The Campiest Camp in the Camp!

Pop yer tent and gather 'round - this is the place to post your favorite campy examples of anything that tries to take itself seriously and fails miserably, but hilariously, at it!


The books weren’t campy. They weren’t even as bad as the critics would lead one to believe - the dialogue and descriptions are really good. But “The Love Machine”…zomg, it’s…I mean, you have some really great actors playing straight with a fucked-up adaptation - that’s dark camp, truly.

I’m not so sure about “Once is not Enough”, another crappy adaptation. A lot of the camp in these movies made from Jackie’s books comes from the fact that they couldn’t show and/or talk about people and subjects that are discussed now.




Oh yes! But with Russ Meyer, sometimes one can’t tell if he’s doing it on purpose on not. That’s why “Beyond the Valley of Dolls” is not as campy. I mean, it’s a 20thCenturyFox studio film and when one of the characters is decapitated, the studio’s THEME MUSIC is played!


Plus Roger Ebert co-wrote the screenplay


But he was much younger, and trying to break into the whole movie scene. He and Meyers were working from their concept of what Hollywood was like according to what they read in the papers - not what actually was going on.

I’m friends on FB with John LaZar and Dolly Read Martin, and they’re just really cool. Their commentary on the Criterion Collection release is just great, and so are the extras that come with it.


They asked at Syracuse if Meyer’s use of the Fox trademark music was a put-down of the studio system. Meyer’s motive was much more basic: By using the music, he hoped to establish a satiric tone to the scene that would moderate the effect of the beheading and help protect against an X rating.

(Ebert wrote the original piece for Film Comment and stresses that it is not a review.)


Or is this kitsch?

Looks kitschy to me. But my definition of camp is that no one involved is trying to be funny on purpose, not a one of them is in on the joke! The above seems more kitsch than camp to me.

Like in “Airplane”. In one of the interviews with the cast members, Robert Stack said that some of his fellow actors didn’t get the script; if it was s’posed to be a comedy, why didn’t they have to play it goofy? I think Lloyd Bridges was confused at first, as well as Peter Graves (though I’m not sure about the latter).

Have you ever seen “School, Girls, and You”? Now that’s kitsch blended with parody and satire (at least to me it is).


I have seen this and came this close to referencing Ray Dennis Steckler.
I told my spouse about this film, and that it was available for rent at our local video store (of course this was ages ago). He said “What are you waiting for? We must watch this!”

After viewing: “Man, that was bad. Hoo-ee. It stunk. Why did you make me watch this?”


Like Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room”?

This is “parody+satire+kitsch” and belongs more with Random Silly Grins:


There are also films that were hits when they were first released, but in later years seemed like folks were trying too hard. The non-stage-show parts of “This is the Army” (1944, WB) is a good example of that. And even though WB apologizes for the blackface scenes before the film starts, it doesn’t apologize for the appalling portrayals of women, both Black and white.

Most blackface was racist but there’s some evidence as to it being tribute, not mockery. I’ve read about white performers who did blackface but were appreciated as performers by Blacks. Like Al Jolson. And Eleanor Powell, who performed in blackface AND male drag to do Bill Robinson’s staircase dance - which he taught her personally. And that was in 1939.

But this shit is cringy-funny. I mean, the costumes were…colorful?

There are other drag scenes in the movie. I just wonder why the fucking Army didn’t use women in these things. And this is all based on reality? Eeuwwww!