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
Felissa Rose
Music by Rodney Whittenberg
Cinematography Ken Kelsch
Brian Pryzpek
Edited by Ron Kalish
Return to Sleepaway Corp.
Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
Release date
  • 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-comedy film written and directed by Robert Hiltzik. This film takes place after 1983's Sleepaway Camp, and ignores the events of previous sequels Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989), and Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor (2012).


Alan (Michael Gibney) is a boy at summer camp. Unfortunately Alan is a bully, who is bullied by other kids in turn. Among his abusers are his stepbrother Michael (Michael Werner), his "friends" Vinny (Christian Hess) and T.C. (Christopher Shand), and a chubby girl, Bella (Shahidah McIntosh). The film opens with several boys lighting farts one night. Alan tries to light his own farts and after failing, threatens the other boys. He is stopped by camp counselor Randy (Brye Cooper). The next day in the dining hall, Alan gets into a violent confrontation with Randy after he complains about the food. Ronnie, the head counselor from the first movie and head counselor here, allows Alan to get something else to eat after the confrontation is stopped by Sheriff Jerry, a smaller man who uses a mechanical voice box in order to speak. Meanwhile, Alan gets in trouble with cook Mickey (Lenny Venito). Alan throws a butcher knife at Mickey and the camp owner, Frank (Vincent Pastore), argues with Alan. Alan runs away, with Michael chasing him. In the kitchen Mickey is suddenly killed, tossed into the deep fryer by an unseen person. His body is dumped in the trash compactor.

During the social, Alan is fooled by campers Terry (Adam Wylie), nicknamed "Weed," and Stan (Chas Brewer) into smoking dried cow manure, which makes him cough and stumble, falling on Stan's crotch. This earns him the nickname "Blowjob." After the social, Weed is relaxing outside when he is attacked and tied to his chair, with the unseen person squirting gasoline down his throat. The killer sticks a lit cigarette in his mouth and he explodes. Ronnie starts to worry that the murders that happened twenty years ago are happening again, but Frank believes the deaths were accidental. A week later, Alan manages to convince two girls, Karen (Erin Broderick) and Marie (Samantha Hahn), to go to his "secret hideout." Michael plays a prank and makes Alan look like he skinned some frogs, and Karen and Marie run away. Michael, T.C. and Marie make Karen lure Alan to the back of the stage, where they strip him, tie up and blindfold him and embarrass him at the social by pushing him out onto the stage in front of the entire camp.

Ronnie turns paranoid and suspects counselor Petey (Kate Simses) as the killer for always being nearby when Alan is in trouble. Coincidentally Ricky Thomas, (Jonathan Tiersten), Angela's cousin, works at a nearby construction site and is questioned about the new deaths. He refuses to talk about Angela or the killings and angrily walks away. After returning to his cabin that night, Frank is knocked unconscious with a hammer and wakes up with his head locked in a birdcage. The killer opens the birdcage and places two rats inside. The rats eat through Frank's head and down into his intestines, killing him. That same evening Randy and his girlfriend Linda (Jackie Tohn) go to the pump house to have sex. As Randy urinates in the woods, the killer attacks and ties him to a tree, using fishing line that wraps around his penis. Linda looks for him and panics after hearing Randy try to placate the killer and drives off in the Jeep. But the fishing line is tied to the Jeep and tears off Randy's penis, killing him. Linda drives through a wrapped barbed wire line, which wraps around her face, causing her to crash into a tree.

Meanwhile, Vinny visits T.C. in his cabin and then leaves. Suddenly a wooden spear comes through a hole in the floor and disappears. As T.C. is looking into the hole to find it the spear pops back up and impales him through the eye. Ronnie and another camper, Jenny (Jaime Radow), find Frank dead and begin rounding up everyone with the help of Sheriff Jerry. Bella goes to her cabin to hide, where she sees that the bunk above her has been replaced with a board of spikes. The killer suddenly jumps down from the rafters and lands on the top bunk, causing the spikes to impale and kill Bella. T.C. and Bella are found dead and Ricky is called in to help as Ronnie insists that Angela has returned to kill again. Karen runs through the camp and finds Randy and Linda dead before bumping into the killer and fainting.

Karen wakes up with a rope around her neck, hanging from a basketball hoop. The killer flips a switch to raise the net, causing Karen to be lifted off the ground and slowly strangle. As she screams for help Sheriff Jerry arrives and lowers the net. After Karen announces to the rest of camp that she thinks Alan is the killer, Michael grabs a croquet mallet and runs to Alan's secret hideout. He finds Alan and starts beating him with the mallet, Alan screaming that he is innocent. As Michael steps back to deliver a killing blow, the real killer appears behind him and the screen goes black.

Ronnie, Ricky and Jenny run to the hideout and find a badly wounded but alive Alan. Sheriff Jerry appears and slowly walks up to them, explaining through his mechanical voice box that the victims never learned, were always so mean all the time, could do whatever they want and get away with it, and they got what they deserved. As he speaks the Sheriff throws off his clothes and fake mustache, revealing himself as Angela Baker, the real killer. As Ronnie says "I knew it was you!" Jenny sees something writhing on the ground and runs away screaming. Ronnie and Ricky investigate and find Michael skinned alive on the ground. Angela begins to laugh maniacally, staring creepily into the camera as the screen snaps to black.

Following the credits, a text crawl states that three weeks prior to the film's events, Angela escaped from the psychiatric clinic where she was kept after the first movie. A short scene shows her causing a brake fluid leak in a stolen car and flagging down Sheriff Pete (Carlo Vogel), the real sheriff. She murders him by dropping the car on his head and steals his clothes to become Sheriff Jerry.


  • 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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