Gloriously Bad

I think you can tell what movie I'm referring to by the title of this post. Indeed, the most gloriously bad thing about the film is it's title, perhaps the best, most hyped title of all time: Snakes on a Plane. Steven Den Beste has been writing about this (likely permalink) a lot on his blog recently, and he cites a CNN review which claims that the movie is good. Not "so bad it's good" good, but actually, genuinely good. I don't agree. I think it's so bad it's good, but in my book, that's not a bad thing. It's transcendently bad, this is exactly what they were going for, and this sort of thing is honestly not as easy to create as you might think. Much of the time, movies only reach this status unintentionally. It's a rare bird indeed that is able to cultivate the bad into something good.

There's little to be said about the film that hasn't already been said. I think the most astounding thing about the film is its title, in that I think it could serve as an appropriate litmus test. If you like the title, chances are, you'll like the movie. If you're baffled or otherwise dismissive of the title, you'll probably won't. As many have noted, it's critic-proof. You don't need anyone to tell you if you want to see it or not, you just do (or don't).

When I was in college, I didn't get to take a free elective until my senior year, and when I finally did, I jumped at the chance to take a film-related course. It was an excellent course, and I think my teacher did a great job giving a broad overview of the history and types of film theory. However, it seemed to me that the real joy of films was lost on her. This was brought into stark relief one day when the students of the class were talking about the first X-Men movie. Everyone enjoyed the film. It wasn't perfect, but it was a lot of fun. Our teacher was totally dismissive of the movie, and as the semester went on, it seemed to me that she had studied filmmaking and theory so much that she couldn't watch a movie without over-analysing it. She would hate Snakes on a Plane.

Now, as readers of this blog might have observed, I like movies a lot. I even like a lot of arty, offbeat movies. Because of this, I sometimes worry that I'm turning into my teacher, but in reality, I think my tolerance for movies so bad they're good has increased over the years. Hence, I enjoyed Snakes on a Plane. Perhaps not as much as Tremors, but it's still a lot of fun. Den Beste explains why he's interested in the movie:
It's because it's completely unpretentious. There's no message in this film. It doesn't preach. It doesn't have a political point of view. It isn't politically correct. The people who made it are interested in one and only one thing: entertaining their audience. Even the title is unpretentious.
Indeed, and pretentiousness is something that is bothering me more and more these days. Hopefully, we'll see more of this sort of pure entertainment in the future (and not just lame knock-offs like Spiders on a Boat, Clowns on a Toilet, or, my personal favorite which two friends of mine independently mentioned: Ostriches on a Hovercraft... er, wait, you know, I think I'd pay to see those. Never mind.)