Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why Is Bad Sci-Fi So Good?

I don’t know just why.  Maybe it was decreed by the Gods when they created the heavens and the earth.  Maybe the reason has been lost with the ages, or lies somewhere between this world and the next.  Maybe Dean Cain knows the answer  (He is, after all, in just about every one of these films.).

Whatever the case may be, I have grown certain of this:  Bad Sci-Fi flicks rock!  I don’t care if it’s zombies, ghost ships, giant spiders, shape-shifting aberrations, or abominable snowmen.  I don’t care if its zombies on ghost ships fighting giant spiders while an abominable snowman steers the ship.  Bring ’em all on at once.  The more the merrier.

I mean, I’ve got my favorites just like anybody else.  But in the end, if it’s on the Sci-Fi Network, and if it’s a movie, I’m probably going to watch it.  Every single aspect of these movies calls to me, beckoning me to invest two hours in the lowest quality television one can conceive.

But just what is a bad Sci-Fi movie?  Well first, off you must have a wretched screenplay – a screenplay so bad that one cringes when it’s read.  Clichés must cover and tarnish every page.

Second, you must have B-list actors.  Dean Cain and Luke Perry are often your go-to guys for this.  One wants a cast that appears to have just been picked up off the street and thrown in front of the camera.  Some A-list actors from the 80s and 90s are acceptable, but only if they need work, and only on occasion.

Third is CGI.  Now, this might be disputable, as a plethora of wonderfully awful B-movies have been made without the “advantage” of low-grade CGI.  But bad science fiction movies have come so far with this new technology and in order to get the true, modern B-movie experience it is required.

Lastly, and most importantly, you’ve got to have a train-wreck of a plot.  The aforementioned yeti-steered ghost ship battle would work just fine.  So long as it’s bad it will suffice.  Indeed, this is the litmus test for all bad Sci-Fi.  If it’s clear that no thought went into making it, then you know you’ve got a gem.

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