Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor — A Review

SWC 4 cover

As mentioned in every installment in this series so far, I’m going into each film as blind as possible, intentionally staying away from so much as a plot synopsis or even a mention of the cast. That might have been a mistake on this one.

As you no doubt have noticed already, this review’s a little on the skimpy side. That’s because if you know anything about Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor, very little of the movie itself actually survived. A little research tells us that Double Helix, the film’s production company, went bankrupt during the filming in 1992, leaving behind only 35 minutes of actual footage. Part of this was shoehorned into what essentially amounts to about 100 minutes of clips from the past three installments, all edited together to tell the story of Angela’s murderous rampage over three separate summers.

The rampage in question is a story we know all too well, as I’ve spent some time getting to know it. So imagine my disappointment when after paying $2.00 to rent the dang thing on Amazon, I was treated to about 10 minutes of actual original footage and about 100 of clips of Angela’s Greatest Hits.

SWC 4 screen

I’ll give you the synopsis of the “plot” of this one, which you can see a little bit of in the screen shot above, taken from the beginning of the movie. Allison Kramer, a survivor of the original Sleepaway Camp, has gone off the deep end and is now under psychiatric care. She claims to have no memories of the events of that summer, so she is advised to go back to the location of the original murders for an afternoon to see if it triggers any long repressed trauma.


Apparently, this means sitting in a bikini and staring off into the distance while providing short bits of voice over to set up the next montage of clips. This shot and a brief scene at the end of actual original footage is all we see of Allison. I’m going to go ahead and spoil the intricate plot for you, so far warning…

It ends with a hunter getting killed by Allison after she poses in another bikini with a big shiny knife. THE END!

Apparently, there actually is a Sleepaway Camp Survival Kit DVD box set that contains more original footage, but it’s long out of print and sought after by fans. I’m not going to go out of my way to hunt it down. The only other interesting tidbit is that there is a theory that Allison is actually Angela in disguise. If you’re like me and you just mumbled “WTF?” to yourself after reading that, my opinion is if she can go from looking like Felissa Rose in one film to Pamela Springsteen in the next, I guess it’s not that hard to believe. That would at least explain why she’s sitting around sunbathing and reminiscing about events from two other films that had absolutely nothing to do with her.

I guess In keeping with the tradition of all slasher series from the ’80’s, they can’t all be winners. Looking at you A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5.

So, were there any pros in this big old mess of cons? YES, believe it or not! The soundtrack, what little of it there is, was actually pretty good! I actually enjoy all the cheesy hair rock of every film in this series so far, and I mean that without a single shred of humor or irony. Before this thing took the shit road it did, I was digging the first few minutes based on the opening track alone, composed by John Altyn. He also provides two other tracks for this one that also appear on the soundtracks for Parts 2 and 3 – “Sleep Away” and “Outta Control”.

That’s all I got. Come back for Return to Sleepaway Camp, the last in the series. Let’s finish strong! Hey, it can’t get any worse.


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