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Episode 48 — Sleepaway Camp

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Paul, Jason, June Diane, and MTV's Zach Pearlman talk 1983's Sleepaway Camp on this Halloween episode of How Did This Get Made.   We learn about incest, how much salt to add to boiling water, and, most importantly, to be cautious of water snakes.  Also, we discuss the performance of Robert Earl Jones (father to James Earl Jones) and Paul's understanding of the AIDS epidemic.  Enjoy this not-so-low-budget ode to side pony-tails and short shorts.  Happy Halloween!

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When I watched this movie, all I could think about was how much she looked like a young Sarah Silverman, which gives a whole new context to the parts of her book that talk about going away to camp.

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Guys...at 18:49, Paul says this, "The movie opens with...". This is, maybe, my favorite HDTGM ever. Just for the discussion at the start about relationships in the movie. I am now, so much more confused than when I saw that movie.

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You guys owe it to yourselves to find the version with the most awkward director's commentary ever.

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The part of this movie that always made me laugh the hardest is that strange six man water balloon fight on the roof (!) that ends up setting Ricky off when one of the bros hit's Angela with a balloon. Ricky goes from zero to batshit insane in no time flat. "You fucking bastards are going to pay for this! Cocksuckers! Pricks! Come down here and fight, you chickenshit!" and so on. Just amazing.

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The part of this movie that always made me laugh the hardest is that strange six man water balloon fight on the roof (!) that ends up setting Ricky off when one of the bros hit's Angela with a balloon. Ricky goes from zero to batshit insane in no time flat. "You fucking bastards are going to pay for this! Cocksuckers! Pricks! Come down here and fight, you chickenshit!" and so on. Just amazing.

 

But, if you take it with the context that he is trying to hide the secret of what 'she' is, it kind of makes sense.

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Guys...at 18:49, Paul says this, "The movie opens with...". This is, maybe, my favorite HDTGM ever. Just for the discussion at the start about relationships in the movie. I am now, so much more confused than when I saw that movie.

Agreed. Strong contender for best episode ever. I was on Jason's side during that whole opening conflict, btw. I thought Paul and the rest were crazy...until they weren't.

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It is hilarious how much Mel sounds like Dr. Zoidberg when he's bemoaning the death of his teenaged paramour.

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I was listening to this episode today and I felt I had to register to make this comment... Please, please, please, please, PLEASE work out your confusions about the plot beforehand if you're going to bicker and talk over each other for 10 minutes before actually getting to anything funny. I've loved your podcast ever since I discovered it, but all too often lately many episodes have been downright STRESSFUL to listen to. It's not fun, it's not enjoyable, and if it continues being a regular thing instead of a rare occasion, I can't listen anymore.

 

I almost stopped and gave up a few times before it got good. That said, once the confusions were worked out, it was a great episode.

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I'm glad you guys picked this one, I'd never seen it before. I must say this is one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen, just due to all the pedophiles obviously involved with it. Your confusion over the "plot" was priceless.

 

Also, if anybody wants some more 80s horror movie set in a summer camp related podcast, then good news. Our show was able to score the man himself, Jason Voorhees for nearly the entire episode. He's a surprisingly verbose dude. Check it out won't you?

 

jason31.jpg

 

"Hey sis, I just ordered a pizza. Get the lotion and pop in Sleepaway Camp."

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The absolute best part of this movie is that it takes about 15 minutes to figure out the relationships between the main characters... which doesn't even make it clear. I need to see this movie.

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I was listening to this episode today and I felt I had to register to make this comment... Please, please, please, please, PLEASE work out your confusions about the plot beforehand if you're going to bicker and talk over each other for 10 minutes before actually getting to anything funny. I've loved your podcast ever since I discovered it, but all too often lately many episodes have been downright STRESSFUL to listen to. It's not fun, it's not enjoyable, and if it continues being a regular thing instead of a rare occasion, I can't listen anymore.

 

I almost stopped and gave up a few times before it got good. That said, once the confusions were worked out, it was a great episode.

Incorrect. Listening to them figure what the heck is going on in these crazy movies is part of the fun!

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I have not heard so many New York accents saying "Angela" since the last time I saw Who's The Boss?

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I'm NEVER scared by any horror movie, campy or not, but Angela's snarl at the end genuinely freaked me out. It's like her jaw unhinged like a snake.

 

What is creeping me out more is thinking about the film production- some prop guy telling the teenage actress, "ok, time for us to attach your prosthetic penis."

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Incorrect. Listening to them figure what the heck is going on in these crazy movies is part of the fun!

