So whilst I was on holiday, I began watching Sharknado, with my dad and boyfriend. I do have to say, it was post BBQ (and post cider) so it seemed like the blindingly obvious choice for evening viewing. Syfy channel is ultimately a go-to for cancelled horror/science fiction shows (Star Trek, Dollhouse, Dark Angel) and also films, more often than not, bad B-Movies, but some cinema gold. I used the term gold loosely. What I probably mean is gold plated.
One such instances of gold-plated cinema is Sharknado. An unashamedly terrible film. A film marketed on terribleness. The terribleness supercedes plot, character, production value, CGI, editing, sound, distribution, exhibition, props, costume, makeup, casting. Everything really. For a film to be as terrible as Sharknado, you must fail in all the above mentioned areas. So for example, the main star attraction of Sharknado is Tara Reid. She confused my dad a little, I explained she’s from American Pie. He retorted with ‘she needs a wash’. To try and remain a little objective, Tara Reid has had little exposure in Hollywood, and many only remember her from American Pie. But she was the nail to which Sharknado was tacked, which instantly classifies this as a bad film.
Now I have to say, I’ve been incredibly unprofessional in my viewing of Sharknado. Unfortunately cider got the better of me, and I had to stop watching after around an hour and pass out in my bed. I never did see the end, I got up to the bit after the school bus (probably the funniest scene I’ve ever seen). Not to be defeated by sleep and not actually finishing the film, I thought I’d transform a review into an article.
Bad cinema has it’s own merits as worthy of film critique and discussion, not least as the yardstick to measure all other forms of cinema, ‘Was it ‘Transformers bad’ or ‘Sharknado bad?’. But the element of bad cinema which is probably most important, is the ability to discover new ways of making films on a shoe-string budget. For example, Birdemic, quite clearly edited on a computer (and badly so), has lead to other unknown directors editing films well on their computer. Without the creativity and ingenuity of the minds behind bad cinema, we wouldn’t have the creativity and ingenuity of good filmmakers.
Above all bad cinema is funny. Very funny. And it tends to be free (not directly) but available on the internet and specialist TV channels (which tend to come as part of a package anyway) I first saw Birdemic at University and It’s a film that is so bad, it’s made it onto the IMDB bottom 100, scoring a 1.9/10. It’s badness is staggering, bad audio, terrible editing, not to mention hysteric inducing CGI. But it’s films like Birdemic and Sharknado which stand to interrupt the ‘all cinema is art’ idea. It cant all be as profound as Shawshank, Schindler and Sosze, and quite rightly serves to take us self proclaimed cinema officianados down a peg or two. Try and find some analogy in Birdemic.
Bad cinema has rightly gained cult status in cinema, an acquaintance of mine at university ran a bad cinema night down at the local student haunt, there are small scale festivals dedicated to bad cinema. And on a clarifying end note, were not talking bad cinema as in the Razzies, Adam Sandler unfortunately you don’t make it into my article about bad cinema, but films which are seemingly badly made on purpose (god I hope so).
- Top 5 Terrible Films, AKA Is Sharknado Really The Worst Movie Ever Made? (contactmusic.com)
- Birdemic 2: The Resurection (drunkinagraveyard.com)
- Kill Me. Please, I Don’t Want To Live Anymore: Sharknado Review (pixcelation.com)
- Sharknado!!! (quillsandmarketing.wordpress.com)
- Tara Reid announces Sharknado sequel will star Jedward – and they’re on the soundtrack too (mirror.co.uk)