Plenty of films are labeled “a cult classic,” but few movies really deserve the label. Many cult films have been rediscovered, dusted off, and reintroduced into common pop culture to become mainstream classics. Modern film fans (and even filmmakers!) are often quick to label last summer’s flop a cult classic, eager to give it that dark and underground credibility
But there are still a few freaky and underseen gems out there, and one of them is SLEEPAWAY CAMP.
Directed in 1983 by Robert Hiltzik, SLEEPAWAY CAMP is a summer camp slasher, but the similarities to FRIDAY THE 13th and THE BURNING stop there. While it’s full of teenage hormones and rivalries, CAMP is more intrigued by sexual orientation than sex scenes.
Our film’s heroine, Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) is a deeply traumatized girl. The sole survivor of a motorboat accident that claimed the life of her father and brother, she’s been living a shy existence with her odd Aunt Martha, and her cousin, Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten). Aunt Martha decides Angela and Ricky need a trip to summer camp, where the reserved Angela is bullied by campers and counselors. But then the bodies start piling up, and Angela becomes eaten up by flashbacks of her brother and father. Who is “protecting” Angela from camp cruelty? And why does she keep focusing on her dad’s sex life? The answers are one of the greatest reveals in horror history, and if you’ve never seen the film, don’t spoil it for yourself!
When the Drafthouse kicked off its Summer of ’83 series, we couldn’t resist the chance to screen SLEEPAWAY CAMP as a way to say goodbye to the season. And when the opportunity arose to have Cousin Ricky himself, Jonathan Tiersten, attend in person, we jumped at the chance. So join us to say goodbye to 1983, summer, and summer camp, with SLEEPAWAY CAMP on Wednesday, August 21 at 7:00.
Tiersten will be on hand to introduce the film, engage in a Q&A, discuss his life in movies and music, and play a few games with our bravest guests. Inspired by Angela’s unblinking stare, you’re going to have to beat Jonathan in a staring contest, especially if you want a pair of 80s short shorts.
So, put on your Camp Arawak shirt and don your knee high sport socks, and join the Drafthouse and Jonathan Tiersten for SLEEPAWAY CAMP on Wednesday, August 21 at 7:00. Tickets are on sale now, so don't hesitate to grab yours for this one-time only event. Let’s bring fall -- and the horror season -- in with a scream!