There are so many avenues for a bad movie fan to explore today. From podcasts, to blogs, to theater screenings, to online rentals bad movies are becoming big business. But what are the reasons for such a following of something that isn't good. There's no clubs for bad music (unless you count Top 40), bad art (unless you count The Met), bad books (unless you count fans of Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey) but there is for bad movies. We love to celebrate them. But why are they so popular?
Here's why we believe bad movies are such a big deal:
#7 RiffTrax - Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett keep a tradition alive
When MST3K (see below) was cancelled in 1999, Mike Nelson wanted to keep releasing episodes directly on DVD of the team making fun of movies. The original concept was to directly releasing DVDs of the films with their commentary on them. But legally, that was impossible so instead they thought of a way to distribute their commentary independently of the films, thus avoiding having to obtain any rights to distribute the movies. So RiffTrax allows you to download the commentary of a movie and then play it alongside a DVD copy of the film. Today, RiffTrax has streaming video, as well as major theatre releases, specifically 1998's Godzilla playing in cinema's nationwide this month (August 2014). To learn more visit the RiffTrax website.
#6 - The Razzies becomes the official award for bad cinema
The Razzies (also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards) started in 1980 with the name coined from the term "blowing a raspberry" or blowing a fart on someone's belly. The first ceremony was held on March 31, 1981 in founder John J.B. Wilson's living room, with the first "Worst Picture" being claimed by "Can't Stop the Music".
The Razzies are now on their 34th year with today's "Worst Picture" holder to be "Movie 43". How "After Earth" didn't win is still confusing us, much like the movie. To see a full list of winners and nominees check the categories listing here and also visit the official website.
#5 - The Room and Tommy Wiseau cause a cultural phenomenon
Touting a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.5 User Rating on IMDB, The Room is heralded as one of the worst films ever made. From the unintelligible dialogue of actor, director, writer, and producer Tommy Wiseau, to the awkward and (unfortunately) completely unforgettable sex scenes to characters being replaced by random actors to its cavalcade of awesome lines ("What kind of drugs? What kind of money?"), The Room is a spectacle in bad cinema. Still today, the film is playing in theaters and usually has Tommy there to answer questions. Viewers are encouraged to bring footballs and dress in tuxedos. No we are not kidding. Put this on your bucket list at #1. The learn more and find out the next time you can see the movie visit Tommy's website: The Room Movie. We are all Tommy's favorite customer.
#4 Netflix Instant Streaming revolutionizes how we watch bad movies....again.
Back when Netflix was just a DVD mailing service, fans of bad movies had been given an unprecedented level of bad movie viewing options. Before you were just limited to what was available at your local video rental stores and most of us would spend hours looking through various sections of the store at cover art trying to find hidden gems. But now if you knew of a movie you more than likely were able to rent it and view it within just a couple of days. But in 2008, Netflix changed all that for us again. With the new Instant Streaming option fans could now easily repeat the same process of browsing the rental store all from the comfort of their living room. Today bad movie fans are able to watch movies at home, on their phones and tablets, and even in their cars via the Netflix streaming service.
#3 - IMDB Bottom 100 gives us a dynamic and interactive list of the worst films ever seen
The Internet Movie Database is maybe the best thing that has ever been created for movie fans and people in the industry. It receives over 17,000,000 users per month in traffic and is the 46th most popular website in the world. The site allows users to rate and review movies they've seen. The films with at least 1500 votes can then qualify for the Bottom 100. The list fluctuates continually but when a new movie takes over the top spot, the Internet goes crazy with announcements of the event. Today Gunday holds the top spot of the worst film ever made with an average rating of just 1.7 out of 10. Ouchie. Visit the IMDB Bottom 100 and get voting!
#2 - Sharknado finally lands the SyFy channel a winner and brings bad movies to millions of new fans
On July 11, 2013 Sharknado released on the SyFy channel to a modest 1.37 million viewers, which was below their average of 1.5 million for an original SyFy film. But Twitter giants Damon Lindelof, Wil Wheaton and Olivia Wilde put this film into a major trend on the social network. When SyFy repeated Sharknado just a week after the original premiere, the movie received a 1.89 rating with a third viewing on July 27 receiving even more viewers with 2.1 million. The film then went on to play in roughly 200 theaters with tickets selling out in New York, Boston and Seattle.
The sequel Sharknado 2: The Second One premiered on SyFy on July 30, 2014 to 3.9 million viewers, a new record for any SyFy original. And yes there will be Sharknado 3 coming to us in 2015.
#1 - Mystery Science Theater 3000 gives the gift of bad movies to millions and thus creates a hobby
Creator and host Joel Hodgson and later host Michael J. Nelson gave us 11 years of their often "shoot milk out your noise" funny television show that took terrible b-movies from the 1950's to the 1980's and decimated them with comments about the plot, acting, dialogue, and directing while watching the movie with us. We all felt like we were a part of the team while watching an episode of MST3K and would often compete with Joel, Mike, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo in a race to beat the show in commentary humor. But the work was best left to the pros as MST3K gave us 197 episodes of some of the funniest zingers ever to grace a television screen.
Today, MST3K lives on in RiffTrax (see #7) and with instant streaming options on Netflix and other sources. Our favorite episodes include:
- Warrior of the Lost World
- Final Justice
- The Touch of Satan
- The Final Sacrifice
- Monster a-Go Go
- Pod People (It Stinks!)
To get more from Mystery Science Theater 3000 visit Club MST3K
Thoughts? What'd we miss?
Well there you have it. It's probably not perfect but it's what we feel are the top reasons why bad movies are popular. Did we miss anything? Let us know if the comment section below and GET TO THE CHOPPER!