Friday, September 14, 2007

column 8; B movies

I really like B movies. Big blockbusters with little plot and unintentional amusement are always good, says I.

If I'm going to bother coughing up the cash to see a movie on the big screen I want all sorts of action, suspense, romance, comedy and thrills. I'm the customer, and I demand satisfaction. If Lucas or the Jim Henson company is involved I'm there. Widely panned for being camp? Totally on top of it.

Ever seen Earth Girls Are Easy? How about Manos Hands of Fate? Zardoz? Great movies each and every one. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungles of Death? Okay, I'd be surprised if you'd seen that one, but doesn't the title at least make you kind of curious? And it stars Bill Maher and Shannon Tweed! has been plugged by me for years for just this purpose. I have actively sought out movies that the poor man who runs the website reviews. The man, a working reserve officer, personally reviews all the movies on the site dedicated to 'films of dubious value'. His commentary is inspired, hysterical. More personal and funny than Mystery Science Theatre, for those who are fans of the long-running series of puppets commenting on bad films.

I got a book recently called 'The Film Snob*s Dictionary'. I don't claim to be a film snob, but do agree with their definition of "Film Snob n: reference term for the sort of movie obsessive for whom the actual enjoyment of motion pictures is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about them." I wouldn't self-identify as a Film Snob, I have nowhere near enough arcane knowledge accumulated yet, but I would say that I'm a cousin of the film snob. The point of watching a film isn't to enjoy the film or plot, the point is to laugh at it.

Cleolinda, another Internet movie reviewer, has crossed-over with her popular commentary on current films, called 'Movies in Fifteen Minutes'. I find them fantastic, and her book was the funniest thing I've read in an age. Some films don't need the benefit of hindsight to be identified as 'of dubious value'. Her most recent review was of 300. Since that requires only some mental activity to be done well it's not the best example of her skills, but she is quite worth a look, if interested.

I can't help but comment on comic book movies. We're all coughing up to see Spiderman and X-Men franchises, but forty years from now aren't they going to be just as culturally significant as The Black Scorpion, The Day of the Triffids, and The Blob? Sure, they have better graphics, but not much else has changed. Still blockbusters. Were back then, are now.

And we're going to keep handing over tens and twenties to see them. 'Cause they're fun. When is eventually taken over by another reviewer and sixty years have passed since Toby McGuire swung around the screen I'm pretty sure those films will be some of the first that are attacked by the reviewers, and anyone who wants to spoof films will have no shortage of commentary to make. Film Snobs? No. Perhaps a better term for movie-goers like me is Film Spoofer. If it's cheesy and camp enough we'll be there to spoof on it.

V for Vendetta? Come on, there weren't any gaping plot holes in that one. I mean, it totally made sense.

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