What is “camp”? Here’s a hint: it’s not just that torturous place your parents sent you for a couple of weeks during the summer break. No, there’s another meaning for “camp,” as I’m sure all you gentle readers know. Camp is over-the-top; camp is wild, wacky, and fabulous; and, in my humble opinion, camp is art – and it’s not limited to just one medium. Film, theatre, television, fashion – all these (and so much more) can be campy. For this recurring column, however, I’m going to primarily be focusing on film and television campiness.
Some films are campy because they are so wonderful and stylistically fantastic – like Auntie Mame, The Women, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Other films are campy because they are so wonderfully bad – like Mommie Dearest, Valley of the Dolls, and Showgirls – and therefore are equally fabulous to watch. Either way, I think everyone needs a good little dose of camp from time to time, and what better way to get it than from me, Pop Tarts! Trust me, I know ‘camp’ when I see it. So without further ado, I give you the first installment of my “Camp Clip of the Week”!
To begin this weekly feature, I’m starting with one of the campiest films ever to hit the silver screen – Valley of the Dolls. This clip is actually the trailer for the 1967 film, which was based on the best-selling novel by Jacqueline Susann. I chose the trailer because it features some of the best moments, and it’s also interesting to see how trailers have changed over the past forty-plus years. This film is “camp gold,” with all its scenery-chewing, catfighting, pill-popping realness. If you’ve never seen the film, you must; if you have, it just gets better with each viewing. I never tire of hearing “Sparkle, Neely, sparkle.” Enjoy, Pop Tarts, and remember…always go for the wig in a catfight.