Day Forty-One – B-Movies: The Forgotten “Art”

10 02 2010

The main goal of this blog, other than keeping me sane through various bouts with unemployment, is to get me into the habit of writing everyday. The hope is that a by-product of me writing something new everyday would be that I’d have something written by the time this blog is done.

The charm of the original B-Movies is that they weren't aware that they were B-Movies.

I’ve been dabbling in a bunch of ideas and I have one now. Though I’m not quite at the point that I’m ready to share the concept, I’m willing to say that it would likely be in the realm of exploitation flicks. In the midst of doing research for such a film, it got me thinking if it’s even possible to sincerely do a B-Movie anymore.

Not that I go out of my way to look for them, but when they find me, they’re all homages to the  B-Movie. Black Dynamite, Planet Terror and Death Proof all happily claim to be B-Movies, but do so with a self-awareness that doesn’t actually make them B-Movies. These films were made to draw in a crowd that is educated about the genre. Sadly for Tarantino and Rodriguez, that crowd wasn’t too big when Grindhouse was released in theatres.

B-Movies, as they were in the days of the drive-in, don’t exist for the same purpose. These were quick, simple films that would get the crowd ready for the real picture to follow. An opening act for the people everyone came to see.

Jason Statham has the new-age B-Movie market cornered with Crank and The Transporter. Though as far as studios go, WWE Films seems to be at the top of the B-Movie mountain. The Marine, Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia, The Marine 2, The Condemned, 12 Rounds and more to come all ache to be good movies, but are really all just about watching things blow up good.

The term B-Movie is usually given to low budget movies, usually those sent straight to DVD. I don’t agree. I think the new B-Movie is one sold on one merit alone; be it explosions, violence or special effects.

Given that description, you can call most of 2009’s biggest box office movies B-Movies.

Avatar was all about cool graphics and awful dialogue, but left the story behind. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen was all about seeing Megan Fox skimping around as giant car-men rolled around in a giant indecipherable mess. Fast & Furious is Carsploitation for the new generation, in the vein of Vanishing Point and others. Zombieland, clearly enough, is a Zombie exploitation flick.

I think the B-Movie is alive and well, and will continue to be as long as studios don’t become aware of it.




One response

28 02 2010
Day Fifty-Nine – Two Months Later… « Fresh Buckets of OJ

[…] Day Forty-One – B-Movies: The Forgotten “Art” […]

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