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Author Topic: Do We Need A New Term for B-Movie?  (Read 7710 times)
masterdebater
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« on: August 20, 2008, 06:35:06 AM »

 I have loved B-Movies and film in general since childhood. Like everyone else here its someting that provides entertainment, a hobby, a collection and the talking point for a reasonable percentage of my interaction with friends and on the net.
 During some of those conversations and while reading the posts here I have been aware of the distinction the purist will make between the 'B-movie' proper and the other, forgotten, low budget or 'out of the mainstream' movies that we all lump together under the banner of B-movies.
 I think that we need a better general term for this particular niche of film that we find ourselves attracted to.
 I think the terms B-movie, bad movie or kitsch movie dont really cover the spectrum fully. What do you think is the best term to describe the kind of films we are talking about on this site?
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 07:12:29 AM »

Trash  BounceGiggle
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Dennis
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 08:44:38 AM »

I've always liked my wife's term for the movies I watch, "Class Z S%#**y Film"
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 11:39:53 AM »

I have loved B-Movies and film in general since childhood. Like everyone else here its someting that provides entertainment, a hobby, a collection and the talking point for a reasonable percentage of my interaction with friends and on the net.
 During some of those conversations and while reading the posts here I have been aware of the distinction the purist will make between the 'B-movie' proper and the other, forgotten, low budget or 'out of the mainstream' movies that we all lump together under the banner of B-movies.
 I think that we need a better general term for this particular niche of film that we find ourselves attracted to.
 I think the terms B-movie, bad movie or kitsch movie dont really cover the spectrum fully. What do you think is the best term to describe the kind of films we are talking about on this site?
The term "B Movie" is certainly banded about this forum quite a lot, but BAD does not necessarily mean "B."  For example, XANADU is a truly BAD movie that had an "A" budget.  On the other hand, CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a truly low-budget "B" movie that despite it's many shortcomings and technical flaws could be described as "bad", but really is not BAD at all! 
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 11:52:56 AM »

Bad is subjective.  Not everyone has seen Xanadu.  The again not everyone has seen Zardoz.  I think Zardoz is great.  It's essential SF viewing.

Xanadu?  Never cared.  It's, what, a roller skating musical?  Doesn't appeal to me. Then again that's just me, it's a matter of taste.  OTOH some might say that anyone who likes Zardoz lacks taste.  Me, I say anyone who can't see the humor of the flick is taking life (and the movie) way to seriously.  It's an absurdist fantasy that just plain hilariously bad.   Now if anyone besides Sean Connery was in it I may feel differently.  I think that's really what makes Zardos must viewing, the fact it stars Jame Bond.  TeddyR
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 12:46:01 PM »

Bad is subjective... 
That's certainly the case with your... er, "our" list in your thread about SF B movies...

...Not everyone has seen Xanadu.  The again not everyone has seen Zardoz.  I think Zardoz is great.  It's essential SF viewing.Xanadu?  Never cared.  It's, what, a roller skating musical?  Doesn't appeal to me. Then again that's just me, it's a matter of taste.  OTOH some might say that anyone who likes Zardoz lacks taste.  Me, I say anyone who can't see the humor of the flick is taking life (and the movie) way to seriously.  It's an absurdist fantasy that just plain hilariously bad.   Now if anyone besides Sean Connery was in it I may feel differently.  I think that's really what makes Zardos must viewing, the fact it stars Jame Bond.  TeddyR
Why are we on SF again?  What's your point?  It's not about who's seen the movies or not.  If you'd seen XANADU, I'm confident you'd agree it's BAD.  Nonetheless, this thread is about defining a term.  My point is that "B" is not necessarily "BAD." 
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masterdebater
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 12:49:10 PM »

I certainly agree with your views on Zardoz Kester, I love Zardoz but the fact that I love it means it's not bad. Cant say I've seen Xanadu.

I really feel that the term B-movie is a purist term for those films made as supporting features. I really feel that calling movies that fit into a this niche 'bad' is also wrong. Some of the films reviewed here I hold as classics of thier genre.

Guilty pleasures is the best way I can explain how I feel about these films but that makes them sound like sex aids!

Trash and Z-list too, feel like we arent giving these hidden gems thier full credit.

I think we need something more positive.

