Confessions: I Love Bad Movies

I love bad movies.  Well, not bad, like, Ed Wood level bad, but cheesy.  You know, the goofy, weird, odd, bizarre, fun movies that are just a little embarrassing when you have to admit how much you enjoy them?

Yeah, those movies.

Recently in Japan, the prices have begun to come down on DVDs.  A lot of the studios have been releasing their back catalog for under ¥1,000 yen (roughly $9.00 U.S.) per film.  Primarily, of course, these are the older, more forgettable movies, as new movies tend to get the full, 19 disc special enhanced, reworked mega edition treatment.

All of which means, that yesterday, when I found Tremors for ¥900, I was ecstatic.

Tremors, for those who don't know, is a 1990 vehicle for Kevin Bacon about underground monsters in a remote location that like to eat people.  The movie takes place in a small town called "Perfection".  Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star as two handymen who make a living doing odd jobs for the residents of Perfection.  Over the course of a working day, residents begin to disappear in mysterious and gruesome ways.  When the monsters causing the disappearances are found the surviving residents band together to take on the monsters in a battle of survival.

Tremors is, really, a very well done B movie.  The plot hits a lot of familiar beats but does so in a way that is fun and entertaining while being just shy of cliche.

I loved this movie when I was in high school, but I don't know that I would have picked it up if I hadn't recently listened to First Showing dot Net's Hypecast featuring cult movies.  Listening to that show reminded me how much I enjoyed watching good bad-movies back in the day.  And re-watching Tremors just sealed the deal.

It's still true:  I love bad movies.

And I think most people do.  It's why any discussion of favorite films always contains a section of cult movies or guilty pleasures.  It's why Ed Wood has a following in the first place.  There is something about the odd or bizarre movie that strikes a chord with people.

Which is not to suggest that everyone likes the same cult movies.  I love Rocky Horror Picture Show and everything John Waters has made.  That doesn't mean that my mom would. 

Further, I am not sure how far down to break the category.  After all, I wouldn't really classify Crybaby as a bad movie.  Odd, sure.  Cult, yes.  Bad?  No.  On the other hand, I don't think anyone can call RHPS a good movie even though there are few more fun movie-going experiences to be had on this planet.  So I don't even know what term should be used:  Bad Movies, Cult Movies, Bizarre Movies, Guilty Pleasures.  They are all apt and there are examples of each sub category that I love.

The biggest question though, is why.  Why do we love these movies?  Is it because they're weird, or different, or unique, or do we just enjoy imperfection as an art in and of itself?

I think it is all of the above, in different proportions for different people.  But for me, it's that sense of fun that permeates so many of the cult movies.  Crybaby, Tremors, RHPS, Buckaroo Banzai, and countless others, they're all fun.

Now then, I have to go see if they've released Tremors 2 yet.

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