Welcome to Camp New Horizons, where an autumn retreat brings together a group of obnoxious rich kids and surly city thugs for an 'experiment in sharing.' But when notorious transsexual psychopath Angela Baker (Pamela "yes, she's Bruce's sister, Springsteen) joins the horny teens, she shares a lesson in butchery with axes, trucks, firecrackers, lawnmowers and more. Academy Award nominee Michael J. Pollard (1967, Bonnie and Clyde) and Tracy (yes, she's Melanie's sister) Griffith co-star in this third wild installment of the cult body count saga, packed with all the cruel killings you love, the gratuitous nudity you expect and a bloody cabin full of exclusive extras you've only imagined. Welcome to Sleep Away Camp III: Teenage Wasteland! Starring Pamela Springsteen, Tracy Griffith, and Michael J. Pollard.
I don't know what it is, but our favorite anti-heroine Angela can't stop killing teens and kids. Made one year later with the same writer-director team Michael A. Simpson and Fritz Gordon, 'Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland' is more or less the same as Part II, but with more silly humor and gruesome over-the-top deaths. I don't know where Simpson and Gordon got off track with telling a cohesive story, but it was early on, because this third sequel is basically just a series of scenes in which Angela gets to kill.
I'm not saying that it's a bad thing by any means, but it would have been nice to have some motivation other than Angela (Bruce Springsteen's sister Pamela Springsteen) getting annoyed or offended by something someone said. In the whole scheme of things, it doesn't really matter as long as we have our blood, guts, and laughs, right? Right, which is how this third film delivers.
In fact, it delivers from the first minute or two up until the final moments of the movie, and never really lets up. A year has gone by since the events of the last film where a girl is traveling to a new camp, only to be forced off the road and killed by Angela, who assumes her identity to get back into the camp life and start killing again. There is a small difference in this summer camp than the other two we've previously seen, in that this particular camp is more of a social experiment of sorts with kids of all backgrounds, races, and economic situations are paired to live together so that they can learn to trust one another and become friends.
This does not stop Angela from killing though, because she gets right to decapitations and impalements. It gets easier for Angela as the camp is split off into small groups, where the film becomes more of a montage of scenes where Angela goes kill for kill in each of the camps until a few people realize she is the killer. Whether it be an axe or an actual lawnmower, Angela seems to have no mercy with her victims and the amount of blood and screams she causes. There are moments where certain characters or things might show some resemblance to Angela's past, but nothing is really explained in full. Instead, this is just a chopping block of sorts for Angela to carry out her final goal and deed.
Sticking with the siblings of famous people motif, Tracy Griffith, sister to Melanie Griffith shows up here for quite a bit, and has a secret of her own, which was fun to see again. 'Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland' is still a fun movie, despite its flaws, and always delivers on the carnage and silly humor. Pamela still owns the Angela role in this sequel, giving it her odd charm and brutal chaotic side. Yes, part III could have been better, but at least we have enough guts to last till the next movie.
'Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland' comes with a good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This third installment has more or less the same type of look as Part II, despite some differences. The detail here is rather sharp and focused throughout, even in the darker looking sequences. The layer of grain is consistent as well, unlike part II. Closeups reveal all of the gory details throughout Angela's murders, which makes the gooey parts all that more satisfying.
Colors pop off screen and are well-balanced and saturated. They truly shine bright here and look realistic. At the start of the movie, the grain is a bit fuzzy, but it quickly works itself out. The black levels are deep for the most part and the skin tones are natural. Perhaps the biggest issue here is the amount of dirt, debris, and scratches still on this print. It's evident throughout, although it might keep that 80's nostalgic and grindhouse horror look up for the genre fans. Despite those scratches, this is solid looking video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 2.0 mono track, which again, I wish came in a 5.1 option as well. That being said, this mono mix does sound quite good for what it is. The noises are full and as robust as they can be, using every dynamic it can to get the point across. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any cracks, pops, hiss, and high shrills.
Sound effects are fun and loud when it counts, and never softens up. They are layered as to never overlap anything else happening on screen. The score and music also sound great here as well. Being a horror film, I had hoped to have the big 5.1 sound option, due to the multiple epic death scenes and high crescendos in the score, but this mono mix does the best job it can.
Audio Commentary - Director Michael A. Simpson and writer Fritz Gordon are back with another commentary track as they discuss the pros and cons of making this third sequel and what they were trying to go for. Bless their hearts, they had a good time with it, and it shows in this commentary.
A Tale of Two Sequels Part II: New Victims and New Horizons (HD, 27 Mins.) - This is the second part of the previous documentary found on the previous film with interviews with the cast and crew and some on set footage. Worth the watch.
Behind the Scenes Footage (HD, 9 Mins.) - Here is some more B-roll footage from the making of the film.
Workprint of the Longer Cut (SD, 85 Mins.) - Here is the longer cut of the film that has all the blood and guts that were cut from the theatrical take to make it rated R. Now if this cut was shown in true HD, it would have been awesome.
Deleted Scenes (SD, 19 Mins.) - Here are more deleted scenes from the longer cut for your enjoyment.
Short Film: Tony Lives (HD, 2 Mins.) - Here is a fun interview with the character Tony (Mark Oliver), who is now an older man.
Still Gallery (HD, 5 Mins.) - Slideshow of images and promo art from the film.
Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland' is quite the entertaining film. It's funnier than the other films in the franchise, and of course bloodier. That being said, that's really all there is to it this time around, as no real plot point or character is fully developed. But hey, this is 'Sleepaway Camp III', not an Oscar contender. The video and audio presentations are both solid here, and the extras are all worth watching. If you're a fan of the franchise, don't think twice about picking this one up. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!