Must-Watch Camp Films This Pride Month
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

Must-Watch Camp Films This Pride Month

Jessica Hamilton June 13, 2022

Camp is a term that has long been associated with queer culture. In 1908, the Oxford English Dictionary defined the word as ‘ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical’. And if not directly linked to homosexual behaviour, the definition was strongly associated with it. Since then the queer community has embraced the art form. 

What is Camp? 

Susan Sontag in her ‘Notes on Camp’ distinguished the difference between ‘naïve’ and ‘deliberate’ camp. She elaborates stating ‘camp which knows itself to be camp is usually less satisfying’. The unintentional theatrics and extravagance of many Hollywood films have proven themselves to be ‘camp’. They’re usually dismissed by critics but claimed by queer audiences. These films, which otherwise may have lost their relevance are beloved by the LGBT community, and turned into timeless staples. 

Camp has made itself known in recent years. The 2019 Met Gala saw celebrities such as Lady Gaga perfectly executing the theme. Whilst other celebrities such as Karlie Kloss missing the mark. Kloss revealed an underwhelming outfit after building anticipation in her tweet: ‘looking camp right in the eye’. Though the outfit wasn’t exactly camp, the naivety of Kloss and overwhelming queer response to her proved itself to be. 

To better understand ‘camp’ we can look at the films in the genre. As a way to honour pride month and queer culture, here are some must-watch camp films.

Death Becomes Her 

Starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, Death Becomes Her combines all of camp’s best elements. Two rival actresses desperately seeking eternal youth and status turn to black magic. As you would expect, their vain attempt quickly brings consequences. The plot is ridiculously flamboyant and overly dramatic.

First Wives Club 

Elise (Goldie Hawn), Annie (Diane Keaton) and Brenda (Bette Midler) reunite following the suicide of an old university friend. The death prompts them to reevaluate their lives, and after catching up on many lost years, the women join forces to avenge their cheating husbands. Their elaborate efforts and independent-woman attitude has appealed to queer audiences everywhere. Nobody can resist three iconic actresses belting Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’.

Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images


Jane Fonda stars as a 41st century astronaut in Vadrim’s absurd sci-fi film. The 1960’s futuristic outfits and visual effects amplify its camp nature. The frequent sex references and explicit scenes turned fonda into a sex symbol of the 70’s.  Barbarella’s nonsensical plot has made it a camp classic. 

Photo by LMPC via Getty Images

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 

The Rocky Horror picture show is a cult-classic, its cultural impact is even harder to explain than the plot. Fans love the film for its weird characters, wacky songs and eccentric costumes. It’s brought pure joy to audiences for nearly 5 decades. 

Mommie Dearest

Mommie Dearest is a biographical film between the relationship of Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother, Joan Crawford. The film is based on Christina’s memoir and exposé of her mother’s abusive behaviour. Yet fans aren’t sure if the film is a parody of events rather than a serious adaptation. The character of Joan Crawford is grossly dramatic, unhinged and glamorous. Her over-acting and exaggerated delivery fascinates queer audiences. 

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Jessica Hamilton is a freelance writer for HITC entertainment and has contributed to several sights across GRV media. She is currently on the MA journalism course at Kingston University and is working towards the NCTJ gold standard diploma which she will receive in April. Jessica has had years of experience writing and, like any young journalist, is keen to gain more. Currently residing in London, she is the editor of the Kingston Courier and has even court-reported at the Old Bailey.