Return to Sleepaway Camp

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Return to Sleepaway Camp
DVD released by Magnolia Pictures
Directed by Robert Hiltzik
Produced by Robert Hiltzik
Michele Tatosian
Thomas E. van Dell
Written by Robert Hiltzik
Starring Vincent Pastore
Jackie Tohn
Jonathan Tiersten
Paul DeAngelo
Isaac Hayes
Michael Gibney
Music by Rodney Whittenberg
Cinematography Ken Kelsch
Brian Pryzpek
Edited by Ron Kalish
Return to Sleepaway Corp.
Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
Release dates
  • November 4, 2008 (2008-11-04) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Return to Sleepaway Camp is a 2008 horror film written and directed by Robert Hiltzik. A follow-up to 1983's Sleepaway Camp, it ignores the events of previous sequels Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989), and Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor (1992).


Several boys are in their cabin lighting farts. After taking the lighter and attempting to light his own fart but falling short of the other boys' efforts, Alan (Michael Gibney) threatens Eddie (Miles Thompson), Mark (Tommy John Riccardo), Billy (Dino Roscigno) and Pee Pee (Paul Iacono), but is soon stopped by camp counselor, Randy (Brye Cooper), who is irritated with him. After a failed camp announcement by the owner in the dining hall, Alan gets into a violent confrontation with Randy after he complains about the food. Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo) allows Alan to go the kitchen to get something else to eat so as not to exacerbate the fight, but Alan ends up in trouble again, this time with cook Mickey (Lenny Venito), who throws eggs at him. Alan then throws a butcher knife at Mickey and the camp owner, Frank (Vincent Pastore), seeing what he did, argues with Alan after already being annoyed by his past misbehavior. Alan, suffering from bipolar disorder (or possibly asperger syndrome), runs away feeling rejected, with his stepbrother Michael (Michael Werner) chasing after him. After being threatened, Michael goes back to the camp, telling Alan that he does not care what he does any more. In the kitchen, Mickey is killed after being held above and dumped into the deep fryer by an unseen character while cooking French fries for dinner. His body is then dumped in the trash compactor.

During the social, Alan is fooled by Terry "Weed" (Adam Wylie) and Stan (Chaz Brewer) into smoking dried cow manure, mistaking it for marijuana which makes him cough and falls on Stan's crotch, earning him the nickname "Blowjob", which sticks and later plays a significant role in the film. After the social, a high Weed is tied to a chair and gasoline is squirted down his throat. The killer then sticks a lit-up cigarette in his mouth and his insides explode, killing him. Ronnie starts to suspect that the murders that happened twenty five years ago are happening again. Frank, in an attempt to ignore bad publicity, states that the murders were accidental and the camp continues to go on with its normal activities. A week later, Alan is bullied by being shot during a paintball game by all the players. In order to steal Karen (Erin Broderick) away from Alan (who has arranged to meet up with her), Michael makes Alan look like a psychopath by skinning the frogs Alan sits with in the forest. Karen and her friend Marie (Samantha Hahn) run away. Alan is again bullied by T.C. (Christopher Shand) and Chooch (Lucas Blondhelm), who give him a wedgie in front of everyone at the waterfront. That night, Michael, T.C. and Marie force Karen to lure Alan to the back of the stage, where they take his clothes off, tie him up, blindfold him and embarrass him in front of everyone at the social.

Ronnie suspects that counselor Petey (Kate Simses) is the killer for always being nearby when Alan is in trouble. Suddenly outside, T.C. and nine others start chanting "Blowjob", which causes Alan to become frustrated and run off into the night. After returning to his cabin, Frank is knocked unconscious with a hammer and wakes up with his head inserted in a birdcage. The killer opens up the birdcage, places two rats inside and locks it; the rats eat through his head and down into his intestines. Meanwhile, Randy and Linda (Jackie Tohn) go to the pump house to have sex. Whilst Randy urinates, an unseen person ties him to a tree, using fishing line as a noose to wrap around his penis. Upon returning from getting a sleeping bag and beer, Linda panics after hearing Randy attempt to placate the killer (who he thinks to be Alan) and drives off in the jeep, but the fishing line is tied to the jeep and tears Randy's penis off, killing him. Linda continues to drive, but crashes after driving through a wrapped barbed wire line, which wraps around her face and eventually kills her.

At the camp, T.C. has been grounded for the rest of the summer for bullying Alan. After Spaz (Jake O'Conner) visits him, a wooden spear comes through a hole in the floor while T.C. is looking into it and impales him through the eye. Meanwhile, Jenny (Jaime Radow) and Ronnie find Frank dead in his office. They begin rounding up everyone left in the camp, as Ronnie believes that Angela has returned and resumed her murders. Bella (Shahida McIntash) goes back to her cabin, where she finds that the bunk above her has been replaced with a board riddled with spikes. The killer, who is also in the cabin, jumps down from the rafters and lands on the top bunk, causing the spikes to fall and pierce Bella. T.C. and Bella are soon found dead and after the counselors leave, Ricky Thomas (Jonathan Tiersten) is called by Sheriff Jerry. Karen, who discovered Bella with Marie and ran off in fright, believing Alan committed the murder and that she would be his next victim after finding Randy's and Linda's corpses, bumps into the killer and faints.

