Sunday, August 12, 2012

Useless Clatter...New Category: The Killer B's

When I first decided I was interested in film and actually began to study some academically, I realized there was over 100 years of movies behind me that I needed catching up on.  A few years back, it never occurred to me that I might ever watch a movie that was considered "old."   But that has changed some.  A lot actually.  Nowadays, most of what I watch is probably classified as old.

Sometimes though, watching a movie can be more of a task than anything else.  Film’s primary function is to entertain, lending its viewers a two hour escape from their own world into the bizarre creation of someone's mind.  That is how it began and that is how it always should be.  Often in the case of academics, I’m caught abusing this basic rule of thumb.  My experience of watching becomes engrossed by observation, and the balance between entertainment and analysis shifts harshly towards the latter.  I’ll sit there and analyze the movie’s mise en scene, eyes fixed on everything that is not going on and begin to brainstorm how I should formulate all this into the upcoming essay.  Watching a movie then becomes studying a movie and at times is almost stressful.  Example: sitting through the four-hour Hamlet adaptation for a Shakespeare & Film class, I have yet to recover.

The only cure of course is a supplementary dosage of thoughtless, mind-numbing B-movies, those of which I will feature in a new category- The Killer B’s.  You’ll find no Welles, no Fellini and certainly no Bergman films here.  Instead one might find something along the lines of Santa Clause Conquers the Martians, TheToxic Avenger or The Thing with Two Heads.

As in the classic case of sequels, B-movies are highly inconsistent pieces of art and caution must be exerted before diving in.  (Well, in one sense, they are all really bad, cheap, unprofessional and stupid, but that does not make them worthless!)  When the right balance of narrative, character construction and a lack of concern for anything but blood are found, you might just come across an outstanding B-movie that deserves it’s half-rate recognition.  But unfortunately, it is in their nature to be bad and occasionally one will stumble upon a B-flick that is so bad, so worthless and so utterly repulsive (and not in the good way) that it becomes difficult to even justify lending your time towards watching it.

That is where I come in.  

For The Killer B's, a simple 'Yea!' and 'Nay!' grading scale will be implemented here based on the merits found by your trusted reviewer.  Obviously going any further than a two-point grading scale and trying to grade these movies with any more thought would not be time well spent.  Following each judgment, a brief passage will follow with more specifics regarding the movie if one finds themselves half-interested in actually watching it or just wants the slightest bit of entertainment I will try and provide.

Finally, I must note that all of the reviewed movies found in this category can easily be attained either through Netflix Instant or, which to no one's surprise both contain a vast and deafening collection of B-movies.  We're gonna need a bigger boat.


The first installation of The Killer B's will highlight an extraordinarily wonderful and psychologically complex film called The Food of the Gods [1976] by the auteur director Bert I. Gordon.

The Food of the Gods [1976]


No comments:

Post a Comment