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Sleepaway Camp by BJ and Harmony Colangelo

Sleepaway Camp by BJ and Harmony Colangelo

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Initially considered "just another slasher film" during its 1983 release, Sleepaway Camp has since emerged as a cult classic due to its talented young cast, remarkable practical effects, and notorious ending. But although the queer themes explored in its memorable final moments were initially intended to shock and unsettle audiences, Sleepaway Camp's empathetic portrayal of its unlikely killer sets it apart from other "trans panic" films of its time. 

Together, BJ & Harmony Colangelo assess where Sleepaway Camp falls in the slasher canon and do a deep dive on the film's themes and legacy, exploring how changing attitudes towards the LGBT community has led to both a reclamation and necessary critique of the film by modern audiences. 

Sleepaway Camp's divisive reputation has inspired a decades-long debate that changes alongside the attitudes and culture of its viewers. Through historical context, personal memoir, and film history, the Wives Colangelo explain what's kept audiences talking about Angela Baker and Camp Arawak after all these years. 

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Ebooks are available in EPUB and PDF formats.

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  • "The history of horror cinema is the history of provocation, and yet for even the most determined genre critic Sleepaway Camp is one movie frequently condemned to the 'too hard' basket. Individually, BJ and Harmony Colangelo are profound and concise thinkers, but together in their co-authored book on this movie they are nothing less than formidable. As smart as it is kind, this is the book they were meant to write. We are lucky to have it — and them."

    — Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, film critic & columnist at Fangoria 
Photo of authors BJ and Harmony Colangelo

BJ and Harmony Colangelo are writers and film analysts from Los Angeles by way of Cleveland, Ohio. Their work, individually and collectively, has been published in Fangoria magazine, The AV Club,, Autostraddle, Vulture, Shudder, Bloody Disgusting, Daily Dead, Dread Central, Certified Forgotten, /Film, and The Daily Dot. BJ has been featured in the books Hidden Horror 101, When Animals Attack, Evil Seeds, and Creepy Bitches, while Harmony is the author of the book A Year of Queer Cocktails. BJ has also been featured as a panelist on El Rey Network's "Top 5," and spoke at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 on the "Queer Fear" legacy panel discussion of LGBTQ+ themes in horror. The wives host the popular podcast This Ends At Prom, which analyzes coming-of-age themes for young women across all film genres, and can both be seen in the Queer for Fear documentary series on Shudder.