There’s a problem with the way people watch films right now. They’re too elitist. Remember the 80’s? All those hilarious action films created as vehicles for people like Stallone, Van Damme, Lundgren? Didn’t you enjoy watching them? Sure, they were crap, but they were fun, so why are people hating the modern equivalents?
I intend to address this myself, hit the jump for my response.
There are some films that are just so amazingly rubbish that they become entertaining. The acting may be wonky, the script written by a four year old with delusions, the camera work poor and unfocused, but there is something about it that elevates it above the forgettable and into a realm of its own.
These are the films I dub “craptastic”.
Craptastic films have a certain number of criteria they must fulfill to be eligible for such an auspicious title, chiefly among which they must be entertaining. Good films tend to be entertaining too, but they do it in a much different way. A good film will leave you with a sense of justification afterwards, that you haven’t just spent the last few hours watching images move on a canvas screen for no discernible reason. Good films tell you things and give you a sense of achievement, of elation.
Craptastic films try to do this and fail hilariously. Most of them try to be serious or meaningful but manage to fall short in such a spectacular manner that most people don’t even realise they were trying to do anything. As a result, these films end up becoming mindless explosionfests, intermingled with melodrama and overacted ennui, and are awesome.
Society now has created a situation where everybody thinks of themselves as a worthy critic, at least anyone with access to the internet and a blog (like me). We get people trying to argue the artistic merit of things that really don’t need it, and people have started to get a little too caught up in “art”. They seem to think art needs to be a serious endeavour, that it must show us new facets of our own existence and make us think new and exciting things, and they are wrong.
Art doesn’t have to do anything. Art doesn’t exist, there’s no set guideline about what art is other than what you tell it to be. Too many people forget this and start assuming that art needs to be serious and academic and all that other stuff, they forget that things are allowed to just be fun without a deep, underlying message.
So we come back to craptastic films. They manage to avoid the art debate, either by accident or by choice, and instead opt to go for simple entertainment. They appeal to the lowest common denominator, and that’s not always a bad thing. I’m not saying every film should be craptastic, that would be stupid, but that we need a pool of these films to draw upon, to provide the simple entertainment that both makes the more serious films hit us harder and allows us to unwind, to show us that the world doesn’t have to be serious all the damn time. We don’t always need coherent plots, decent acting and meaning, sometimes we just want explosions, cliches and one-liners, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
So I’m going to start reviewing craptastic films on this blog, as and when I can be bothered. Not bad films, not art films, just craptastic films.
I’ll start soon.
With Andrzej Bartkowiak’s Doom.