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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ireland

B-Movie Madness: Bad Films, Good Times

People seated in a movie theater

Everybody loves a good movie. Or do they? Have you ever seen a movie that’s so bad it’s good? A film so inept and clueless that it transcends its flaws and becomes enjoyable despite itself? Welcome to the wild world of B-Movies, where the acting is stiff and the plot filled with more holes than a mini-golf course! Join me as we examine a few essential films for any fan of sub-par entertainment, all of which are available right here from the Caldwell Public Library!

B-Movies have been steadily gaining in popularity over the last few decades, becoming significantly more mainstream and increasingly appreciated for their subversion of expectations. Starting in the early 90’s, shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joe Bob’s Drive in Theater, and Elvira’s Movie Macabre fostered an increased awareness of cult films and exposed large audiences to obscure and low budget movies. Demand and interest for these “terrible” films even inspired some intentional schlock like Sharknado and its various sequels.

Screaming skeleton

We’ll begin with three heavy hitters, one classic, one from the 90’s, and one more contemporary film from the mid 2000’s.

Movie poster for "Plan 9 from Outer Space"

B-Movies require a certain masochistic tendency, a twisted need to assault one’s senses with garish cinematography or starve the higher faculties with acting blander than a bowl full of wet cardboard for breakfast. Dear readers, this one’s gonna hurt. Often lauded as one of the worst films of all time, Plan 9 From Outer Space has all the essential bad movie elements. Dumb dialogue, poorly constructed sets, awful acting, and a train wreck of a plot are hallmarks of any Ed Wood film. And yet, there’s a lot of goofy and memorable scenes that will no doubt tickle your funny bone, if you can sit it out.

Movie poster for "Troll 2"

“But I didn’t even see Troll one,” you might say! Fear not, Troll 2 is a sequel in name only. "But trolls are too scary," well you're in luck, because Troll 2 is about goblins. No trolls here, just a bunch of extras in cheap Halloween masks. A film so bad there is a documentary detailing its unholy creation, Troll 2 is a hilarious film that has to be seen to be believed. Funnier than most of the comedies I’ve seen, Troll 2 is infinitely quotable and down right charming. From the creepy grandfather ghost encouraging his grandson to burn down the house, to the infamous “Oh my God, they're eating her” scene, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had. Don’t miss this one!

Movie poster for "The Room"

Tommy Wiseau’s debut film, this beautiful disaster became an almost instant cult classic upon its 2003 release. The movie’s popularity produced a book chronicling the filming which then became a feature film starring James Franco in 2018. The Room is truly a life changing experience. The “acting” in this flick will make you cringe harder than any embarrassing moment from your formative years. There is a definite charm to The Room and you can tell this was a labor of love for Mr. Wiseau. However, it's hard to shake the feeling that this film may have been created by an alien life form with limited knowledge of human culture. It’s just that bizarre.

Have you seen or were you inspired to watch any of these films? What did you think of them? Do you have a favorite B-movie? Let us know in the comments and check back in for more awful movie recommendations from yours truly. Also, watch for our Halloween movie recommendations this October!

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