We all have them, stashed in the back of the wardrobe, hidden under the bed, saved under innocuous names like “Tax Return 2011” or “Poncho Knitting Pattern” on our hard drive. We pull them out when no one else is around, wallowing in our own guilt and shame as we watch them. We keep saying we’ll stop, but our resolve weakens and we keep going back to them, regardless of the looks of shock and mild disgust we’d get from our nearest and dearest if only they knew.
B Grade movies, our secret guilty pleasures.
What did you think I was going to say? Minds out of the gutters, people!
Like everyone else, I have a pile of badly written and abysmally acted little gems, films which I know are bad, which I shouldn’t give the time of day to, but I just can’t seem to stop watching. They’re all so bad that I can’t help cringing when I think of other people knowing I like them, but somehow I can’t convince myself to get rid of them either.
Oh B Grade movies, why can’t I quit you?
But today I’ve decided it’s time to cast off the mantle of shame and recrimination! I’m going to admit to liking bad movies … hell, I’m going to embrace it! I’m going to stand up (figuratively speaking, cause I’m in public right now) and declare to the world that I love badly written and acted films!
I like plots where I can see what the end of the movie will be five minutes into the film!
I like it when the actors use big, dramatic pauses to show just how important a particular scene. Melodrama is a valid narrative tool!
I like special effects that are so bad I could have been done with a Commodore 64, or prosthetics so badly created it looks like my 2 year old nephew made them!
And to further show my newfound acceptance of my love for all things dodgy in the movie world, I’m going to share with you a few of my favourites.
Possibly the best B Grade horror film ever made. The premise is a group of salvagers find a floating cruise ship from the sixties and, during their exploration of it, are picked off one by one by the malevolent ghosties and ghoulies onboard. Honestly, it’s worth watching for the opening scene alone! Any film that starts with a bunch of people on a dance floor being chopped in half by a released cable gets a thumbs up in my book! It’s incredibly graphic … I’ll never forget the scene where one of the victims is trying to pull his own legs back towards his torso.
Somewhere In Time
Everyone loves a period romance, right? Well this is one of those … with a twist! It’s about a man who is given a gift of a pocket watch by a mysterious old lady. When he tries to find out who she is, he is told she died just after she gave it to him. He becomes a little bit obsessed with her and through several leaps of logic, common sense and believability, and despite the fact that he’s a playwriter and NOT a physicist, somehow comes up with a working time travel theory. Back he goes, meets mysterious old woman who is now mysterious young woman, falls in love, gives her the pocket watch, then gets dragged back to his own time. And thus the circle is complete! It’s pretty badly written, and the acting is a bit sketchy, but somehow I can’t stop watching this one. I guess saccharine sweet romance will win every time.
Psycho Beach Party
This one of those films that was made bad on purpose … and they do it splendidly! It’s a cross between one of the Gidget films of the sixties and a slasher horror film. There’s surfing, beach bunnies, and clam bakes galore, along with dead bodies that keep popping up when everyone least expects it. Not exactly a traditional combination, I know, but somehow they manage to make it work.
I think I was about ten years old the first time I saw this one. In it a teenage girl finds a crashed plane when she falls off her horse. After that, the ghost of the boy who crashed the plane starts to haunt her. It was very sweet and innocent, and really REALLY badly made, but at the age of ten I didn’t know that. Of course it has the traditional ending of these types of films, with a miraculous recovery of the dead guy and the couple living happily ever after … or at least the teenage version of it.
So there you go, some of my favourite bad films. Each of them has a place of honour in my DVD collection … albeit a hidden place of honour … but perhaps it’s time to pull them out from their secret hidey holes and revel in their awfulness!
Who’s with me?