So Bad It’s Good

I have a confession to make:

love bad movies.

I’m not talking “you have to leave the theater” bad. I mean the movies that are so bad that they’re like a train wreck. The ones you can’t stop watching for reasons unknown to you, or anyone else who’s watching with you. The ones that leave you laughing for all the wrong reasons, that have midnight screenings with rituals attached.

I’m sure on the internet this is nothing new. It seems like every week there’s a new “Bad Movie” site, churning out reviews and recaps of movies that are “so bad, it’s good”. But that just furthers my point and raises questions. Mainly, why are bad movies so popular, and furthermore, why does anyone watch them?

I can’t speak for every fan of bad cinema, but I can for myself.

I love these movies because they bring people together. They can unite people of different backgrounds and cultures by making them discover that they have the same sense of humor. People flock to midnight screenings with plastic spoons in hand, screaming: “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!”. The memorable nature of these films keeps people talking and laughing years after they’ve seen them.

I think that, beyond anything, is what movies are supposed to be. Nothing is as memorable or quotable as a film that fails, but somehow manages to hit the right note, especially if unintentional.

Another thing about these movies is that they never all fail for the same reasons. You could have actors and directors who took the film too seriously, or those who didn’t take it seriously enough; there’s also the films where everyone had so much fun they didn’t care about the final product. Usually, you can tell which is which. It’s rarely as simple as a bad script, bad acting, or bad direction, and sometimes it’s all three.

But all that hardly matters when you’re watching one of these films for the first time. You don’t know whether to watch them through your fingers or turn them off entirely. But you just can’t look away. Soon, you’re laughing at dialogue that doesn’t make sense. You’re  cringing at an earnest actor who’s not going to have a career after this film. By the end, you want to share it with the world.

Because it’s so bad it’s good.