4 Reasons Why Bad Movies Are So Much Fun
I’m sure no one wants their movie to be labeled bad. Hearing someone proclaim a movie the worst isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement…unless you have a soft spot for bad movies. Which I do. A steady diet of schlock would eventually drive me crazy, but occasionally I just want to watch something cheesy and over the top (sometimes literally because Over the Top is an excellent bad movie). Besides, if a movie attains a certain level of badness it can actually become good in its own, completely terrible way.
Bad movies can unite people just like great movies can. Just look at all of those rambunctious screenings of movies like Showgirls. Whether you mock them or revere them, sometimes there’s nothing more fun than watching a bad movie and while I have lots of theories on why that is, I’ve managed to narrow my list down to four.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 took the simple concept of mocking bad movies and turned it into an art form. But that doesn’t mean the do it yourself method is any less entertaining. I grew up with an older brother who was particularly adept at joking his way through cheesefests, so keeping a running commentary of awfulness was a regular event in my house when I was growing up.
Not only does it help you get through the weirdness with your sanity in tact (just try and watch Manos: The Hands of Fate without cracking a joke, your brain will start rebelling within the first five minutes), it also allows you to show off your wittiness, and hey, if your jokes are more corny than they are witty, you can always pass them off as meta inspired by the corniness on screen.
The most memorable movie lines are supposed to be the ones that are well-crafted, but outlandish, unintentionally funny lines have the same effect. One of my all time favorite lines of dialogue comes from the truly dreadful romantic comedy, Because I Said So. At the end of the movie the guy in love with Mandy Moore shows up at the cooking class she’s teaching to declare his love for her. He does this by telling her all of the things he loves about her including this gem: “I love that when I breathe you in, you smell like cake batter.”
That line was funny for many reasons, but what really made it stand out was that she was cooking tuna casserole at the time. I remember nothing else about that movie, but I’m fairly certain that is the greatest line of dialogue in film history. I’m also fairly certain that I would never want to eat a cake that guy baked.
No matter how talented an actor is they have at least one embarrassing movie on their resume. It might be a big budget disaster, an ill-conceived indie film they hope no one ever digs up or, my favorite, a direct-to-DVD sci-fi movie that involves them fighting fire-breathing dragons, space-invading aliens and a giant sea creature all while saving the world from an errant asteroid headed straight for Earth. (I just made that description up, but it’s probably the plot of a Syfy movie of the week and if it’s not, it definitely should be.) Whichever brand of terrible movie it is, watching it will only make you love the actor more.
It’s comforting to see someone talented make something terrible. It makes them seem more human and it’s nice to know everyone has embarrassing jobs in their past, even Brad Pitt. My current favorite bad movie starring an actor I love is Josh Holloway’s Whisper. It also stars Dulé Hill and Sarah Wayne Callies, making it a great movie for TV junkies. It’s a film that dares to ask the question, what would happen if someone kidnapped that kid from The Omen? If you answered nothing good then you are absolutely right. But you should still watch it so you can appreciate the awe inspiring amount of silliness.
You can say many things about bad movies, but if they’re truly bad, they’re probably not going to be predictable. They often flow like they’re being made up on the spot by tired people who just want to take their football and go home. How else can we explain movies like The Forgotten? (Aliens kidnapped Julianne Moore’s kid…really?) Or anything that happened in Waterworld?
The twists and turns may not make sense, but at least they’re never boring.
Those are four of my favorite reasons to watch bad movies, but I’d love to hear some of yours! (And cheestastic movie recommendations are always welcome.)
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