Anyone can make a movie… anyone.
It sometimes seems that you don’t even need basic human attributes to get someone to finance your movie. You don’t even have to speak the language your film is written in to get someone to sign off on your artistic vision.
There are a wide variety of examples of this phenomenon. I find myself very often watching the first 30 minutes of a movie, throwing my face into my hands, and groaning “Seriously? ANYONE CAN MAKE A MOVIE!”
The spectrum goes from the clearly under-budgeted and barely plausible Troll 2 to higher budgeted seemingly legitimate movies like Donkey Punch.
How does this happen? Seriously, I have some half-assed ideas floating around; where are all the people with piles of money ($6 million for The Room! Seriously?) to throw at us artistic types to make what really amounts to a feature-length YouTube video?
Movie audiences are a funny breed. We want flashy, epic, bigger-than-the-deficit budget popcorn films in our multiplexes, shelling out mountains of money to watch these abominations at midnight theaters across the country. We don’t suffer the same thing for TV and rarely for music of comparable awfulness for any longer than a few weeks (sorry William Hung). But these movies make us ache with laughter, memorize lengthy dialogue, and shout at friends, “You HAVE to see it, it’s the WORST!” I am guilty of this, and I can’t explain what it is.
A big part of the puzzle, it seems to me, is that people love this shit. I mean, I own Troll 2. I own it and I watch it. I get excited when someone mentions we might watch Ice Pirates or Sleepaway Camp. It seems we love to watch train wrecks, more importantly, train wrecks wherein all the passengers really think everything’s fine. As fun as parody is to watch, it’s so much more satisfying to watch a group of people taking themselves REALLY SERIOUSLY while making a completely wretched piece of cinema. Movies that take themselves one step too seriously are the best worst movies, in my opinion.
It’s funny, though, because a movie has to be really bad to be considered good-bad. It can’t be mediocre bad. It has to go whole hog. What a delicate balance we demand of our trash. Like Waterworld, not bad enough, not good enough, just lost in the apocrypha of Kevin Costner. [Side-note: I fucking LOVE Waterworld. I love it. I think that may be the most embarrassing thing about me as a person.]
My personal favorite bad movie? Troll 2, by far. No argument. Ice Pirates is pretty phenomenal, but Troll 2 takes the cake on account of corn porn. Haven’t seen it? You HAVE to see it. It’s the WORST!