Topic: Bad Movies And the Fiends that Love Them
By: Gorehound Mike Vaughn
With the already worn out third film in the "Sharknado" series It got me thinking about the nature of bad movies and why they some find a hardcore fan base.
While pondering the subject one film "mistaker" leaps to mind. Edward D. Wood Jr. Years before Tim Burton made "Ed Wood" the Oscar winning bio pic,the cross dressing film maker had already achieved a huge cult following and even his stock players gained some measure of pseudo celebrity.I had the pleasure of meeting Conrad Brooks the last surviving member of Woods stock players, he is quiet a character. But why do fans flock over his badly made epics. There is even a official religion for Ed Wood (seriously...I wish I were making this up.)
So Bad there Good: Ed Wood would fall into this category. Obviously Wood had not the money or the skill to make it in main stream Hollywood but the irony here is that his films are more well known today than a lot of so called "main stream" films made by big studios. At the time Ed Wood was making his opuses a lot of money was spent to fulfill the booming Drive In market in the 1950s. What set these apart from Woods movies was his love of making films. He never saw them as trash but as cinematic treasures. I think it comes a crossed and honestly I`d rather watch "Plan Nine From Outer space" over a Michael Bay film any day. I know a lot of people that refuse to think of Ed Wood movies as being bad and indeed while they have glaring problems they have a certain broken down charm with subjects that are interesting and in some cases even ahead of there time. But yes they are bad...
I confess I am a huge fan of "The Room" one of the greatest bad movies that could even give Wood a run for his money. Film maker and self confessed vampire Tommy Wiseau wrote directed produced and starred in this epic disaster piece and like Ed Wood put a lot of effort (misguided it may be) and love into what he considered a serious drama. However its a massively insane and funny film and through word of mouth has gained a following- there is even a "making of" film starring James Franco as Wiseau in the works. If you haven't seen "The Room" its pure insane fun and will leave you and your friends in stitches. Also like Wood you can feel a sincerity in his work and even when it fails (and boy does it) it doesn't feel like were watching some cooperation selling merchandise or a director bending over for Hollywood.
Camp And Counter Culture: Another reason why Wood and other films like "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" is the sheer camp factor. I mean we can't help but be entertained by shitty editing, goofy lines and acting as wooden as the cheap sets. The height of the hippie counter culture embraced these films and saw something in them (while mostly high) and like lore of days gone by passed them on to a new audience.With the sleeper success of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" Paramount tried to turn "Mommie Dearest" into a midnight film and it failed. Roger Corman The King of the B's once said (and i`m paraphrasing) "you cant make a cult film the audience has to make it one." So genuine love of film making isn't enough, its up to you, yes you the audience to resurrect a film or leave it in cinema no mans land.
Final Thoughts: As per the above statement it leaves me wondering the following: Will these films that are cashing in on the "so bad its good" trend be remembered like say "Bride of the Monster" or "The Room"? Again that's impossible to predict as its up to the audience to either embrace a film or leave it to cinematic no mans land.
Bad Movie Lovers: Here is a small list of Trashertenment *Warning may cause blindness, madness and seat wetting.
The Ghastly Ones (Or ANYTHING Andy Milligan, seriously its like Ed Wood/John Waters H.G Lewis Hybrid.)
Glen or Glenda
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
Bare Behind Bars
The Sinful Dwarf