Friday, September 5, 2014

Confession: I Love Crappy B-Movies

I love bad old movies.  If it involves a radioactive gigantic bug trying to eat a major American city, or a prehistoric creature birthed from a glacier attacking coastal Japan, or aliens or mad scientists or Creatures from Any Black Body of Water, I'm in.

Proof?  This is the poster decorating my living room wall:


Yes, John Agar's notquiteclassic about a subterranean civilization.  And mole people, of course.

Little known fact: "B" in "B Movie" does not stand for "Bad" or "B-Grade" but for "Budget."  They were movies made with lower budgets and often released directly to dive theaters and drive-ins rather than taking up precious marquee space.  Because who goes to the drive-in to actually watch the movie, right?  But they often were pretty Bad, too.

In any case, what do crappy B movies have to do with writing?

They're excellent examples of what not to do.  

Seriously.  Writers should read, a read widely, and learn from good books and bad, most certainly.  But the storytelling in film can teach some valuable lessons, too--and a 90 minute investment in a bad movie is a quicker route to what not to do than slogging through a poor example in book form.

So--Fridays are now Movie Day here at the blog.  I'll post about one of my favorite (bad) movies, and then break down what goes horribly wrong. 

In the meantime, enjoy these clips from Ed Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space, considered by many to be the worst film ever made:



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