Oh my god, she’s a boy! The online afterlife of Sleepaway Camp (1983, Robert Hiltzik)

University essay from Lunds universitet/Filmvetenskap

Abstract: This study aims to examine the online afterlife of the slasher film Sleepaway Camp (1983, Robert Hiltzik) and how this afterlife relates to the queer elements in the film and its role as a cult film. By combining analytical perspectives and tools deriving from film studies and media studies, through applying film analysis as a method and using a netnographic approach, the fields complement each other without cancelling each other out. The material gathered was then analyzed according to John Fiske’s theory of primary, secondary and tertiary texts. Certain patterns were distinguished from the material, and the study showed that the film was highly associated with cult culture and LGBTQ rights or cultures. The film could be activated in various ways by the secondary and tertiary texts, and the meaning of the film can be detected in the tertiary texts. In the light of the positive climate that internet is for marginalized groups such as LGBTQ people and cult culture, it is also a fruitful climate for discussion regarding these subjects. This has been highly important in the afterlife of Sleepaway Camp.

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