This is another Blu-ray release, that I wish existed a year prior. Last summer, we recorded a retrospective podcast series, covering the entirety of the Sleepaway Camp series, and could have really used a loaded, UNCUT Blu-ray release of the first film. We made due with what was available, though, and now I can revisit Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of the film, with the image of the DVD still fresh in my mind for comparison. If you are interested in our retrospective look at the series in its entirety, you can check that out here. I’ve seen this movie at least a dozen times, and as many problems as it has, it still manages to entertain me just as much, each new visit. I know the ending is coming, and I know what to expect, but it still has that same impact it had on me as a kid. I’m glad this is one of the titles that Scream Factory gave the Collector’s Edition treatment, mostly due to the extras, but also because of the great new cover art, drawn by Nathan Milliner. We’ll get into the extras a bit later into the review, but take a look at that artwork above, and tell me it’s not badass. It’s unfortunate that Sleepaway Camp is not joined on Blu-ray by all of its sequels, but this is the film that started it all, so even without a complete series collection, this is an historic day for slasher films on Blu-ray.
About The Film:
After a terrible boating accident killed her family, shy Angela Baker (Felissa Rose, Return To Sleepaway Camp) went to live with her eccentric Aunt Martha and her cousin Ricky.
This summer, Martha decides to send them both to Camp Arawak, a place to enjoy the great outdoors. Shortly after their arrival, a series of bizarre and violent “accidents” begin to claim the lives of various campers. Has a dark secret returned from the camp’s past…or will an unspeakable horror end the Summer season for all?
From its grisly makeup effects to the truly shocking, and unforgettable, climax, Sleepaway Camp is no ordinary slasher film…it’s a cult classic!
The Blu-ray itself, as far as picture and sound quality go, is remarkable. This is, without a doubt, the best that Sleepaway Camp has ever looked on home video, and likely ever will. With a 1080p AVC encoded transfer in 1.78:1, and a transfer sourced from a new 2K scan of the original camera negative, the color and fine detail levels are highly noticeable, especially if you’ve revisited this film on DVD recently enough that how it looked is still firmly planted in your memory. There are a few blemishes that make an appearance once or twice, but such a thing should be expected with a film of this type/age. The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is as faithful of a presentation of the original mono audio track as one could ask for. There are some audio pops, but the dialog is as clear as its ever been, and even the pops and hisses are largely unnoticeable. There is a wealth of extras that come in this package, which I will list in their entirety below. Most notably, though, is an all-new commentary with Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tierston, and all new cast and crew interviews. Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of Sleepaway Camp drops today, and is highly recommended to all. You may purchase your copy here.
- New 2K scan of the original camera negative
- New Commentary with actors Felissa Rose (“Angela”) and Jonathan Tiersten (“Ricky”)
- New Commentary with writer/director Robert Hiltzik, moderated by SleepawayCampMovies.com webmaster Jeff Hayes
- Original Audio Commentary with writer/director Robert Hiltzik and star Felissa Rose
- At the Waterfront After the Social: The Legacy of Sleepaway Camp – new interviews with Robert Hiltzik, Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Paul DeAngelo (“Ronnie”), Karen Fields (“Judy”), Desiree Gould (“Aunt Martha”), Frank Saladino (“Gene”) and make-up FX artist Ed French.
- Judy – a short film by Jeff Hayes starring Karen Fields
- Princess – A Music Video by Jonathan Tiersten
- Camp Arawak Scrapbook – still gallery
- Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots