Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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So bad it’s good

Or at least, so bad it turns into a cult classic: One-star wonders: how to make a film that’s so bad it’s good

Anyone can make a bad movie. But … it takes something special to make a turkey that stands the test of time.

I’ve seen Attack of the Killer Tomatoes a couple of times. Also Plan Nine from Outer Space. That may be it for the so-bad-they’re-good movies I’ve seen.

Happy 30th birthday to cult favourite Troll 2, a film that famously features no trolls. Speaking of birthdays, 2020 also saw Showgirls turn 25. Once deemed so-bad-it’s-good, it has now been enthusiastically reclaimed as a work of misunderstood genius. Xanadu, the calamitous roller-disco extravaganza that paired Olivia Newton-John on skates with the Electric Light Orchestra, turns 40 this year, and has not yet been reclaimed as anything other than a nightmare. But there’s still time.

Ha ha ha! I don’t remember ever hearing about Troll 2. Did Troll 1 feature trolls? Let me see, Wikipedia says: Troll’s plot has no relation to the film Troll 2 or the two Troll 3 films, which are intended to be more horror than fantasy. Its first “sequel“, Troll 2, produced under the title Goblins, is considered one of the worst films of all time,[8] and was retitled Troll 2 to cash in on the success of the original. Over time, it has developed a cult following.

One of the worst movies of all time! Maybe I should rent it sometime.

Here’s what the linked post says about the new-ish Cats movie, which really, after reading this post, I am reminded I really did kind of want to see it:

There are many reasons Cats turned out the way that it did – most of them not wildly flattering to anyone involved – but you cannot accuse it of attempting to secure a kind of hollow cult status through a deliberate bid for badness. … This is a film that was attempting to secure Academy Awards; a film that was hoping Jennifer Hudson’s tremulous, ugly-crying version of Memory would potentially hit the same spot with Oscar voters as Anne Hathaway’s rendition of I Dreamed a Dream in Les Misérables.

Instead, from the moment that the first trailer dropped, audiences responded with shock. The whole thing shimmered with uncanny energy. The cats had fur, but were shaped like humans, with human hands, but cat ears and tails. There was a sense of dancers gliding past the floor rather than being located in an actual physical space, like the whole thing was taking place in a kind of DayGlo limbo, and quite clearly none of its extraordinary oddness was part of the plan. It was meant to be a festive treat for the family. The marketing insisted, with a dollop of impressive Stockholm syndrome energy: “This Christmas, you will believe.”

Has anyone seen this movie adaptation? What did you think? Sounds like it hit dead center in the uncanny valley.

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2 Comments So bad it’s good

  1. Kathryn McConaughy

    Jupiter Ascending is my personal pick in the “so bad it’s good” category.
    I saw part of the Cats movie. Then I ran away.

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