January 21, 2005

Procrastinating? Moi?

Okay, okay. I've really got to get out and run errands. But I'll leave you with a question to ponder:

I think I'm right in saying that Arnold Schwartzenneger's (spelling very approximate) Conan movies can be classified as Truly Bad Films, movies that are awful and yet are enjoyable to watch nonetheless.

But I saw Red Sonja all the way through for the first time last night. This movie is of exactly the same formula as the Conan films and yet it is emphatically not a Truly Bad Film, but instead is just plain, well, bad.

Why is this? Discuss amongst yourselves while I'm out. (And if Steve-O doesn't chime in on this one, I'm calling the Missing Persons Bureau.)

YIPS from Steve:

The difference my friend is in the stars.....

Seriously, the Conan movies are truly bad films because they are lovingly bad---the cast and crew were fully aware that what they were making was not good, yet, instead of being derivative or ludicrous, they were bold and innovative in finding all new ways at being bad. I mean, James Earl Jones as the snake villain wizard dude? The Conan movies were key in that they capitalized on the D&D subculture while breaking Ahnuld into the mainstream. Compare it to a truly horrible movie of the era like Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon is truly unwatchable (and trust me, I've tried), whereas Red Sonja is just derivative of Conan. Truly bad films are bad in all new ways, or are new reinterpretations of old classic bad films (Walking Tall anybody?) (Links to follow, and apologies to Chai-Rista for being the slug that I am)

We were timing contractions last night but it turned out to be a false alarm. I'm at work today but am actually carrying a (turned on) cell phone, so you know things are serious....

Posted by Robert at January 21, 2005 10:24 AM

Two reasons -

1) Arnold is a Movie Star. Bidgitte is not. He simply has some indefinable charisma that makes you want to watch him on screen.

2) The Conan movies were made by professionals. Milius had written and directed before, and I'd wager that the cameramen, cinematographer, sound people, and the rest of the technical crew were solid professionals with some degree of experience. Red Sonja was probably made by a bunch of hacks.

Posted by: Eric at January 21, 2005 11:22 AM

Yes, the key ingredient in the mix was Arnold. He has a quality that makes you root for him. He's likable.

Brigitte Nielsen comes across as cold and wooden on a good day.

But Flash Gordon was a cinematic war crime. I mean, Hollywood owes us reparations for that one. Show trials and executions for all involved, with the possible exception of Max von Sydow.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 21, 2005 12:14 PM

Waddya mean that Flash Gordon is unwatchable?! I've watched it many times. Of course I have a DVD of Plan 9 from Outer Space. . .

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2005 02:28 PM

Plan 9 is classic. There are bad movies which are so bad they're hilarious, like that one, and there are bad movies which are so bad you really can't force yourself to watch them -- Manos being the one that pops to mind. It's all about the Nature of Badness.

Posted by: Adrianne Truett at January 21, 2005 10:31 PM
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