November Special: In Defense Of Bad Movies

junkyardarts November 1, 2011 2
November Special: In Defense Of Bad Movies

Hello.  My name is Lauren, and I love bad movies.

I can’t help it.  I really enjoy some shittyass flicks.  I love to hate on them, but I also can’t stop watching them no matter how terrible I can acknowledge they are.

I’ve seen Avatar well over 20 times.  Intentionally.  And that is a horrendously written movie ripped from every “white people in a new land” story with “magical natives” and against all intents and purposes manages to be xenophobic.  Not to mention, Sexy Blue Cat People.

Sexy Blue Fucking Cat People that everyone seems to think were the imaginings of some visionary art director when in reality the SBCP meme has been around as long as Cosplay and Hentai has been in existence.  Which is since Manga animators have envisioned every sexy female character to have kitty ears and a giant furry vagina.  Which is to say a helluva lot longer than James Cameron would like you to believe.

That’s just one of the reasons that movie is so bad.  And yet I quote it frequently.  And I continue to choose it on my HBO OnDemand!  I can’t stop! Though I’m happy I’m not alone in my fascination with the badness of this movie.

And what about Twilight?  I love to hate on Twilight. Love it. Between bedazzled vampires to Bella being physically incapable of shutting her mouth to the sexy werewolf’s smushed up face – I constantly have a craving to watch it.  I know the story is terrible and patronizing and contrary to everything anyone who loves horror movies understanding of vampires.

But I can’t stop myself.  I can’t fight the feeling.  I love watching bad movies.  But I don’t know why.  I’m even pathetically excited about the latest Twilight coming out…as in, I’m probably going to marathon all the previous pieces of shit before actually heading to the theatre and seeing a vamp/human screw-scene after spending too much money on popcorn, Coke and tickets I had to buy my friends because they wouldn’t come with me any other way.

Maybe because there is something soothing about watching a movie make all the wrong moves, and being able to acknowledge that.  Having a greater understanding of the culture in which the story came from than the directors and producers themselves.  To watch bad acting go unpunished would be a crime, no?

So maybe loving bad movies is purely a narcisitic endeavor.  And I’m an asshole for ruining everyone else’s joy in such cinematic dreg.  Pointing out why things are absurd.  Or unbelievable. Or wrong. But I mean…what if it needs to be pointed out!?

But then again, I also love Showgirls and there is no harm  pointing out all the shit that runs afoul in that blip of celluloid brilliance.  Everyone knows how bad it is.  If one is to watch the Deluxe Edition, you will find your deeply held convictions validated by the narrator of the Commentary version.  From whether or not ‘Nomi’ is spelled with a ‘G’, to why she literally thrashes her way out of every room she finds herself in, Showgirls is a rare gem of a bad film.

BITCH.

But even for me, there are movies I can’t watch due to badness.  Transformers, for one.  Which seems odd, because generally I can sit through any terrible action movie, but this was too much.  Maybe the bastardization of a childhood favorite?  But more likely the terrible racial and sexist stereotypes and harsh contrast and filters used to make everyone on the screen host a crackled, burnt orange glow.

At one point, I even got up to do the dishes because the movie was taking too long.  I mean, what does that say about me?  That I’ll watch Avatar a million times, I own a Deluxe Edition of Showgirls and yet I wash dishes during Transformers?

AND!  What’s worse is that I saw Transformers III in 3D in the theatre!

I certainly did not not enjoy it, or why would I have even gone?  I must have known I would revel in the badness.  And naturally, I did.  But why?

Aside from the narcissistic reasons, which I think are pretty obvious, there is also the ease of watching something that you don’t have to think about very deeply.  Sometimes, a girl just needs to  watch some smut, you know?  I need to read some smut, I need to watch some smut and I even listen to some smut.

And when it comes to bad movies, I think the trashier the better.  Generally speaking, I’ll watch anything with an R rating, nudity, violence and action.  Which explains to so many my love affair with Sylvester Stallone…and perhaps to others, just brings up more questions.

I am a discerning bad movie watcher though.  I can’t do those shitty fat-guy comedies that barely earn the title.  Zookeeper?  I dare say, any of the recent Adam Sandler movies?  Anything Vince Vaughn has crapped out the last 5 years?  It’s all garbage so bad even I won’t watch it.  And I’ve seen Avatar over 20 times.  Those movies are just uninspired smashed bags of assholes aimed at the lowest common denominator and full of actors who previously boasted successful careers.  So not only are they terribly written, but they are sad to boot.

So sometimes I guess movies are so bad, they’re good, and so bad that they’re just bad.  Not that I should judge anyone who actually enjoys the aforementioned movies on their own merits, but I will.  Because I’m a judge-y bitch.  And because they are terrible movies that shouldn’t be enjoyed without acknowledging the absurdity of their existence.

It boils down to this: it’s escapism, pure and simple.  And escapism through terrible means.  Sure I can get it through good films, but when there are so few of those, one must find solace in something much more prevalent.  And so, bad movies are it.

And if you can find the joy in the bad, the good seems that much better.

2 Comments »

  1. Kevin November 19, 2011 at 2:23 am -

    Lauren. I hate to say it, but I had a hand in every single Transformers movie. I’m not proud of it, but it was good work. Forgive me? Love that you are still about art in every way.

    Kevin Stermer

  2. junkyardarts November 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm -

    holyshit. First: blast from the past, or what Kevin? Second: I can forgive you…like I said…I paid to see the third one so who and I kidding?

    I love that you love that I love bad movies. And I’m pretty sure along the way, we’ve even had this discussion before…in fact, I can pretty much guarantee it.