*This entire post is my caveat to that statement.
This is a fitting first post for 2013, my watching and reading lists of 2012 are posted on Tumblr and the other day I posted a few tweets back-to-back on why I hoped a movie called Cooties will be 'delightfully bad'. I've recently started reading Nathan Rabin's My Year of Flops the printed version, where he talks about if critically panned movies are really bad or if they were maybe a secret gem. I haven't seen many of the movies he's discussing but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy and appreciate what he's doing in this book.
I think about my love and obsession with movies, even when I don't always debate and argue them and talk about their worth and value. I will. I mean, I have a blog where the sole purpose of it was so I'd have somewhere to be obsessive about movies and review them and postulate what-ifs and write about imaginary casts that wasn't my main blog. It's been quiet for a while, I haven't seen too many things where I felt the immediate need to write about it. Or I haven't had the time and whatever other terrible excuse I have for not writing about movies and television I like. But I do, I love most movies I see. I love the weird things, I love the bad acting, I love how silly things are, I love the unrealistic drama and I love criticizing the overreactions. I compare how I'd act in a depressing dramatic scene and I enjoy doing these things.
I also love bad movies. I love the no budget big monster movies of the 40s and 50s. I love the weird little indie skits posted on YouTube, filmed in personal apartments where costumes are the actors clothes and the effects could be better. I love the men in rubber suits as aliens and monsters. I love seeing where the wire it attached to the actor and how they're flying, awkwardly fulcrumed at their waist. I love it so much. I also love critical darlings, I love the things audiences rave about and (well, not always) and I love the award winners. I'm in it for the drama and the suspense. Even when i can predict how a movie will go based on genre, I still love it. Even when I want to punch a character for being an idiot, I find things to love.
At it's core it's an escapist fantasy. Movies are a way to explore a world a bit different from the one we live in and I like to believe in that dream.
I think about the things I like about 'bad' movies and it's not just that it's bad. It's that it tried. It tried and it failed but it has heart. In every bad line delivery and every weird cut, there was someone working on this movie that loved it and believed in what it could be. Any time an actor changes because they got mad at every else, or they realized what they were in was terrible, I love that the creator decided that the film has to be finished and released. The crew on the side of the frame and in reflections, the robot effect that failed and was still used. It's the creative dream and vision. The passion that drove that creator to bankruptcy and infamy sometimes. I also love the spirit, usually the sets sound like they were fun as everything was ridiculous and it was an experience for all involved. It's more than just putting a narrative together to share, it's expression without pretension and the drive to create even if it's not ultimately what you envisioned and it's what you desired. It's the heart of it. Someone believed in it and not just because of the money, they believed in something else.
When I say i hope that something is delightfully awful, the premise sounds ridiculous and that there's no way this movie could be good but it also seems so ridiculous it has to be fun to watch. It's a movie to get drunk to, to watch with friends on a Friday night and yell at a the screen and laughing at the characters. I'm not laughing at someone's dream, I'm enjoying it so much I have to laugh in general. It becomes more than a movie, it becomes a shared experience, in-jokes and quoted monologues.