I talk a lot about horror as an art form. I rail against poorly made horror movies and I talk endlessly about what horror needs to do as a genre in order to regain its ability to actually frighten people.
All of that doesn’t change the fact that I really like shitty horror movies.
I don’t know why. I’ve tried to think of reasons for it; explanations for my love of truly awful movies.
They’re…comforting, intrinsically. You know what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it. I know their ins and outs and I know what their plot is before they do. They make me laugh, though they don’t mean to. And sometimes, very rarely, they actually have the power to shock me.
It’s because they’re not bound by any rules or standards. Characters appear and disappear for no reason. And terrible, truly terrible things will happen, in all senses of the word, because the filmmakers are completely and utterly unbound by any concept of what should or shouldn’t be in a movie.
And that, in and of itself, is extremely refreshing.
It doesn’t change the fact that these movies are shockingly bad and inexcusably awful, but it at least gives me a way to defend my love for them all.
I’m always searching for what I think might be the worst movie ever made. It has to fulfill a number of criteria to qualify.
1. It has to be offensive. It can’t just be poorly made, with bad lighting and bad acting. It needs to offend me on some level. If I’m not angry by the end, then it doesn’t count.
2. It needs to be poorly made. As bad as say, Battlefield Earth is, it’s not badly made. It’s got some visuals to it, by golly. If it’s going to qualify as the worst movie ever, it needs to have booms in frame. It needs to be so poorly lit that I can’t see what’s going on. There needs to be a definite lack of quality present.
3. It has to have no redeeming value. There should be no chance that I learn anything from this morning. There should be no point where I say, “Well, at least it looks like they had fun while they were making this.” From every aspect, the worst movie ever needs to be a waste of everyone’s time. If I see that Alan Smithee is the director, I know I’m on the right track.
Those are a few of the basic criteria needed. I watched a movie yesterday that almost qualifies. It certainly comes close. I was angry, sad and a little sick when it finished, but it was missing something. If it was just a little bit worse…I’m still looking.
And I will find it.