Guest Contributor Seamus Flynn:
Sleepaway Camp III is another fun film. While not quite as witty or gory as the previous film, Pamela Springsteen is just as good here as she was in the previous installment. Michael J. Pollard is hilarious here as one of the camp owners. The side characters are pretty funny when they need to be, and Tony and Marcia are both relatable and their relationship is sweet. The film has two problems, however. First off, it doesn’t feel quite as fresh as the second installment because it covers a lot of the same ground. There aren’t enough new ideas or plot twists introduced. Also, the gore level is a little lacking compared to the last film. Normally the gore level doesn’t alter my enjoyment of the movie, but it feels a little jarring because of the higher carnage level in the last film. This shouldn’t be held against the filmmakers, however. They had quite a bit of gore in the film, but it was cut out by the MPAA. Overall, though, Sleepaway Camp III is a good time and Pamela Springsteen is at the top of her game as Angela. (Score: 3.5/5)
Sleepaway Camp II looks slightly better than II did on Blu-ray. It is a significant improvement over the Anchor Bay disc, and has sufficient detail, black levels, and grain structure, with no obvious compression issues. Again, though, this is an older master and certain shots lack the detail that a newer scan of the negative would have. Unfortunately, the negative is lost. This transfer, however, is more than satisfactory. It doesn’t have the problem of faded colors than the last film did and fine detail is more prevalent here. There is ever-so-slightly more print damage (flecks and scratches) this time around than on the last film’s Blu-ray disc. Overall, Scream did the best possible transfer from the best existing materials. (Score: 3.75/5)
Like Sleepaway Camp II, the third film has a relatively simple sound design and its’ audio will never wow people. This track sounds fine and all elements (dialogue, sound effects, music, etc.) come across clearly without hisses or pops. (Score: 4/5)
Scream Factory has assembled a nice selection of supplements for this Blu-ray release.
-Audio Commentary with Michael A. Simpson & Fritz Gordon, Moderated by John Klyza(1:19:26, the runtime of the film) is an enjoyable commentary brought over from the Anchor Bay disc. It’s got some interesting facts about making the film, what it felt like to shoot II and III back-to-back, and the MPAA cuts. Simpson and Gordon don’t seem to have quite as much to say about this film as they did the second, though. Klyza makes sure things don’t stay silent for too long by asking Simpson and Gordon questions about the film. He also shares some Sleepaway Camp trivia, the most interesting of which is the abandoned Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor.
– A Tale of Two Sequels – Part Two: New Victims and New Horizons (26:12) is the second part to the mini-documentary on the disc for II. This one talks about the production of the film, shooting the two back-to-back, the MPAA cuts, what happened to the cut footage, etc. It’s a good feature and has some info that might be new to fans, like what most likely happened to the footage by the MPAA. It also features interviews from talent that were both in front of and behind the camera.
-Behind the Scenes Footage with Commentary from Michael A. Simpson (8:28) is a holdover from the old DVD. It’s similar to the BTS for the previous film, and focuses mainly on the garbage truck scene. It’s pretty cool to see how the scene was accomplished.
-Workprint of the Longer Cut (1:24:48) is the Holy Grail for Sleepaway Camp fans. It is an early version of Sleepaway Camp III. While it is VHS-quality and is missing sound effects, you get to see the MPAA-cut footage in all its gory glory. You also get to see a few more deleted moments that were most likely taken out for pacing issues.
-Deleted Scenes (18:26) is a collection of the scenes in the workprint that were altered or deleted from the final version. This was previously on the Anchor Bay DVD.
-Home Video Trailer (2:38) is a clip show that was made to entice video-rental storeowners into buying the VHS back in the day. It’s a fun little trailer. This is ported over from the old DVD.
-Short Film: Tony Lives! (1:10) is a piece made by Jeff Hayes. It reunites Sleepaway Camp fans with Mark Oliver, who played Tony, and checks in on his character 25 years after the events of the film.
-Still Gallery (4:12) provides a good amount of images from the shoot, and also from lobby cards, press kit, posters, etc. It doesn’t have quite as many photos as the still gallery for II did, though.
(Extras Score: 4.5/5)
Sleepaway Camp III may not be quite as good as Sleepaway Camp II, but the Blu-ray is even better than the one for II. Good picture and very good audio, and great extras greatly add to the value of the Blu-ray. (Overall Score: 4/5)