Monday, December 20, 2004

If She Were Any Quieter, She'd Be Dead

Imagine "Wet Hot American Summer" with its funny bits replaced by overdone, B-grade slasher horror. Keep the Jewish summer camp thing and the randy teenagers and the guys wearing obscene soccer shorts, then just substitute two-steps-below-grisly horror moments for wherever the movie was funny — only the horror actually still comes of as comedy.

You'd have "Sleepaway Camp," my latest Netflix delivery and easily the most entertaining eighty minutes this week. If the guys behind "Wet Hot American Summer" didn't have this movie in mind as a source for their parody, then they've surely must have at least seen "Sleepaway Camp." I still can't decide what I liked best — the rampant Long Island accents, the roles of the imperiled campers being played by actual adolescents, superbitch Judy wearing a t-shirt that actually says "JUDY" on it... The main actress, a girl with the too-cool name Felissa Rose, works perfectly in the movie despite not speaking for the first half-hour. She's this skinny, gawky Jewish girl who's mastered that please-don't-notice-me slouch that unpopular kids adopt so quickly — a kind of Sarah Silverman before Sarah Silverman became Sarah Silverman.

I even mind that most of the staff seemed okay with the cook character's raging pedophilia or that the big twist — which, by the way, occurs in the last twenty seconds of the movie, then promptly segues into some of the best-worst 80s closing credits music I've ever heard — is ludicrous and kind of offensive and doesn't really explain anything.

I thoroughly enjoyed this awful movie. I haven't felt the joy of rooting through a video store bargain bin and picking something so abysmally wonderful since "Black Mama, White Mama." My grade: as many plus signs as I could possibly tack onto a B without bumping it up to an A.

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