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2.0 out of 5 stars
Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor (2012)
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
"Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor" was the dreamchild of 1992 that sadly never came true. The film was originally intended to be the fourth installment "Sleepaway Camp" series. It was partially filmed in October 1992 but was never completed due to lack of funding. In 2002 the unfinished footage from the first day of shooting was released and made available as an exclusive fourth disc with the Best Buy edition of the Region 1 "Sleepaway Camp" box set.

But...all was not lost! John Klyza, webmaster of SleepawayCampFilms, helped put together an official final cut of the film which they said would bring closure to the Survivor's legacy. The final film would be 70% material from the first three films and 30% new Survivor material. Is the final film one to be cherished into the hearts of Sleepaway Camp fans everywhere or does it deserve to stay as archived material?

Well, the answer my fellow slasher fans is one that you do not want to hear. "Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor" is not good. Everything about it is terrible in every way that you could only imagine and in several ways that you would have thought they wouldn't have been able to screw up. What's wrong with it? In honor of this terrible movie I will be taking my comments and editing them into a half hearted review. Here we go!

* The flashback clips are the worst quality clips they could find. I'm talking VHS copy of a copy bad. It is grainy, distorted, and hard to make out.

* The sound quality is not good. The "new" footage is far too loud and you can't even hear the old footage. Prepare to have the remote handy for adjusting the volume...every few seconds!

* The new material doesn't make any sense whatsoever and doesn't flow with the editing of the first three films. A random "added" line of dialogue here and there doesn't help matters at all. If anything it just becomes more distracting.

* The old footage (especially from the original film) is so grainy it's hard to know what's going on. I know I already commented on this but after a good Anchor Bay release of the original series, this is inexcusable.

* The tacked on ending is not only super cheesy but it's hard to tell what is even supposed to be happening. All of a sudden our "main girl" is with some burned guy. I don't know what the heck happened.

* The editing of the old clips either start too late or end too early cutting off gags that make the scene work. The pacing is key in order to make a good death and they couldn't even edit them from the first one in a consistent way.

* The deaths are cut in a way that we never actually see what is supposed to be the gruesome aftermath. Once again, bad editing and there is no excuse for this when the material has already been used.

* The voiceover is so bad in the new footage that it doesn't even match what is happening on screen. This only gets worse as the movie progresses.

In short, this movie is only worth owning if you can find it super cheap (hopefully free). Anything over $5 is too much. I really do appreciate the effort but I will never watch this again. If you own the bonus disc, you own ALL of the new material. 30% new material? What a lie. There is barely 10 minutes worth of material here that wasn't originally shown in the first three films. Is it unfair for me to judge this as a final film when it clearly isn't one? Of course not. Nonetheless, is it fair to expect horror fans to pay for material they already own? Absolutely not.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
Oh. My. Gosh.

Where should I even begin?! Well, let me start by saying that I have been an avid 'Sleepaway Camp' fan since my childhood years. So, the late 80's, let's see. I was around 12 and I was always into the horror genre. I also remember watching the first three movies in this series and wishing for a long time that the franchise would come out with a fourth sequel. Alas, you know how the old saying goes: Be careful what you wish for!

Now, I will share that I went into buying this movie with an open mind. I had already read the negative feedback before viewing it, along with some of the VERY limited positive feedback, but like I always do, I watch first and then pass my own judgement after the fact. Yup, and sadly, this time ... I got to say majority opinion rules here. How should I put this delicately for any sensitive fans out there who may have 'liked' this release?! I can't really, I'm so sorry, plain out: It SUCKED! I'm sorry, it did, and this is coming from a fan who usually ends up taking a liking to the 'underdog' films. I was one of the few fans who advocated for Halloween 5 when so many other fans put it down. Yeah, you heard me right: I liked that movie. But I don't like this one. AT ALL.

Which brings me to my main point: Why is this even called a movie again?! Essentially, it's a recap of the first three films in flashback form. This is what almost makes up the entire 'movie', which wouldn't be so bad in and of itself if the viewer wasn't deceived into believing that this, ahem 'movie, had it's own new and cohesive plot line. Seriously, this should have been labeled as nothing more than a special feature DVD, celebrating the first three movies and the lost footage for the uncompleted film of '92. I'm insulted that this is passing off as a fourth sequel. There's no new plot to follow and I can't even begin to understand how to make out the ending, except for the 'obvious' on where they might have intended to go with it which is: Angela is still out there and alive. The box summary is very misleading because I didn't at any point see where 'Angela's secrets are revealed.' The flasbacks just show what we already know from the first three movies. There wasn't enough new footage to even explore that as far as I could tell. We get a few continous minutes of archived footage near the end of the film with small integrations of 'Allison' here and there throughout the rest. There's a small written summary on 'Allison' at the beginning of the movie. That's it. Hardly enough material to make a brand new sequel and tell a new story. I don't even understand why the movie is titled ... 'The Survivor' unless I read into it how I want to. But the movie confirms nothing about it.

