Ten percent of viewers watch stock car races for the winning and not the wrecks; the rest of us are endlessly fascinated by books like this. Really bad movies transcend genre, era, director, actor, or writer to achieve an awe-inspiring attraction of their own, beyond what bad television shows(quickly canceled), music (erased from iTunes), or books (easily abandoned in mid stream) can achieve. Kept in our seats by the price of the ticket and the limited time commitment, bad movies are more memorable than all but the very best ones.
Medved and Dreyfuss pick out their 50 worst as of the 1978 publication of this edition (revised editions are promised), with critics' responses, plot summaries, performance lowlights, snippets of dreadful dialogue, behind-the-scenes trivia, and data about the financial background and history of the movies.
Of all the art forms I listed earlier (TV, music, books), movies are the end result of the largest number of inputs from the widest array of arts and crafts, so one of the things that makes bad movies so good is the awe-inspiring convergence of so much bad art and craft in one product. As Medved and Dreyfuss suggest, there are many categories of bad movies, all of them represented here, including big budget flops and low-budget bombs, overrated art films and tarnished-star vehicles (Bogart in a hillbilly rasslin' movie?).
With the advent of the internet and websites like IMDB and badmovies, it is easier than ever to find and find out about bombs like these listed here. And with NetFlix, you can even view some of them in your own home with no investment of good money on bad art. I was particularly intrigued by "Robot Monster", a 1953 low-budget bust starring a gorilla-suited "robot" in a plastic diving helmet, a bubble machine (credited!), and the last six hu-mans on earth. Originally filmed in 3-D, it is sadly available only in the 2-D version now on my NetFlix queue.
Good bad-movie hunting!
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