Karen wakes up at the rec hall with a rope hanging from a basketball hoop tied around her neck. The killer flips a switch to raise the net, causing Karen to be lifted off the ground. Michael arrives before Karen is killed, causing the killer to run off, and lowers the net. After Karen tells him that she thinks Alan is the killer, Michael grabs a croquet mallet and goes after Alan, who he beats with the mallet. The killer suddenly appears behind Michael as the screen fades to black.

Ronnie, Ricky and Jenny find a badly-wounded, but still alive Alan on the ground. As Ronnie questions Alan who is responsible for his injuries, Sheriff Jerry walks into view of Ronnie and Ricky, explaining through his mechanical voice box that kids never learn and are always mean, declaring, "I've been waiting a long time for this. A long time." Confirming Ronnie's suspicions, Sheriff Jerry then reveals himself to be Angela Baker (Felissa Rose). Nearby, Ricky, Jenny and Ronnie find a nearly-dead Michael skinned alive on the ground as Angela laughs maniacally. She suddenly stops laughing and looks at the camera with a vicious expression on her face.

Following the end credits, a clip is shown, which takes place three weeks prior to the events of the film. It shows that Angela had escaped from the psychiatric clinic she had been locked up in for twenty years. After somehow acquiring a car, Angela apparently disables it by causing a brake fluid leak and flags down Sheriff Pete (Carlo Vogel), the real sheriff. She murders him by dropping the car on his head and, presumably, steals his clothes to become the new sheriff.


  • Vincent Pastore as Frank Kostic
  • Michael Gibney as Alan
  • Paul DeAngelo as Ronnie Angelo
  • Jonathan Tiersten as Richard "Ricky" Thomas
  • Isaac Hayes as Charlie
  • Lenny Venito as Mickey
  • Erin Broderick as Karen
  • Adam Wylie as Weed
  • Kate Simses as Petey
  • Brye Cooper as Randy
  • Michael Werner as Michael
  • Christopher Shand as T.C.
  • Jaime Radow as Jenny
  • Shahidah McIntosh as Bella
  • Jackie Tohn as Linda
  • Paul Iacono as Pee Pee
  • Chas Brewer as Stan
  • Ashley Carin as Alex
  • Samantha Hahn as Marie
  • Jake O'Connor as Spassky
  • Lucas Blondheim as Chooch
  • Lauren Toub as Joanie
  • Samantha Hiltzik as Carly
  • Emily Hiltzik as Tracey
  • Lindsey Hiltzik as Toby
  • Miles Thompson as Eddie
  • Tommy John Riccardo as Mark
  • Carlo Vogel as Sheriff Pete Hernandez
  • Kole Evans as Dina
  • Mary Elizabeth King as Sue Meyers
  • Dee Dee Friedman as Aunt Gracie
  • Reggie Shawn Harris as Louie
  • Greg Raposo as Gary
  • Dino Roscigno as Billy
  • Judy Unger as Ellen
  • Melissa West as Evey
  • Christian Hess as Vinny
  • Stefani Milanese as Tammy
  • Matt Rivers as Joey
  • Tony Luke Jr. as Bo
  • Felissa Rose as Angela Baker/Sheriff Jerry Roebling


Return to Sleepaway Camp wrapped filming in 2003 and was scheduled to be released theatrically between 2004 and 2006, but due to unsatisfactory CGI effects and a lack of distribution deals, it did not see release until November 2008. An executive producer of the film, Thomas E. van Dell, claimed that most of the corrected CGI had been completed by December 2006, but the director, Robert Hiltzik, felt that it needed more work to meet his expectations. By 2007, compositors and CGI personnel had been hired by van Dell to correct the effects. Additionally, a small special F/X group was hired to reshoot work unapproved by Hiltzik; such included the skinned body of the character Michael, additions to the death of camper T.C., and unfinished/pick-up shots. All work was finished by 2008, and the producers secured distribution through Magnolia Pictures. The film was released direct-to-video in the United States in November 2008, and was released internationally in 2009.


A 2/5 was bestowed by David Harley of Bloody Disgusting, who regarded Return to Sleepaway Camp as a draggy, unimaginative, and unfunny film with an ending "that manages to disappoint with its banality".[1] Dread Central's Brad Miska gave Return to Sleepaway Camp a 1½ out 5, and summarized his review with, "Gone is the really black humor of the first film. Gone is the insane twist. Gone are the inventive kills. And gone is nearly all of the charm that has kept this franchise alive. I would have rated this even lower if not for the nostalgia factor. Man, what a letdown".[2] In his review for DVD Verdict, Gordon Sullivan stated, "Return to Sleepaway Camp makes Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland look like Shakespeare. A poor script, a total lack of compelling campers, and a too-brief glimpse of Angela all spell trouble for this nostalgic trip back to camp-land. I know that diehard fans of the original film will likely get suckered into watching this, but everyone else should stay far, far away".[3] A 1/4 was awarded by Arrow in the Head's Pat Torfe, who concluded, "A 'return' this is not. Hiltzik should've taken Sleepaway Camp IV's demise as a warning and let this series go quietly. Return is nothing what the original trilogy was in terms of kills or fun. It limps by on sloppy editing, unlikeable characters, unsatisfying kills and hopes that people get pulled in by the return of past characters".[4]


  1. ^ Harley, David (1 November 2008). "Return to Sleepaway Camp (V)". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Miska, Brad (30 October 2008). "Return to Sleepaway Camp (DVD)". Dread Central. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Gordon (14 November 2008). "Return to Sleepaway Camp". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Torfe, Pat. "Return to Sleepaway Camp". Arrow in the Head. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 

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