The bad movie aesthetic

from: G-Head One

First of all, why would I call these movies "bad?" What "aesthetic?" Are these even "movies?" I have no answers here, except that if I continue to use quotation marks in this way, I'll be "doing" it for every "other" word or "so." More importantly, to quote Frank Zappa, who gives a fuck, anyway?<p> (I don't remember if HTML breaks work here. Bear with me.)<p> There's something about so-called bad movies that has always appealed to me. I don't mean big, lavish, studio faliures, like "Waterworld," "Gigli," or the fake "Godzilla." I mean movies with titles like "Hell Night," "Nail Gun Massacre," and "Terror Firmer." I'm talking about B-flicks, or what the uninitiated refer to as "B-rated movies."<p> Was there ever an MPAA rating of "B?" No. For that reason, among others, the phrase "B-rated" has always struck me as elitist. It's as if some governing body watches "King Kong" and gives it an A, long after they gave "Meet the Feebles" a B. Both films were made by Peter Jackson, but the average filmgoer won't bother to see his older work. The same goes for George Romero, who had a modest hit with "Land of the Dead" recently, but won't likely find that audience trying to track down the elusive three-hour cut of "Martin." To a mainstream audience, slick-looking movies get an A, and anything else gets a B. These are the cats who are occasionally heard actually saying things like, "Let's make it a Blockbuster Night (TM)" on weekends. (Weekdays are usually reserved for catch phrases like, "You are the weakest link," or "Whazzap!" In other words, we're talking about the average dumb shit who, as Bill Hicks said, buys a product SPECIFICALLY because a favorite celebrity endorses it.)<p> (Yes, these are matters of taste, and ultimately don't matter all that much. But it's fun to make fun. You can make fun of me for not knowing how to do proper paragraph breaks in this program.)<p> To me, the B-movie aesthetic ties in to the current "reality" craze in television and cinema. "Reality-based" (formerly, "documentary-style") is what a lot of famous filmmakers go for now. Steven Soderbergh goes further in that direction with every other movie, from "Traffic" to "Bubble." But movies like Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left" and John McNaughton's "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" emphasized dirt and grime long before Hollywood caught on. They had no choice: their movies cost five cents to make.<p> There is a genuinely kickass feel to a good B-movie that no mainstream flick can touch. Even lame attempts at filmmaking from the low-budget sector (and there are plenty) are, to me, more entertaining than something like "Walk the Line" or "Cinderella Man." There are still good, mainstream Hollywood movies here and there, but I'm simply more entertained by stuff that rises from little pockets all over the world. In that sense, every B-movie is almost like a weird little documentary. You had no idea these hammy non-actors even existed until you saw them on your tee-vee. Meanwhile, you already know who Colin Farrell is, for better or - likely - worse.<p> Stars don't do it for me anymore. Weirdos performing for a cheap camera are more interesting and inspiring, and always have been. I'll stack the John Waters or Giuseppe Andrews ensembles against the cast of "The Big Chill" any fucking day.<p>



21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 X 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1