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 »