Sharknado and Other Disastrous Movies
There are many excellent films out there. Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, Dark Knight - there really are many ways to get your fill of entertainment with a compelling story and excellent acting performances. There are also numerous movies that aren't quite so excellent.
Movies like Sharknado and Transformers: Age of Extinction are just about anything with Mega in front of it. These movies are by no means works of art, yet they all possess some sort of hypnotic power to attract the masses and make millions. What is it about these movies that make them so appealing? How can a movie be both bad and oh so good?
I'm willing to admit that placing Transformers among the Megasharks and Megapiranhas of the world may be controversial to some of you, but let's try to be honest: after the first one, it's been quite a downhill track, and I wouldn't even call that one a great movie by any means. However, it is important to distinguish between a bad movie and an unwatchable movie, and the Transformers movies are by no means unwatchable.
There are very few movies that we can really consider unwatchable, and these usually boil down to personal preference. People enjoy different genres, and it tends to be the case that we each put a blanket ban on those movies that don't suit our style. Bad movies, on the other hand, are those that make us cringe on account of bad acting, abysmal story telling or a combination of both. However, these movies sometimes have the capacity to hold our gaze. Like a train wreck or twenty car pile-up, we sometimes find ourselves horrified but unable to look away.
Those familiar with the films mentioned can see a certain theme emerge. Each of these films seems to deal with a certain apocalyptic scenario. This ranges from an invasion by alien robots with good robots to help and mega-sized aquatic creatures terrorising the boating population. The key lies in their appeal to the imagination. In each instance, the unorthodox nature of the situation makes us curious. We want to see how exactly they deal with the giant, nuke-proof fish or remove the new residents of the hotel swimming pool.
On the way to dealing with such wondrous and ill-conceived issues, the poor acting can actually prove to be quite entertaining. One of the best examples of this in my experience is in Megapiranha. In one instance, as the action-hero protagonist is in the process of escaping a military base, two guards walk by a rather tall door. Does the hero then sneakily go from one side to the other? No. The camera pans up to reveal that he is suspended high above them, while supporting himself with one leg on either side of this gap, like Spiderman. How long has he been up there? Nobody knows. You simply cannot find comedy value like this in a good movie.
All in all, what have we really learned? Well, just because a movie is bad, doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it. Don't blindly trust the words of critics, but rather see for yourself, and maybe you will find hidden gems. When it comes down to it, would you rather watch a bad movie or no movie? I don't know, but after a while, boredom can get really very boring.
Nabban T. Haque is a sports-loving, video-gaming, sushi-eating cowboy with little experience with actual cows. Contact him at [email protected] if you want to talk about Manchester United or the dichotomy of good and evil.