Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Shot by the same filmmaking team in the same locations at virtually the same time, should it surprise anyone that Wasteland came with a transfer virtually identical to what I saw for Campers?
No, it shouldn’t, so at the risk of looking like a slacker, I’ll just repeat my comments about Campers. Why reinvent that particular wheel?
Sharpness varied a fair amount. Much of the film showed reasonable accuracy; I’d never call it razor-sharp, but it usually offered good delineation. Sporadic soft shots popped up, though. No issues with shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. The movie looked rather grainy at times, and semi-frequent specks, marks and debris could be seen; these didn’t dominate but the movie could’ve used a good cleaning.
Colors seemed acceptable. Wasteland provided a natural palette that favored greens given the wooded setting. The hues lacked much pop but they appeared fine overall. Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and low-light shots showed fair clarity. This came across as a watchable image that needed some work.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD monaural soundtrack, it also seemed average for its age. Speech appeared a little reedy and thin, but the lines showed good intelligibility and lacked overt flaws. Music demonstrated limited range as well, but the score was clear enough and showed moderate pep.
Effects fell into the same range. Outside of the killings, the track didn’t ask for much, and the elements sounded decent; they could be somewhat flat but they showed no distortion and represented the material well enough. All of this left us with a “C” soundtrack.
When we go to the Blu-ray’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Michael A. Simpson and screenwriter Fritz Gordon. Hosted by Sleepawaycampfilms.com’s John Klyza, we get a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, sets and locations, various effects, editing, cast and performances, music and related topics.
The Blu-ray for Sleepaway Camp 2 also included a commentary from Simpson, Gordon and Klyza, and this one strongly resembles it. Once again, we get a smattering of decent movie-making facts, but much of the track passes without useful information. The participants joke around and narrate the action a lot of the time, so we get too little good material to make this a worthwhile listen.
A continuation of a program from the Campers Blu-ray, A Tale of Two Sequels – Part Two runs 26 minutes, 12 seconds and offers notes from Simpson, director of photography Bill Mills, editor John David Allen, special makeup effects creator Bill “Splat” Johnson, filmmaker/series fan Jeff Hayes, and actors Mark Oliver, Sandra Dorsey, Kim Wall and Daryl Wilcher. We learn of the quick turnaround from Camp 2 to Camp 3 and related challenges, photography, cast and performances, various effects, locations, rating issues and editing, and final thoughts about the films. Though this doesn’t turn into a stellar documentary, it gives a good overview. It certainly tops the tedious commentary.
Behind the Scenes Footage takes up eight minutes, 28 seconds. We see raw material from the set and hear narration from Simpson. The director doesn’t add a ton, but the video footage itself can be interesting.
A potentially enticing feature shows up with a Workprint Version of Wasteland. Taken from a VHS tape, it lasts one hour, 24 minutes and 48 seconds. The quality makes the “Workprint” tough to watch, but I’m sure fans will enjoy the chance to check out this alternate cut of the movie.
Next we find 12 Deleted Scenes. These fill a total of 18 minutes, 46 seconds and don’t really offer “deleted scenes”. Instead, they extend existing sequences, usually to show more graphic gore and violence. That means one shouldn’t expect much new content – and much of the material also appears in the workprint.
With Tony Lives!, we get a new short film. It runs one minute, 10 seconds and lets us see actor Mark Oliver back in character as Tony. I won’t say this “short film” is pointless, but… actually, yeah I will. Maybe someone will enjoy it, but I can’t figure out who or why.
In addition to a Home Video Trailer, the disc includes a Still Gallery. It shows 46 images that mostly focus on shots from the set, though we also get some publicity materials. This ends up as a nice collection.
A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Wasteland. It provides all the extras found on the Blu-ray.
After two bad movies, should one expect anything positive from Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland? Nope – it just offers the same cheap, lazy attempts at horror as its predecessors. The Blu-ray brings us average picture and audio along with a mostly good collection of supplements. ans of the Camp franchise should be happy with this release, but I think the flick flops.