Frequently I get stopped on the street by someone who recognizes me from my photo (left), and they often ask me “Why are you writing a blog about all these crappy movies?” And my answer is always the same: “Give me 5 bucks and I’ll tell you.” (I’ve made at least like, 15 dollars this way — cha-ching!) Then, I’ll usually explain it like this:
J. Edgar Hoover once said “Write what you know, dumb-ass [sic].” Well I know about bad movies. (I also know a lot about processed meats, a subject I’ll be addressing in a separate blog.) Now when I say bad movies, I’m not talking about the bloated, expensive heaps of trash that keep dumping into our theaters these days–I’m referring to the true classics of the B-Movie genre, movies that are so tragically ridiculous that they almost seem to merit being called “Art”.
Let me tell you a story. When I was a kid, my dad sat me down and said, “Can you guess what my all-time favorite movie is?”
I answered, “Dr. Zhivago?” But I was just being a wise-ass. I knew he hated communists and stuff.
“Nope,” he said, and he made me guess again. He made me keep guessing for six hours before he finally just told me: “The Crawling Eye“. Then, he pulled out a VHS cassette and popped it in our VCR. And we watched.
It was my first exposure to low-budget, schlock cinema and I was like, “Holy CRAP. What the hell is THIS?”, except not out loud because my dad was pretty strict about cursing. As the opening credits slowly gave way to the action, it became clear that this was no ordinary old movie. This was something special. The flimsy sets, the abysmal acting, the impossibly absurd storyline–it was all just so beautifully bad!
The very idea that at some point in the 1950’s, a marginally intelligent movie producer must have read the script of The Crawling Eye and actually thought, “Hey, a gigantic killer eyeball with tentacles. This movie needs to be made!” was like a revelation to me. My eyes were now opened to a completely new world of cinematic entertainment, and there was no looking back.
So, my hope is that through this blog, you too might be inspired to put off cleaning those gutters, or child-proofing your electrical outlets, and instead waste a few hours discovering these B-movie masterpieces. And by all means, if you have any favorites that I missed, feel free to tell me about them!