The great things about terrible movies and games

Kate Dailey’s article over at the BBC, analyzes bad films and the phenomenon of “so bad they’re great.” There is something admirable about the sincerity to the people making these films; their passion is obvious on the screen despite their lack of talent, skill or money.

For bad movies to be discussion-worthy, they need to aspire to be good films[.] You have to be a lunatic to get a movie made, that’s for damn sure. When you see that lunacy on screen, even when it’s not in the service of the dialogue, or the script, or the acting, it sticks with you.

The first film that always comes to mind when this conversation is brought up is The Room. The film is legendary for its brazenly confident and self-sufficient steward and the absurd dialogue, acting and plotting he has wrought.

I think a bad film makes you think: ‘I could have done a better job, I could make a better movie.’ A bad film makes you creative[.]

Terrible movies have always held a spot in my heart; many don’t understand why you would ever want to go pay money to see a movie you know will be bad. There’s an energy and enthusiasm to a group of people experiencing something more alive than rhetorical, evidence of people’s flaws as much as their ambition.

The Razzies, the award show for awful movies, recognizes these spectacular failures, proof that there is a beauty to the light that an uncontrollable gasoline fire casts. Considering why bad games never get this kind of attention may show us a bit about what we think makes some games better than others.

Major releases have a minimal level of quality in graphic fidelity, balance, mechanics, controls, the list goes on and on. The games that exceed these, innovating or polishing to the next level are recognized as exceptional, but the opposite is never true. This may be because when we play games we consider bad, we don’t enjoy them. They’re broken, but that’s the point, broken games can be just as fun as balanced games if you approach them with the right mindset. Instead of seeing them as bugs, graphical glitches or overpowered characters, they can become easter eggs. No, the dragon isn’t supposed to be flying backwards, you’re not supposed to be able to get through that wall, but who cares, they’re games! Let’s go play in them.

– Adnan Agha

[via BBC]

For a longer look at this subject, check out the excellent documentary Best Worst Movie.