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The Foothill Dragon Press

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What makes a movie so bad it’s good?

Karli Riehle
It’s no small fact that movies are a popular form of media. Especially in the entertainment industry, movies are continuously being produced and showing up in movie theaters or on streaming platforms. When movies are released, it’s common to find reviews from professional critics and fans on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, Letterboxd and many others. As films are advancing in technology, intensive CGI and other editors are becoming more common to see. Occasionally, a movie will release that many claim is “so bad, it’s good.”

Oftentimes when a movie comes out, it simply fits into a scale ranging from good to bad. However, there is, on occasion, a movie that miraculously has the perfect mix of terrible qualities which actually make it enjoyable. Whether it be bad acting or silly editing, some movies end up being so bad they’re good.

One of the biggest aspects influencing whether or not a movie is so bad it’s good is if it’s intentional. When the filmmakers are obviously in on it and just trying to make a movie that’s campy and cheesy, it loses a bit of that magic.

A good example of this is many of the movies in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. Several of these films just go so over the top in their acting and action scenes that it’s impossible to think that the people behind the movies weren’t in on the jokes. So while they can be funny experiences, the “Fast and the Furious” movies don’t deliver on the so bad it’s a good experience like other films do.

Another factor affecting if a movie is so bad it’s good is how entertaining it is. There are countless bad films that have amusing scenes sprinkled into an overall boring experience.

Spider-Man 3” is a prime example of this as, in theory, it should be a great so bad it’s a good movie. There are scenes with an emo Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) which are hilariously bad, as well as Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) being a very goofy character. However, a majority of the film is focused on Peter and MJ’s (Kirsten Dunst) relationship, which, when neither character is particularly likable in this movie, leads to the viewer feeling uninterested and the film being a drag.

There are also the movies that would fit into the category of so bad it’s good, but are just too weird. The viewer is spending more time thinking about how strange this film is rather than how comically bad some of the scenes are.

Cats” is a great illustration of this. Seeing all these famous celebrities in this horrible movie should be hysterical, but the bizarreness of everything leaves the viewer in a constant state of confusion.

With that being said, the film that meets all the criteria set out and is the perfect so bad it’s good movie is “Aquaman.” The action and dialogue are both very humorous as well as the acting being laughably bad. Jason Momoa specifically delivers a ridiculous performance as Aquaman.
But that’s just one of the many films that fit into the so bad it’s good criteria. For many, the first film they’d think of is “The Room.” A more recent example of this kind of movie is “Madame Web.” These types of films may be enjoyable for all the wrong reasons, but they’re some of the best experiences one can have with a movie.

What do you think?
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About the Contributors
Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn, Writer
Hello. My name is Kelly and I enjoy writing about movies and video games. Oh, and I have beaten Elden Ring five times.
Karli Riehle
Karli Riehle, Illustrator
A first-year illustrator, obsessed with dragons and doodling.

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