DOA: Does the Bad Make Good?

The phrase “so bad it’s good” is misleading. Movies can get really, really bad and never become good. The key to a good bad movie is not how far it falls on the badness scale.DOA bra in the air

In fact, there is not key. Bad movies can be enjoyable for a number of reasons, some of them apparently contradictory. I’ll ┬áhave a whole article about these factors up, soon, but here I’ll just touch on those that affect this movie.

another bra in the airOne thing that makes a bad movie good is the sheer cheesiness of it. Action sequences, violence, sex, nudity, or intense acting that are completely un-motivated by the movie itself contribute to this cheesiness.

Another are turning points or moments of extreme stupidity. “Let’s split up” is a classic version of this. Extremely trite dialog also fits here, like “we can only succeed if we work together.”

do me up two

Bad acting may or may not make a movie good. It depends on how it interrupts or contrasts with the general direction of tone of the movie.

Earnest-ness helps. If some of the actors or the director are really trying to do something far better than the actual film, that can show through. Especially if the others are bored.

Finally, startlingly good scenes interrupting general nonsense can elevate a bad movie, more-so than if those same scenes occurred in an actual solid film.

But mostly, it’s in those moments when you throw your hands up, turn to your buddies and say “WTF? I don’t even…” that you are truly experiencing the greatness of awful film-making. And this happens when something really unpredictable happens. Something a good film-maker would have realized could not possibly work.

DOA: Dead or Alive┬áhas those moments. It has cheesiness galore. It has two actresses earnestly trying to do something better than this film. There are some actual good scenes and funny parts. And there’s a lot more cheesiness. I don’t think there were any true WTF moments, however. Which would have pushed it up to four stars. As it is, I can only give it a solid three.

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