There are good films and there are bad films. Then, there are films that are so bad, they’re good. While everyone else is watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters in all their stunning CGI glory, there comes along a couple of films that somehow manage to charm a niche audience despite their unabashed camp and preference for the ridiculous.
B-movies are low-budget pictures that don’t really qualify as art films, and even gained a reputation for being terrible and exploitative. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, however, B-movie film festival head Neil Foley defends the genre:
“I wouldn’t call them bad films,” Foleys says. “B-cinema is more about films that were made outside the studio system.
“That cinema is classified by the people who are into it as quality cinema, not bad cinema. They would see mainstream cinema as bland and independent cinema as more ambitious and creative. This is where the boundaries are pushed.”
B-grade cinema has enjoyed a renaissance in recent year, and it’s happening worldwide, Foley says. “I think they’re exciting. People love cinema being this open and expressive medium and thought, whether that thought be subversive or more edgy. There’s a full spectrum of these films being made. But at the end of the day, it’s fun.”
The renaissance of B-movies owes itself to the advent of the internet age. Films, even those with a shoestring budget, can now gain traction online. It’s easier for a film to develop a cult following now that people are able to watch movies online for free. Some examples of B-movies that are elevated to cult classic status are:
Poultrygeist: Chicken of the Dead
With a title like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued? Poultrygeist is a zom-com musical about a fast food restaurant that was built on an ancient Native American burial ground, angering the spirits of the people buried there and causing the chickens they slaughtered to come back to life and become—you guessed it—zombie chickens.
Class of Nuke ’em High
Tromaville High is just like any other regular high school, except for the fact there’s a nuclear plant next door. Soon the sex-crazed teenagers are turning into glow-in-the-dark mutants and giving birth to slimy mutant babies. This beloved cult classic spawned two other sequels and became the poster child for B-movies everywhere.
Despite the formulaic plot and horrible acting of B-movies, and its penchant for absurdity to the point of being cheesy, there is something lovable and refreshing about these films. If you want to see more of these terribly bad titans you have come to know and love, sites like the Viewlorium offer free movies for online streaming.
(Source: Craptastic: The attack of the killer B movies, November 25, 2014)