Why make one sequel when you make two? This option was part of the con­tract when sequels’ pro­duc­ers optioned the Sleepaway Camp sequel rights and they moved fast to take advan­tage: Sleepaway Camp III was writ­ten while Sleepaway Camp II was shoot­ing and the film­mak­ers were told to start prep­ping the sec­ond sequel only a week­end after they wrapped the first. The third film doesn’t have the thrill of rein­ven­tion that made Sleepaway Camp II so amus­ing but it still has a few camper-slash­ing tricks up its sleeve.

SleepC3-bluSleepaway Camp III begins with out­doors-lov­ing slash­er Angela (Pamela Springsteen) bump­ing off a camper on her way to a camp and assum­ing her iden­ti­ty. The new camp has the nov­el idea of mix­ing uptown kids with dis­ad­van­taged kids under the tute­lage of a cou­ple of lack­adaisi­cal coun­selors (one of whom is Michael J. Pollard!). Angela isn’t thrilled about the step­down from coun­selor to camper and is quick­ly annoyed by coun­selors and fel­low campers alike. She wastes no time in pick­ing them off and the only hopes for the ever-shrink­ing pop­u­la­tion lie in nice girl Marcia (Tracy Griffith), tough guy Tony (Mark Oliver) and a cop (Cliff Barnes) with trag­ic ties to the events of Sleepaway Camp II.

Sleepaway Camp III leans on the for­mu­la estab­lished by the first film: name­ly, a dark­ly comic approach to the stalk-and-slash for­mu­la spiced up with some T&A. Thankfully, the nov­el­ty of hav­ing your slash­er be a moral­is­tic female anti­hero remains a fun con­ceit, par­tic­u­lar­ly with Springsteen’s dead­pan humor fuelling it. Screenwriter Fritz Gordon comes up with some fun mur­der set­pieces and direc­tor Michael Simpson gives it all a snap­py pace, bring­ing the whole thing in at just under 80 min­utes.

There are some amus­ing­ly nasty campers for Angela to bump off, par­tic­u­lar­ly a racist south­ern belle effec­tive­ly played by Kim Wall, and there’s a typ­i­cal­ly eccen­tric, scene-steal­ing per­for­mance from Pollard as a hilar­i­ous­ly sleazy coun­selor. The final girl char­ac­ter isn’t as strong this time but the venge­ful cop is an inter­est­ing addi­tion and is played con­vinc­ing­ly by Barnes.

In short, Sleepaway Camp III is essen­tial­ly more of the same — but the “same” in this case is quirky body-count fun that deliv­ers the goods and throws in some smut­ty humor as a bonus. If you liked Sleepaway Camp II, there’s no harm in going in for one more help­ing.

Blu-Ray Notes: As with Sleepaway Camp II, this film has just been treat­ed to a “Collector’s Edition” blu-ray/DVD com­bo release from Scream Factory. The MGM-sourced trans­fer comes from a nice, clean-look­ing ele­ment and offers a nice lit­tle boost in col­or and clar­i­ty on the blu-ray. A loss­less pre­sen­ta­tion of the vin­tage mono track is used on the blu-ray and offers a solid mix with no dis­tor­tion.

SleepC3-posSlasher fans have plen­ty of extras to sift through on this set. An audio com­men­tary with Simpson, Gordon and mod­er­a­tor John Klyza is car­ried over from the old Anchor Bay DVD. It’s a smoother track than the one on Sleepaway Camp II, with a more con­sis­tent mix of ban­ter between the par­tic­i­pants. Simpson and Gordon talk about the chal­lenges of the quick turn-around for the sequel and the has­sles of deal­ing with the MPAA. Klyza props them up with plen­ty of triv­ia, includ­ing some inter­est­ing ques­tions about how cer­tain set­pieces were changed due to bud­get woes.

A new fea­turet­te has been cre­at­ed for this set, enti­tled “A Tale Of Two Sequels, Part 2.” Simpson and Gordon return for this fea­turet­te along with key crew mem­bers and cast mem­bers like Oliver and Wall. You’ll learn why so much of the film involves day­light sit­u­a­tions, more detail on the film’s trou­bles with the MPAA and some fun sto­ries about Michael J. Pollard.

Next up is nine min­utes of behind-the-sce­nes footage nar­rat­ed by Simpson: it’s all drawn from the shoot for the pre-titles sequence involv­ing the truck stunt. The full workprint of the film is includ­ed from a full-frame analog source that includes all the snips of gore removed from the final ver­sion. If you don’t want to sit through that, the pro­duc­ers also thought­ful­ly include a delet­ed sce­nes seg­ment that strings togeth­er all the set­pieces from the same video source.

Elsewhere, a home video trail­er offers a fast-paced, bloody sam­pling of the film’s high­lights. A short fan film called “Tony Lives” brings Oliver back to show his char­ac­ter deal­ing with a nosy reporter sev­er­al years lat­er. A still gallery rounds things out, serv­ing up almost fifty images’ worth of stills, behind-the-sce­nes shots and pro­mo mate­ri­als.

All in all, this is anoth­er treat for slash­er fans from Scream Factory a nice way for them to col­lect the Sleepaway Camp tril­o­gy in high-def form.