What Would You Say We’re Doing Here?

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Good question.

This site is about genre movies. Not the big budget versions that supposedly transcend a genre, but the smaller ones that define the genre in which they find themselves. We don’t necessarily focus on ¨so bad they are good movies,¨ though we will certainly run across some.

We consider each movie from three directions:

How does it stack up as a film?

Is it a successful example of its particular genre?

Does it succeed as a “bad” movie?

The website is supported almost entirely by advertising, though we do try and focus on products that we either love or hate.

Review Philosophy

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The Film Reviews

I do like good filmmaking, and there is no reason a genre movie like Unforgiven can’t be considered one of the greatest movies of all time. Writing about how it isn’t really a western or that it transcends the genre misses the point though. Unforgiven is a great movie partly because it is such a part of the genre it rises from. It embraces the genre as well as deconstructing it.

The Genre Review

That said, some movies aren’t really good filmmaking, but they do a great job of telling a story within the language, the world, the expectations created by a genre. Enter the Dragon is probably a great example of this. I love it, but I know it’s no Citizen Kane . But as a martial arts movie, it is arguably among the very best.

The Bad Movie Review

Bad movies are hard to pin down. Sometimes a bad movie achieves greatness because it is trying so hard to be good, and failing. Others are great because they hit bad and just keep going over the edge, gleefully. Troll 2 may be as bad as it gets, but you have the sense that the filmmakers were trying to do something. This is far different than, say, Sharknado , which is deliberately bad, but good enough at it to be fun.

Genres

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What makes a genre? I firmly believe it is more than just a marketing category. A genre is a common template for interpretation. A common language, not just in words, but in actions, characters, tropes, etc. A cop movie has tension between partners and a hard-nosed but caring boss. The protagonist is always pressing or breaking the rules. The hero has to resolve his relationship with his partner, redeem himself to his boss, impress his ex-wife, and maybe solve the central crime.

The main genres on this website are the ones with which I am most familiar, but also ones that I feel have dominated for so long because they each have a strong role in defining our culture.

Science Fiction is about us innovating, facing new challenges, addressing the future. It is part of how we see ourselves.

Westerns are about individual values and meaning in the face of an indifferent and hostile world. They could have become about expansion, colonization, or genocide, but the genre has always preferred to be about one against the world.

Horror movies allow us to work through our fears and our hostility in an abstract, unreal world where the stakes are fictional.

Martial Arts movies are probably less critical in defining us culturally, at least in the United States. Many of the themes are similar to Westerns. But I love them so here they are.

There are other genres we may explore as well, depending.

Cool Things

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If you love b-movies and genre movies, this is the place. If you would like to sign up to comment on the site, you can do so here.

If you want to contribute content, you can contact me here.

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