Thursday, March 26, 2009

Junk Cinema: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Americans love movies. In 2007, the film industry grossed $42.6 billion dollars. For millions, movies are inextricably linked to their fondest memories: a first date, a favorite summer or an intense identification with a character who's struggles on screen mirror their own.

However, there is another type of movie in the cinematic universe and they also provoke powerful responses from their admirers: Junk Cinema.

These are films that fail on every artistic level, but are fun to watch and very easy to love.

The purpose of my blog Bad Movies and the Woman Who Loves Them is twofold: to awaken people to the joys of junk cinema and save our alternative video outlets.

Why should anyone care about about these movies? Because they are uniquely crafted creations you won't find anywhere else. Only in the nether world of junk cinema will you find film makers boldly go where no one has gone before: musical westerns with an all midget cast ("The Terror of Tiny Town", 1939), explore prehistoric feminism ("The Wild Women of Wongo", 1959) and allow both Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer to make jerks of themselves in the same movie ("The Island of Dr. Moreau", 1996).

And it is only in this alternative cinematic wonderland where you will find welders, fertilizer salesmen, frustrated accountants, angora-sweater wearing cross dressers and screenwriters calling themselves "Jesus Christ II" fulfilling their American Dream of becoming film makers.

Iconoclasts of the world, unite! Or, in the words of the late, great Bela Lugosi from Ed Wood's classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space", "Pull the string! Pull the string! A story must be told!"

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