Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 cult classic horror movie written and directed by Robert Hiltzik—who also served as executive producer. The film is about teen campers getting killed at a summer camp. The film came at a time when slasher films were in their heyday. It was a somewhat surprise hit. The film is widely known for having one of the most shocking endings in cinematic history.

On its opening weekend it had grossed a total of $430,000 in the US. When it opened, it was the top grossing film in New York, beating out its horror competition by taking in almost double the gross of Amityville 3-D. Sleepaway Camp attained a modest success in its theatrical run.

Over the years, the Sleepaway Camp films gained a loyal cult following. In the late 1980s, Michael A. Simpson directed two sequels, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989).

Another rogue sequel, Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor, directed by Jim Markovic, was partially filmed but never completed. In 2002 the unfinished footage was released and made available as an exclusive fourth disc in Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment's Sleepaway Camp DVD boxed set.

A new film, Return to Sleepaway Camp, was completed in 2003 and initially struggled to find distribution. It was directed by Robert Hiltzik, the director of the original 1983 film. He decided that this chapter will ignore the story lines of the previous sequels, stating that he wanted to pick up from where the original film ended. According to the digital effects were redone from 2006 to 2008. The film finally found distribution, and was released November 4, 2008, by Magnolia/Magnet Pictures. Review copies of the film had been sent out, and the movie's screener had already been leaked prior to the release.

The purportedly final film in Hiltzik's SC trilogy is also in the making. Its working title is Sleepaway Camp Reunion, distribution has already been arranged via Magnolia Pictures, for DVD with a limited theatrical release planned in 3D.

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