Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Faces of Horror Fandom: Jeff Hayes of SleepawayCampMovies.com



There's a lot to be happy about these days if you're a Sleepaway Camp fan. The series which proudly touts one of the most shocking endings in movie history has been a longtime favorite of mine and not only mine, but millions across the world. Through the years, there's been many ways to get info, but for the past 15 years, Jeff Hayes of Sleepaway Camp Movies has been the go-to expert on all things SC. No one knows more about the story of Angela more than Jeff who has put a lot of hard work and effort into one of the longest lasting sites dedicated to a horror movie.



Jeff with "Ronnie"

So with the new release of Sleepaway Camp by our friends at Scream Factory, I decided to have a quick chat with our friend Jeff Hayes and ask a few questions. Check out what he had to say!


HorrorMovieBBQ: So, what about Sleepaway Camp grabbed your attention on your first viewing?
Jeff Hayes (of Sleepawaycampmovies.com): The characters, the unique vibe, the ending!

BBQ: How does SC differ from other slashers?
Jeff: I think the subtext of the SC story is different than what you found in most slasher films of that time period. The whole transgender thing hadn't really been played out in a slasher flick before and that left for a whole lot of speculation and ambiguity. It got people talking about the underlying things, not just the blood and guts on the surface.

BBQ: You've had quite a bit to do with production on the Anchor Bay release and now the Scream Factory release. How does it feel to be the go-to guy for SC?
Jeff: It's cool that it turned out that way...it started out with me busting my butt tracking people down and interviewing them, then talking to the horror community (magazines, conventions, dvd studios). It seems like every time I did something for SC, it just kept opening the cabin door for more and more. I'm glad that it did because it's a lot of fun.

BBQ: It seems we are finally getting the definitive release we've always wanted as SC fans. How does it feel to finally see the movie the way it was meant to be seen with perfect audio and crisp-clear picture?
Jeff: I have seen the movie in the theater with Robert and Felissa back in 2001 and again in 2002...so it's great to finally see the movie again with that same type of high definition that you get from a 35mm movie print. Scream Factory did a pretty admirable job on the restoration. It looks awesome on my 70" TV at home.


Jeff mixing blood on the Return to Sleepaway Camp set.
BBQ: Being a webmaster dedicated to a single movie can't be the easiest thing in the world but it seems your incredible hard work always pays off. For you personally, what's been the most rewarding experience throughout the years being involved in SC?
Jeff: There have been a lot of rewarding experiences that have come from my working on the website. First and foremost is the great friends I have made because of it. Robert, Felissa, Paul, Daryl (from Part 3) and so many others... These are people that have become a big part of my life. They are no longer just characters in a movie. The little kid in me who loved movies could have never imagined something so amazing would happen one day. It isn't every day that you wake up and suddenly you're good friends with 10 people who starred in one of your favorite movies as a kid! It's surreal in some ways. They are all very grateful and honor me for my tenacity in bringing SLEEPAWAY CAMP back through the website...then the horror conventions...and onto new movies and other projects. And through everything we've done for the past 15+ years now, we have become close.
Moderating a Sleepaway Camp reunion

BBQ: What's been the hardest hurdle as not just a webmaster, but a fan of the series?
Jeff: Financing!!!! If it were easier to find investors, we'd probably have atleast 2 other SC movies out right now. We have been working on ideas for years and have some really good ones that we'd love to share with movie fans across the world. Unfortunately, financing is the hardest part of the whole proccess.

BBQ: Any final words to the fans of the series and the readers of your site?
Jeff: Thank you to all the many fans of the movies and the website for helping to keep this campfire lit. We hope to bring you more... OHH, and I also wanted to make everyone aware that the version of "JUDY" that appears on the SC BLU RAY was accidentally encoded incorrectly by Scream Factory (this makes it look like there is ghosting or artifacting in the video at times)...However, the good news is, that it appears correctly on the DVD that comes in the Blu Ray/DVD combo pack. So make sure you watch the DVD version when watching JUDY...that's the proper cut. Enjoy seeing Karen Fields playing JUDY 30 years later with the same expressions and swagger as she had playing JUDY 30 years ago!You can watch the trailer here!




Thank you Jeff for your time! And for those who need a Sleepaway Camp fix, head over to http://www.sleepawaycampmovies.com  today!

-Chad

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