The Bad Movieon June 7, 2010 at 2:21 am
Studying film in college we were constantly subjected to important cinema. Movies which either helped establish production norms or predicated stylistic moments within the medium. They were important as they were exhausting. With a cosmetology so often inaccessible, I was typically left wondering, what would Cecil B. Demille have done with a talent like Dolph Lundgren? What would Orson Wells have done with a killer turkey?
I was never one to question whether or not bad movies had a place in the world. Some of my fondest memories from adolescence are the nights sitting around with my friends watching scene after scene of questionable value and quality. A zombie loses an arm. A down and out cop gets called “loose cannon”. A girl takes her top off, only after discovering the thespian limitations of looking like a Mexican Cybill Shepherd. Usually we would file into a mom and pop video store, already having established the criteria of our pending movie selection during the drive over. Somewhere on a dilapidated VHS cardboard casing we would be required to find three words. Gory. Mutated. Sexy. This procedure most likely lead to my name being placed in a secret government file for “at watch” citizens. Sometime in the future I could easily be called in for questioning just for having rented “L.A. Blood Bath” and “Gore Whore” in the same night in 1997.
Had we watched movies of actual substance the events would have been far less memorable. It was a joyful, social event. I can’t remember a single part of a night watching “The Shawshank Redemption”, but I sure can remember a vampire hooker violently chomping down on one of her Johns and prompting my friend Daniel to quote the Owl from the Tootsie Pop commercial. Beyond this, after studying film, and trying to make film, there is something inspiring about the bad movie, much more so than acclaimed cinema. The thought of “this killer turkey thing actually got financial backing” would even give confidence to an aspiring writer with 98 pages of boogers.
In short, “Citizen Kane” is an important film. But, in it’s own special way, so is “Thankskilling”.