Bad Movies Done Right — A Prelude

Hello, my name is Robert and I’m a movie snob.

Truth be told, I don’t remember quite how I fell in love with movies. Ever since I was young, I’ve enjoyed watching films but at some point in the impressionable years of my youth I fell head over heels in love with cinema the way most people fall in love with their soul mates

Seriously, I have the kind of puppy love for film that might one day find me snuggling up with a DVD on a bear skin rug as I whisper sweet nothings into the circular shaped hole on its disc.

As much as I love movies, though, I’ve found myself growing more and more elitist about the subject matter. The more films I’ve watched, the more I’ve found myself casting scorn on the flicks I once loved as a kid — finding the characters childish and their plots pedantic.

The very fact that I’m using literary devices such as alliteration and words such as pedantic to talk about movies is proof enough that at some point in the past few years I’ve begun taking films way too seriously.

I’m the movie snob-equivalent of a Lifetime Channel made-for-TV movie abusive husband — waxing poetic about the use of Hitchcockian camera techniques as I wear a wife beater and slurp suds from a six-pack, casting threatening glares at my DVD collection all the while.

I don’t remember when I fell in love with movies, but I do remember why: They taught me a deeper meaning about life.

I learned about morality, love and destiny by watching everything from Disney cartoons to ‘80s slasher films. Movies such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones helped me find and form my faith. They gave me my childhood optimism and filled my heart with dreams of endless possibilities.

Movies gave me joy and, because of this, I was a happy child.

Nowadays, I’ve unconsciously conditioned myself to treat watching movies as a chore — something akin to popping open a textbook. Instead of watching a movie as a form of escapism, I watch a film and am too preoccupied with why a filmmaker chose a certain lighting design or which French New Wave classic is being used as an inspiration for a particular scene.

Movies, I’m sorry.

We’ve lost that loving feeling and I’m all the worse off for it.

My life has become grounded in the mundane. Escapism is harder to grasp and my imagination has become a dead sea full of flopping, breathless fish gasping for substance from the faith that has all but dried up.

All of this is why I’m undergoing a project that will test my love for movies — hopefully breaking me out of my elitist attitude on films.

For the next year, I will watch 365 movies that have been critically or commercially shunned. I will spend the next 12 months immersing myself in bad movies — forcing myself to rediscover my love for all forms of cinema as if I was discovering an exotic flower growing in a heap of elephant dung.

I’m not doing this as an experiment in masochism; I’m doing it to become a better person. I will immerse myself in bad acting, overblown plots, shallow storylines  —and I will force myself to learn from each and every movie.

I will rediscover the childhood ideals I once clung to and will realize my potential as both a movie fan and as a man.

I am going to spend the next year watching bad movies. Here’s hoping I learn a thing or two.

When not eating movie theater popcorn whilst holding his pinkie in the air, Robert Saucedo is an occasional freelance writer whose work appears regularly in The Bryan/College Station Eagle, Dryvetyme Online and scrawled in Sharpie in rest station bathroom stalls across America. Visit him on the web at The Carrying On of a Wayward Son.


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