That has nothing to do with it. Later on, when they were talking about the absurd scenes and trying to make sense of them, it was fun. The early argument was over basic plot details that weren't funny or crazy, and the argument came before we even knew the basic details of the movie, so it made no sense. And listening to them yelling over each other is not fun, especially for the amount of time it went on. They should have just looked up on Wikipedia right away who was related to who (which they finally did to end the argument) instead of everyone trying to get the last word in for 10 minutes.
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For me, the podcast is only ever half as fun if you haven't seen the movie. HDTGM is amazing because it captures that moment when you walk out of a bad movie with your friends and begin freaking out with them over wtf you just saw. If you watch the movie beforehand, you get to join them in their confusion. Them trying to figure out the very first scene for 20 minutes was easily my favorite part of the show because I was just as confused as they were. I can see how it would be frustrating if you hadn't seen the movie, but IMO you should always watch the movie beforehand. Especially if it's Sleepaway Camp.

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"Bone-zoning" is my new favorite gerund. I just have to find a way to sneak it into polite conversation.

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I was listening to this episode today and I felt I had to register to make this comment... Please, please, please, please, PLEASE work out your confusions about the plot beforehand if you're going to bicker and talk over each other for 10 minutes before actually getting to anything funny. I've loved your podcast ever since I discovered it, but all too often lately many episodes have been downright STRESSFUL to listen to. It's not fun, it's not enjoyable, and if it continues being a regular thing instead of a rare occasion, I can't listen anymore.

I almost stopped and gave up a few times before it got good. That said, once the confusions were worked out, it was a great episode.

 

I understand your frustration. Especially if someone had not seen the film beforehand.

One of the things I loved about the podcast was they each seemed to already have intimate love/hate and established 'explanations' for the film.

When they come together, they start stepping us through their version/interpretations and retell the story as they go along.

Somehow it didn't quite work this time :(

Guest did not help any cause here either.

 

Having said that, I was laughing out loud trying to figure out the bizarre relationships... who's the aunt.. is that the dad... who the hell died and who the hell is adopted and who left her?

But,

Yes, I see your point and I think there was so much crazy nonsense to be enjoyed past that and that might have been too hurried.

 

'Return to Sleepaway Camp'. I like to think I am quite good at spotting out put-ons. I cannot decide if 'Return' is just sincerely as crazy bad,

or,

Is the director (now older and aware of all the cult classic criticisms) deliberately making a bad movie?

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For me, the podcast is only ever half as fun if you haven't seen the movie. HDTGM is amazing because it captures that moment when you walk out of a bad movie with your friends and begin freaking out with them over wtf you just saw. If you watch the movie beforehand, you get to join them in their confusion. Them trying to figure out the very first scene for 20 minutes was easily my favorite part of the show because I was just as confused as they were. I can see how it would be frustrating if you hadn't seen the movie, but IMO you should always watch the movie beforehand. Especially if it's Sleepaway Camp.

 

I completely agree the first part of the podcast with the mass confusion was my favorite.

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I think the best lesson I took from this episode is that watching horror movies with a dog is actually a pretty solid idea!

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Goddammit this may be my favorite episode. I was laughing so hard, especially during the first part. For those who haven't seen the movie, John, the dad, has two kids: Peter and Angela, he also has a gay lover, Lenny played by the aptly named James Paradise. John and the real Angela are killed in a boating accident.

 

Since Lenny wasn't a family member, and the state was more likely to give the kids to a crazy doctor over a gay man, Peter is sent to live with his Aunt Martha and her son Ricky. Since Martha is batshit crazy, she decides to raise Peter as a girl giving him Angela's identity because as Martha says, she already has a son, thus creating a psychopath.

 

Along with that confusion the episode was fantastic. The mini movie with Judy's return looks like they got the original actress and who doesn't love a water baloon fight on the roof? And if you enjoyed this movie in the slightest, check out all of the sequels, especially the second and third because they are just as insane.

 

Also, I smell a new podcast coming to earwolf with PAULitics where Paul explains his conspiracy theories to the listening audience.

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Is it me, or does this movie seem to posit that witnessing the gay sex is what drove the killer insane as much as the other business?

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I was so confused by the relationships at the end I had to look on Wikipedia also. I then remembered some throw away line about Aunt Martha and Ricky in the opening scene so I rewatched it. At about minute 4, the dude on the beach says that they need to come in from the water because the doc will be there soon. Then the little girl says "Aunt Martha is coming? Is Ricky coming?" and then the dad says "No, Ricky is spending the weekend with his dad." So it appears that Aunt Martha just happened to be crazy and then for some reason "Angela" is sent to live with her, with no reference to Angela's mom.

 

I didn't know anything about the movie before watching it and I thought it was blatantly obvious from the beginning that Angela was the killer. It crossed my mind that the reason Ricky kept flipping out was to try to make it look like he was the killer, but every time he yelled he just sounded whiny and lame so I never thought it could be him. What cracks me up is that I don't see why it matters whether Angela was killing people as a girl or as a guy. The only reason for the twist is to imply that being raised as a girl turned her into a psychotic killer.

 

Also, I think it is fairly clear that the last shot is a real guy wearing an Angela mask. The physique of the person is totally different from Angela's physique. That is not a 13 year old girl with a prosthetic penis.

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