The One Where Yet Another Psychopath Fails to Kill the Wakefields: SVH #125 “Camp Killer”

13 Jul

Can we all take a moment to appreciate this awesome cover.

The guy with his hand in the fire.

Charlie Sheen on the right toasting marshmallows with the Sweet Valley gang.

The humorous attempt at perspective drawing which makes Elizabeth look like a dwarf.

And, oh wait. The axe-wielding psycho killer in the background about to lob her head off. [Like Margo, he was THAT close, but just couldn’t bring himself to do it.]

It’s another summer at Sweet Valley High, and all our fave gang are heading to Camp Echo Mountain, Montana, to live in sin with interstate campers and do the dirty on their long time loves back home. So really, just another ordinary summer for Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield.

Yet somehow, the ghosties managed to make this into a three-part story arc.

Elizabeth has finally met her match – a tough-talking, kick-ass chickie called Nicole Banes, who we know is tough because she wears a baseball cap. They fight over who gets the much-sought-after job of writing the camp play, and over Yale University student [read: wanker] Joey Mason. Must be those fricken coffee coloured eyes.

Also, Liz has found a replacement for Enid the Drip in one of my all-time favourite characters, Maria Slater. Maria is retiring from her acting post in Hollywood to Sweet Valley, and just happened to want an unglamourous job as a lowly junior counsellor for the summer. I guess Dancing With the Stars wasn’t hiring.

Anyhoo, Maria and Nicole have been best buds for several years, since Maria ditched out on Sweet Valley after middle school. Yet another spanner in the works for poor Lizzie, who even has to fight for a friend. I guess it would be difficult when you’re used to making friends by finding someone worth pitying and fixing their life.

I rather like in this book how Elizabeth just assumed she would be an awesome counsellor [the kids hate her]; and that she would automatically be chosen to write the play [she has to work for it.] I especially like this Nicole girl, who points out Elizabeth’s total hypocrisy in screwing around with Joey while knowing full well that Trusty Boyfriend Todd is pining for her back at basketball camp.

Also this: “I’ll fix her, and fix her good….” thought Nicole as she drifted off to sleep. “It’s payback time.” Ooh! Isn’t that just chillingly Margo-esque?

Meanwhile, another of Jessica’s dead boyfriends is quickly forgotten as she sneaks off to hook up with one of her camper’s older brothers, Paul Mathis. Sadly, Christian Gorman, the surfer dude who Bruce, Todd and Winston gang-bashed to death in the high school war seems just a blip on the horizon. She justifies her salacious behaviour by saying that Christian would want her to live “each day at a time.” Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Lila, meanwhile, has met the love of her life in Beauregard Creighton the third. The get caviar shipped from a gourmet shop in SoCal, and talk about skiing, and speak French to each other, just ‘cos they can. I still don’t know why Lila wasted a Summer at a hovel like this. But at least she keeps things spicy.

Speaking of spicy, let’s not forget Winston’s contribution to the gossip column – fearing that Maria Santelli was riding cowboys at the dude ranch where she spent the summer, Winston allowed himself to be seduced by a fifteen year old redhead.

Interestingly, Aaron Dallas spent most of his camp time with the other guys…

Late at night, the campers sit around the fire, making s’mores and telling stories. Camp Legend holds that an axe-murderer known as Crazy Freddy [I shit you not] lives in the bushes and comes out at night to terrorise campers. Throughout the story, there is an eerie premonition of “something in the bushes”…. which of course is “just a tree branch”, or “a twig snapping.”

This provides a perfect opportunity for Nicole to get at stupid, gullible Liz. She actually tricks Elizabeth into sneaking out into the night to meet Joey. Meanwhile, Nicole hides behind a tree with a rusted axe, pretending to be Freddy. The girl clearly has guts, but that is kind of creepy.

Their rivalry reaches a pinnacle with the Colour War, which sounds incredibly racist, but is really just a sports competition of the “red ream versus blue team” variety.

Nicole sneaks into the Camp Director’s office and changes Joey to her team. A teensy bit desperate, but whatevs. She also fails miserably in her bid to send Todd some written evidence of Elizabeth-and-Joey love notes. [Maria decides to intervene.]

The colour war ends with some kind of treasure hunt thingy which involves looking for a flag in the forest. Sounds kinda dangerous, what with a crazy axe murderer on the loose out there and all. But hey. Winston even bribes Elizabeth with pecan cookies [bless!] But she gets on her high horse and is all, “I don’t accept bribes.”


Of course, the hunt winds up with the twins right in the path of Crazy Freddy. Jessica is busy dry humping her man in the bushes, when a rough hand clutches her perfect face and a leering voice goes, “C’mon blondie, the forest needs you.”

For what, firewood? That’s kind of a weird psycho-line. I think I preferred Margo’s rasping.

Elizabeth momentarily forgets her bitchin’ as her twin-stinct is switched on, because, OMG you guys, they’re Wakefields! And one of them is in danger!

Meanwhile, Jessica is holed up and gagged in a hovel with Pauls’ sister. Like all kidnappings in Sweet Valley, the psycho talks rather suggestively [“Be a good girl, blondie! Open the door! Mwah ha ha!] but never actually molests anyone. Jessica calls him “Mr Freddy”, which makes me laugh.

Finally, Liz and Nicole band together with Joey and Paul to rescue our damsel in distress. Nicole even sacrifices herself, which isn’t really necessary at all because no-one dies. Not even Jessica’s boyfriend.

5 Responses to “The One Where Yet Another Psychopath Fails to Kill the Wakefields: SVH #125 “Camp Killer””

  1. Samantha July 14, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I remember really liking this miniseries when I was younger, although I pretty much loved anything to do with summer camp (including the BSC Super Special when they go to Camp Mohawk). I remember wanting to go to the dance workshop that they had, but don’t remember Winston having an underage lover (go Winston?).

    I can’t wait until you recap the miniseries where they go camping in Death Valley. Heather Mallone+Bruce Patman+escaped convicts=soooo much prime blogging material.

    • winstonegbert July 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      Yeah, I just went through the book more carefully and I can’t find anything about Winston and the redhead! I’m sure it’s in this story arc though, but the other titles are at the parents.
      Heck yes for Death Valley. I love how incestuous it is, given that Jess and Liz have hooked up with all the guys on the trek at least once.

  2. sophie July 17, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    That dude is SO Charlie Sheen…. maybe he teamed up with Freddy?

  3. clementine July 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    is that russell brand back there with the axe?

    • noey1210 August 3, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      I was thinking the same thing!

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