In conclusion, I'll state that I don't know what the original intentions for the footage might have been back in '92 had the movie been completed; however, in this case, I will say, I think it was better to let 'sleeping dogs lie.' Either that, or if they wanted to revisit this 'canon' in Sleepaway Camp history, it was better to forget the archived footage all together (keep it a special feature) and then recast to make a whole new movie with the originally intended plot line. The time period in the movie could have been set in '92 or '93, whichever they intended, leading from the time of the events at the end of the third film. At least this way, maybe I could have gotten a much better and cohesive storyline.

Bottom line: I feel cheated as a Sleepaway Camp fan. I'm more insulted that it's being passed off as a brand new movie in the franchise. People, it's not! Please don't be deceived by the title. Nor the 'movie summary.' What you read is not what you get, plain and simple. I'll be honest, the only 'fans' who might find this worth their while are the ones who couldn't get their hands on their own copies of Sleepaway Camp II and III because they're out of production. At least you get to add some cool flashback scenes from those movies to your collection. But other than that ... utterly pointless.

Return to Sleepaway Camp even puts this so-called 'movie' to shame. That used to be my least favorite in the franchise.

Better luck on the next film ... if there ever is one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the Sleepaway Camp series. This movie (if you wish to call it that) is simply a compilation of clips from the other films. There is maybe a maximum of 4 minutes of new film. Do yourself a favor and forget this "movie" even exists.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
What in the world were they thinking, they should have never even bothered releasing this. Most of it was flashbacks of the original films and then 2 seconds of the actual film which did not even make sense! :|
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2013
This is a complete rip off!!! All it is, is a peiced segment of all the sleep away camps!!! Oh, and a half naked girl just sitting on a dock!!! Its not a movie at all. Dont buy this!!!!!!!!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
Anyone familiar with the Sleepaway Camp franchise knows the infamous story of this one - the abandoned sequel that was never completed. Previously nothing more than a DVD bonus feature, you've really got to hand it to producer John Klyza and editor Dustin Ferguson for being able to pull together a feature out of this footage. Other fans wouldn't have bothered to put in the effort needed to make this work, but they did and it does work. Survivor is heavily mixed with clips from the three preceding films, of course, but that's the big idea - as a survivor of part III, Allison Chambers is trying to undo some serious mental blocking of whatever is was exactly that she survived. As she tries to remember the whole painful experience, we're treated to a best-of montage from the earlier films.

I've noticed complaints of the quality of the footage being on par with VHS, and while that's true, it's also in the very spirit of the film. The look of the entire production, which extends beyond the technical quality to the actual Survivor footage itself, oozes that late 1980s/early 1990s VHS feel in a great way that transports you back decades.

Set your expectations appropriately and you will enjoy this. Know that it is a clip film and that it's also a sequel rescued from the outermost edges of Oblivion. The secrets of the film aren't spelled out for you and a little work is required on the part of the viewer to grasp it all. I really can't believe how many people are complaining about something that never even existed before now. It's still way better than Return to Sleepaway Camp.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
Awful is an understatement. The sad thing is that this movie looked like it had potential from the outline of the storyline given at the start. I'm sure the script for the full movie is still around. I'm sure it could have been sold to a company that could have done it rather than this pile of garbage. 10 minutes of new footage that made no sense. I read the reviews. I knew it was bad but I thought hey, I got some time to kill and for 2 bucks I may as well check out the footage for fun. Instead the time I wasted killed me. Not literally obviously. Now because they released this pile of junk the script for Sleepaway Camp 4 probably can never be used. The original is a classic, the two unsanctioned sequels are not really Sleepaway Camp but they are fun and keep you entertained for a few hours. Return to Sleepaway Camp at least had the same feel as the original and it gives a little bit of story of what really happened after. I read there were plans for "Sleepaway Camp Reunion 3D." Let's hope Hiltzik follows up on those plans and makes it. Return to Sleepaway Camp did not answer all the questions of the aftermath but it is a much better movie than this clip show. Unfortunately I had to give it at least 1 star for my review to be posted but it is really worth 0 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
It wasn't good as the first 3 movies and the 5th one. It's okay I just didn't know it wasn't like the first ones
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2013
This one was a waste of my time and money. Very disappointed with this movie, I could have kept my money.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
I am a huge fan of the Sleepaway camp series and rushed to order this when it first came out. I immediatly started watching it as soon as it arrived. Within the first three minutes, I knew that I was in for a long ride. The video quality is horrible for a DVD release. The Anchor Bay releases of the first three films are far superior in every aspect. This is basically a compilation of scenes from the first three films. Again, the video quality is very poor. The audio quality is just as bad. the new scenes add nothing to the plot and are not worth the time we waited to see them. There is a reason that the orignal Sleepaway Camp 4: The Survior footage was disgarded, because it is awful. As a fan, I feel that I must watch this at least once in cannon with the series. I cannot recommend it past one viewing though.
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