Bruce Springsteen is a very successful musician. He has great hair, he has lots of hits, and he will always be kind of hot. He is an American artistic icon. So is his sister. Kind of? She’s an American cult icon whose “career” is owed to her much more successful brother.
Hey: spoilers ahead. Just so you know. Watch the original Sleepaway Camp before you go any further.
The movies that she has become known for in the cult world—a fact that she was 1000% unaware of while making them—was her entry into The Sleepaway Camp series. She took on the role as the very contemporary, very poorly handled queer character Angela Baker. Yes, Bruce Springsteen’s sister played the main villain of the horror masterpiece Sleepaway Camp two times. You probably didn’t know there were sequels! There were four other films in the totality of the series and Springsteen plays Baker for half of them.
The funny thing? The assumedly straight / cis “new” direction of the film ignored the amazing conclusion to the original film, where Baker is revealed to be transgender. They don’t even talk about it! She is just an “crazy counselor” who has a secret but there is no forward mention of the character’s shocking history.
It is incredibly problematic that the “iconic” villain of these films is queer and kills because she is an outsider—but it’s also super badass. That’s why it’s so disappointing that the new Baker in Unhappy Campers and Teenage Wasteland are such a bummer. It’s just any other horror movie! This time a D level version of a famous celebrity is included, Pamela Springsteen. I wonder if she actually asked for them to take out any mentioning of her character’s gender bent past? Were they hoping to use the movies as a vehicle for Springsteen’s horror career?
The best part about all of this is that in the first film Springsteen appears in she actually does look like a kid, an appropriate young actor matched to the role of high school aged camp counselor. In the second film, part three in the franchise? Springsteen could easily be mistaken for a mom masquerading as a teenager. It’s ridiculous. Is it as ridiculous as a teen at a camp killing just to kill? No, not at all. As ridiculous as a girl dying by being dropped from a god damned flagpole? No. Nothing is more ridiculous than that.
Pamela Springsteen has obviously had a crazy acting career. It’s so crazy that she abandoned it all for photography. Well, sorry Pamela: you were just “Born To Run” away from Hollywood (Srry.) but you cannot escape the onscreen deaths at your hands. Do not be ashamed, girl. You are a queer anti-queer icon! Sleep tight this Halloween. Don’t let questions of gender or identity in film keep you up at night.