Surfer: Teen Confronts Fear

In popular cinematic discourse, few phrases are as poorly-applied as “so bad it’s good.” That phrase suggests a continuum of quality, with a sweet spot in which a movie can entertain despite – or because of – its ineptitude.

That’s nonsense. Any continuum of quality would have to exist three-dimensionally to account for the vastness of cinema, and four-dimensionally to account for “that” kind of film. The best kind of “bad” movies are made with extreme passion, from unusual worldviews, and with little skill or taste – and as The Room proves, budget is no restriction on any of that. Often, the results feel like the raw outpourings of staggeringly strange minds. RE/Search Publications assembled many such films into a book entitled “Incredibly Strange Films,” back in 1986, and that’s a term I prefer to use.

Enter Surfer: Teen Confronts Fear, a film certainly made with intense passion, and thoroughly a modern Incredibly Strange Film. Short version: it’s amazing, but to get into why, we’ve got to dig a little. Read More »

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we deeply examine a plastic toy, find out that granny has a secret, make sexy time with a partner in crime, discover a master planned community where you don’t need to be 55 or older to visit, and see what some have called the next The Room. Read More »