Monday, February 28, 2005

When Being Bad Is So Very Good

Last night, my wife and I did not watch the over-hyped Oscars. Instead we found something vastly more entertaining to occupy our viewing time. Showgirls on VH-1. Laugh if you will, but understand that Showgirls is one of those rare movies that deserves the label "so bad that it's good."

Achieving such a status is not as simple as it may seem. Sure, it's easy to make a bad movie. Anyone can do that. But to make a move that's so bad it's good requires a special idiot savant-like talent. You need just the right combination of bad acting, clichéd plotlines, overwrought directing, and turgid writing.

Most importantly, you can't try to make a movie so bad that it's good. You have to be deluded enough to believe that you're putting out a real honest to goodness quality product. If a bad movie knows its bad and winks at the audience as a result, it's not the real deal. Sure some of those type of movies have camp value, but they're not the same as the authentic so bad they're good variety.

The best thing about SBIG flicks is that you can start watching at any point in the movie and be entertained. I've only watched the entire SBIG classic Road House three times (quit looking at me like that). But while channel surfing, I've probably happened across Road House and tuned in to watch a scene or two over twenty times. In fact the more you watch these movies, the more entertaining they become as you pick up the little details that set them apart.

In addition to Road House, I also recommend Tango & Cash from 1989, which features a priceless, cliché riddled opening scene with Sylvester Stallone. One of my favorite sleeper SBIG picks is 2001's Rock Star, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston and is on VH-1 about once a week. The bad hair alone makes it worth watching.

Let me close with a bit of choice bit of dialog from Showgirls. Our heroine, Noma Malone, blankly played by Elizabeth Berkley, enters the hotel suite of musician Andrew Carver in a slinky outfit in order to seduce and then beat the hell out of him in order to avenge a girlfriend.

Andrew Carver: I liked you better topless.

Noma Malone: Wait 'til you see me bottomless.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is entertainment.

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