Why do bad movies have cult followings? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:19 AM, July 23, 2020

Why do bad movies have cult followings?

Have you ever sat down with your friends to watch a movie only to find it horrendously bad just 10 minutes in? And even though it was bad, you and your friends still wanted to watch it for some reason? Most popular movies known for being notoriously bad are The Room, Troll 2, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the Sharknado series—the list goes on. Here's why people like them so much and go back for repeated viewings.

To answer why bad movies gain cult followings I'd have to delve into the psychological aspects of it. I'll try not to make it boring. When The Room first came out back in 2003 it was met with raucous laughter from critics and audiences due to the sheer stupidity of the plot and the characters and pretty much everything. But as time went on it eventually formed a fanbase with it getting sold out midnight screenings each month around the US.

When people gather together to watch films such as The Room there is a communal aspect to it, everyone's there to laugh at the movie and just have a good time. The sense of communion within like-minded people is what gets viewers from all over to catch midnight screenings and throw plastic spoons at the screen in unison when a particular scene shows up. Followed with meet and greets with the man himself, Tommy Wiseau, seals the deal for fans of the movie.

Enjoying bad movies, or what is also known as "paracinema", are movies which are out of the mainstream realm. And viewing them with an ironic stance gives people a sense of being an expert critic, whereas they're just an average viewer and their favourite movie is The Nun. Anywho, not all movies are made equal though, some are deliberately bad just for the sake of being bad, such as Sharknado, but others just missed their mark like The Room and Birdemic: Shock and Terror (quite the title). These movies are the ones with a cult following because the creators behind the movies put their heart and soul into it, which is respectable in comparison to those making a bad film just to earn money at the box office.

Passion projects such as The Room even inspired a book titled "The Disaster Artist", which was later adapted into an Oscar-nominated feature film starring James Franco. This just goes to show the impact of a bad movie on the industry. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise?

Next time you and your friends are deciding on which movie to watch, maybe you ought to look outside the box, you may not witness a patrician flick, but you and your friends will have a fun time, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Jishad says he loves movies, but he hasn't seen all of them, so he's a liar. Send him some recommendations at jishadshiraj66@gmail.com


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