Bad Films

the joy of bad filmWho hasn’t picked up just about every good movie title and said, “I have seen that one already,” or “That does not look so interesting to me”??Change your expectations! It’s easy to do and more than doubles the feature films available to you! I liken it to becoming a vegetarian for a short period of time.

If you’ve ever done it, you know that when you first walk into a grocery store where you’re used to buying bacon, hamburger, and chicken, suddenly an entirely new stock of products that you never noticed before is there.

This is exactly the same. What most people look for in a good movie is a quiet viewing situation that allows for “suspension of disbelief” through excellent acting, high-dollar special effects, and well-written scripts that move the viewer somehow during the presentation.

Well throw those ideals out the window and embrace their opposites; you may find that you have an entirely new way of viewing movies you despised because they were so horrid.


Perhaps a guideline of what constitutes a bad movie is in order. There are four types of moves out there.

1) Movies that are well funded, artsy, and well-executed that demand the standard viewing methods we have all grown up using.

2) Movies that don’t have the budget or the writing to pull off being an art movie or top film but come close enough that we still judge them with the same criteria.

3) Movies that try to present a high quality film using the meagre funds they have available to them, but fail miserably.

4) Films that are out to create a bad movie experience and purposely, but often try too hard, making a film that’s simply annoying.

What you want is number 3. They are easy to spot! The covers will present the film very seriously. Some things to look for are the actors’ and director’s names. If you recognise some of them, are they young or working during a period of low income? If so, you’re probably on the right track. If you haven’t heard of any of them, then you’ve definitely have found one to consider.

Other clues include bad special effects proudly displayed and classic plot lines like giant monsters, masked wrestler protagonists, and the underdog turning the tables on the powers that be. Bad movies that provide untold hours of entertainment fall into many categories, so there’s always something for everyone.

Gothic horror, Japanese rubber monster dilemmas, science fiction from the 1950s, saucy tales of nurses and flight attendants, stories of underworld dealings in ghettos and international spies are all story types that will keep you amused all night!

There are few limitations to the entertainment value of bad movies, but you have to be prepared to experience the bad movies in new ways. Expect that the movie will be so insanely absurd, that comments will be made during the film, the more comments the better!

If you try to make sense of the movie you’re watching, give up now! One of the charms of bad movies is that they usually don’t make sense, and that’s part of the fun! Poor acting quality is not to be looked down upon any more. Instead relish the poor acting and allow it to boost the entertainment value of the film.

Many bad movies may have been better if they had simply a higher budget. Low budget special effects are the hallmark of rotten movies. Combinations of these factors create the bad movie. Appreciating these elements and embracing them with an altered standard of entertainment value will allow you to view a poorly executed film with a new mentality, providing a rewarding, invigorating experience that will enhance your movie viewing forever!

William Connor, Ethnomusicologist and avid film goer, London, England and Honolulu, Hawaii,,