Is It Camp?

What is Camp?

No one says the word 'camp' anymore. Even 90-year-old queens don’t say that. Even if we’re sitting under a Tiffany lampshade. Maybe even at the last meeting of the Rita Hayworth fan club. People don’t know what it is. To me, camp was a secret word that gay people used and Susan Sontag exposed it in a great, great way. But then it was done. Once the secret was out, it was over. I mean, what is camp today? Is there a movie out now that’s so bad it’s great? Maybe not, because everybody is in on it. It’s not accidental.

- John Waters

Camp is defined as "something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing". The term originated in the early 20th century in regards to exaggerated or theatrical behavior. Later, in the early 70's, camp became popular in it's own right. Around that time American writer Susan Sontage also wrote her first published essay, "Notes on Camp".

Sontag was a famous essayist who covered topics ranging from film, literature, policitcs, and philosophy. She structured "Notes on Camp" in a series of numbered snippets of her thoughts on what made something camp, what the appeal of camp was, and what the future of camp might be.

This site takes all of descriptions Sontag makes about what makes something camp, phrases them as simple yes or no questions, and calculates a score based off those answers. After going through and answering the questions, you can finally find out how campy the movies you love are, according to Susan Sontag at least.