The Huddle: Favorite Campy Films and TV Shows


Inspired by the camptastic Kittens in a Cage and the announcement that there will be a new Pee-Wee Herman film, what are your favorite campy films or TV shows?

Lucy Hallowell: The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. The TV show went in a whole different direction but I had a massive, massive crush on Kristy Swanson as Buffy and you have to love future two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank saying, “Get out of my facial.”


Grace ChuRocky Horror Picture Show! I love how it is an interactive experience. I tend to fall asleep at films and shows, because normally, the act of watching them is so passive, but Rocky Horror makes the audience part of the production. Plus, you can be as weird and loud as you want to be, because everyone around you is even weirder and louder. Fun fact: My senior prom date played Rocky in the Raleigh, NC production.
Anna Pulley: Buffy and Glee! The Buffy musical episode is the finest piece of entertainment ever created. It should be our national anthem.
Bridget McManus: I am obsessed with the camptastic 1987 comedy Overboard starring the delightful Goldie Hawn. It is absolutely ridiculous and I’ve probably watched it 200 times. 
Lindsay Hicks: Bring It On and Showgirls made me who I am today. Every time I close my eyes, that’s what is playing. 
Dara Nai: Are you kidding me right now? Nothing beats the camptastic tour de force that is Showgirls. This one has it all. Lap dances, fake volcanoes, ice cube nipples, monkeys, topless frienemies, cocaine and dresses from Ver-sayce. Not enough for you? How about Gina Gershon smirking her heart out through lines like “I like nice tits. I always have. How about you?” and trying to seduce Elizabeth Berkley when she’s not trying to kill her? And what about Elizabeth Berkley? She leaves it all on the field whether she’s pounding her fists on the nearest car for no reason whatsoever, or throwing a french fry shit fit when innocently asked, “Where are you from?”
Valerie Anne: “Campy” is one of my favorite genres. I agree with aforementioned Buffy musical episode, original movie, Rocky Horror, Glee, but I also have to give a shoutout to Grease 2. With songs like “Reproduction” and “Cool Rider,” it is guaranteed to bring endless joy for decades to come. My most recently discovered campy movie is the wonderfully over-the-top and delightfully queer All Cheerleaders Die, starring the fabulous Caitlin Stasey
Ali Davis: Conan the Destroyer. No, not the original. The sequel. The one with Grace Jones. It’s been on my DVR for years, actual years, and it brings me joy every time I fire it up again. I love it so much.
Elaine Atwell: People always think I’m joking when I say Tank Girl is one of my top five favorite movies of all time. But I am deadly fucking serious. Lori Petty just ricochets across the screen like a human bouncy ball of humor and fire and a sexuality performed for no one’s benefit but her own.  There is a surprise musical number, as all great films must have.  It is also one of the queerest movies ever made; I’m convinced Tank Girl’s boyfriend was added in post-production.
Chloe: She’s All That: Taught me everything I know about Freddy Prince Jr and love. Bedazzled: MASSIVELY UNDERRATED. Legit one of my favorite movies, a VHS I constantly checked out from Blockbuster. But I’m a Cheerleader: Obviously. The Lizzie McGuire Movie: THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. 
Kim Hoffman: Movies: Heathers, Troop Beverly Hills, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Teen Witch, Welcome to the Dollhouse. TV: Shelly Duvall‘s Faerie Tale Theatre.
Eboni Rafus: What you gals are calling “camp,” I just call every day entertainment. I co-sign Camp, But I’m a Cheerleader, Buffy and Teen Witch and raise you The Worst Witch with Tim Curry, Charlotte Rae, and Fairuza Balk. The Worst Witch is the O.G. Harry Potter. It was a book series, then a TV movie and later a TV series with two spin-offs! It is so deliciously campy that I watch it every Halloween. I mean, have you seen Tim Curry perform “Anything Can Happen on Halloween”? It’s amazing.

Chelsea Steiner: Jada Pinkett-Smith is camping the crap out of Gotham, evoking the campiness of the classic Adam West series. Bring on the shark repellent! Also, who could forget the modern classic Burlesque aka 90 minutes of Christina Aguilera putting on a bowler hat in slow motion? Watching her face off with Cher in this absurd movie is pretty delightful. 

Trish Bendix: OK I love campy shit (even the movie Camp, with all the terrible acting from theater kids and Anna Kendrick slaying and that bitch doing Turkey Lurky.) But my choice is Teen Witch. It was my absolute favorite movie growing up and I can still sing all of the songs and will never not want all of Louise’s outfits, despite them being so outdated and uncool in 2015. I totally shipped Louise and Polly after Polly got her “Top That” swag on, too.
Dana Piccoli: I can’t believe no one has mentioned the King of Camp, John Waters yet. I do love his campy classics. However, my vote for favorite campy flick is Bitchslap. It’s so self aware and still it goes full tilt into crazy camp. The fight scenes are epically long and ridiculous, and you can say the same for the love scenes.
What’s your favorite campy film for TV show?

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