequences, usually to show more graphic gore and violence. That means one shouldn’t expect much new content – and much of the material also appears in the workprint.

With Tony Lives!, we get a new short film. It runs one minute, 10 seconds and lets us see actor Mark Oliver back in character as Tony. I won’t say this “short film” is pointless, but… actually, yeah I will. Maybe someone will enjoy it, but I can’t figure out who or why.

In addition to a Home Video Trailer, the disc includes a Still Gallery. It shows 46 images that mostly focus on shots from the set, though we also get some publicity materials. This ends up as a nice collection.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Wasteland. It provides all the extras found on the Blu-ray.

After two bad movies, should one expect anything positive from Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland? Nope – it just offers the same cheap, lazy attempts at horror as its predecessors. The Blu-ray brings us average picture and audio along with a mostly good collection of supplements. ans of the Camp franchise should be happy with this release, but I think the flick flops.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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