6 Degrees of Film: Summertime & the Return of the Bad-B’s

Summertime…and each year the films that pop up in the “Bad B’ category are always the ones that we very often find to be even more ‘watchable’ than the classics that fill us with the sturm and drang of deep emotional stress. There are times when we remember an awful movie we saw long ago with fondness. It may trigger a memory of an outing with a friend or loved one that makes us want to relive the experience. And we find we don’t really have to function with deep concentration when watching the really bad movies. It may be like doing a mindless chore. You sometimes just want to do something to vacate the mind and realize that not all tasks or stories are meant to make you feel uplifted or transformed. You may just want to ‘let it be’ for a while… That is perhaps why “Plan 9 from Outer Space’ has endured and is shown on small screens and in arthouse settings after all these years! There are some things that make us sit up in awe-much like the audience “Gif’ of the crowd watching “Springtime for Hitler!” for the first time! It’s so bad you really can’t believe it!  Here’s a short trip down memory lane for some of the “A List’ of Bad B’s that we have compiled from years past. Enjoy your trip down memory lane…6 Degrees This is our list of Bad B’s of Summer…   Summertime is here and one of the funniest pastimes for me, as a movie critic, is just reading the synopses of some of the old Beach Movies that people flocked to see during the summer. (I think they flocked to them, or they wouldn’t have made at least seven of these Bad B Beach films!) I recently compiled a short list of the best of the blurbs. Here are a few favorites:   Bad-B’s at the Beach   It’s a Bikini World When a female scientist turns down a playboy’s pass, he poses as his own brother to win her heart. Muscle Beach Party The beach gang goes head-to-head with the bodybuilders at a new gym that’s interfering with their strip on the sand. Gidget A young girl dreams of winning acceptance from a gang of surfers. Gidget Goes Hawaiian: A surfer girl triggers romantic confusion during a Hawaiian vacation. Beach Blanket Bingo:  The surfing gang rescues a beautiful girl from a gang of evil bikers. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini:  When he’s stationed in Tahiti, a sailor hires a witch doctor to keep an eye on his girlfriend.   We all talk of the light and lovable time period when these films were made. Sure, the movies were sexist and made light of violent biker gangs and surfers without jobs or ambition in life. And of course the films exposed the dumbing-down of America.  We concede that the vapid content was overkill, even topping the syrupy sentiment of the hits Doris Day starred in during this era.   There may have been some maturation of the character of Gidget as she progressed through the series of moronic pictures. But, the entire Beach movies culture was enough to produce the counter-culture that came into existence in the late sixties.   The films stand alone as some of the worst series of films ever made. Only some bad-b Japanese movies are in the running to compete with the moronic vapidity on display in this film series. But…if you like Bad-B movies, and I admit to being quite a connoisseur of the art, then some of these films might just make it to the finals.   They are not quite in the league of Plan 9 from Outer Space, but some of the material in these films is noteworthy. And by that I mean, worthy of taking note of how poorly the film was made, edited, written, acted in and directed. I have written about Bad-B’s before, and I’ve resurrected that post for those fans of Bad B. If there are some films that may have slipped under the radar, please write to me at mljtpa@6degreeswriter.com. I’d love to compile a list of reader Bad-B’s for a new top 10 List. The Bad-B Top 10 from Rotten Tomatoes   No 1. The Oscar- 1966 (Rest of list in descending order of terrible!) 10. Showgirls- 1995 9.Battlefield Earth-2000 8. Glen or Glenda-1953 7. Plan 9 from Outer Space-1959 6.Robot Monster- 1953 5. Howling II-1985 4. The Black Gestapo-1975 3. Frankenstein Island-1981 2. Road House- 1989  

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