 
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 01:16:27 PM »

I like "Cult Movies" myself although one could argue that's too wide-ranging. Then again, I'm a lover of blaxploitation, exploitation, kung fu, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, animation, heck sometimes even film noir, mystery, western and war films get lumped into the equation.  I do believe "B-movie" ties into the classic "B-picture", a lower budget film added as a bonus that played in addition to an A-picture at theaters in the old days. Nowadays we tend to think of B-movies as any film that includes certain elements (be it a monster of some sort, Kung Fu fighting, a hero with his shirt ripped off, scantily clad women to up the exploitation factor, much of its media promising thrills most often the film can never truly deliver upon) and often consider Drive-In fare and direct to video releases to be Bs too.
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 01:16:27 PM »

This is a pointless thread but I will say don't confuse B-movie with Bad movie. They are not the same thing. A b movie can be a good or even great movie. The thing is, if you are trying to categorizing films you will end up with 200 different categories and still that won't be enough, so give it up.
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 01:18:28 PM »

Meh, I don't see the need to define terms. Anymore I think "B-movie" is a blanket term that applies to anything with less than a Hollywood budget, while "bad movie" is anything cheesy or goofy that most people would watch and either turn off or just come away from scratching their heads and wondering why such a thing would be made in the first place. Those are my definitions. Everybody's definition varies from person to person and no new blanket term needs to be made, because that term will have the same issue.
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Kester Pelagius
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 01:51:58 PM »

AnubisVonMojo,

Love the avatar.  And you're right, it's ALL pretty much subjective.

Allhallowsday,

Uhm, what?  "It's not about who's seen the movies or not." You counter your own argument: "If you'd seen XANADU, I'm confident you'd agree it's BAD."

As the old saying goes: SEEING is believing.  Whether a movie is considered "good" or "bad" is largely a judgement call, which makes it subjective, ergo my attempt to illustrate the point citing the movie you mentioned (Xanadu) with Zardoz.

However Underbelly states the point even more clearly.  Bad DOES NOT EQUATE TO B-Movie.  A B-movie can be bad, but not ALL B-movies are bad.  However some b-movies are so bad that they get a "cult" following and thus become cult movies, witness TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.  There was a time that only hardcore gore hounds liked that movie and movies like it, which were few and far between.  Today we have an entire new cinematic genre, the "torture porn" horror.

Is that a good thing?  I'd say not.  Are the movies good?  Again it's a matter of opinion, which makes it subjective.  But are they "B-movies"?

Yes and no.  They are "B" style movies produced by major studios with "A" budgets.

But what does that mean?

As I stated in the 100 essential SF B-movies thread all that "B" meant, in it's original coinage, was that a moivie was a second string production using second string talent and costumes either inherited or "borrowed" from other productions.  Thus when a "A" feature wrapped a "B" movie might get the use of it's costumes and/or sets.  A prime example of this is the first ISLA movie, which used, IIRC, the sets from Hogan's Heroes just prior to their slated demolition.

Klar?
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 03:59:15 PM »

Allhallowsday, Uhm, what?  "It's not about who's seen the movies or not." You counter your own argument: "If you'd seen XANADU, I'm confident you'd agree it's BAD."
First, I made no argument.  Second, I wrote "If you'd..." as in "If you had..."  the operative word being "had."  We both cite examples (though I've seen yours and don't think, for one, it's all that "bad.")  Wink  (I know I know!)  I state again, the point isn't who has seen a particular film or not, regardless of what anyone - or everyone - thinks about any such film, whether "good" or "bad".  The point was to define the term "B-movie."  Defining a term is not "subjective."  Use of the term, however, may be "subjective."  Third, that's some handy editing you got there, ignoring the point of part of what you quote.   Lookingup Here:
... Nonetheless, this thread is about defining a term.  My point is that "B" is not necessarily "BAD."


As the old saying goes: SEEING is believing.  Whether a movie is considered "good" or "bad" is largely a judgement call, which makes it subjective, ergo my attempt to illustrate the point citing the movie you mentioned (Xanadu) with Zardoz.
As I wrote, what's yer point?  It seems beside the purpose of this thread.  Additionally, and believe you me, everybody knows XANADU is bad.  But that was not my point.  Maybe there are people who think it's good!  If you haven't seen any particular film, refraining from an opinion is just good sense, so I think we agree there. 

However Underbelly states the point even more clearly.  Bad DOES NOT EQUATE TO B-Movie.  A B-movie can be bad, but not ALL B-movies are bad.  However some b-movies are so bad that they get a "cult" following and thus become cult movies, witness TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.  There was a time that only hardcore gore hounds liked that movie and movies like it, which were few and far between.  Today we have an entire new cinematic genre, the "torture porn" horror.  Is that a good thing?  I'd say not.  Are the movies good?  Again it's a matter of opinion, which makes it subjective.  But are they "B-movies"?  Yes and no.  They are "B" style movies produced by major studios with "A" budgets.  But what does that mean?

As I stated in the 100 essential SF B-movies thread all that "B" meant, in it's original coinage, was that a moivie was a second string production using second string talent and costumes either inherited or "borrowed" from other productions.  Thus when a "A" feature wrapped a "B" movie might get the use of it's costumes and/or sets.  A prime example of this is the first ISLA movie, which used, IIRC, the sets from Hogan's Heroes just prior to their slated demolition.  Klar?
About as "klar" as the use of that "word."  You aren't quoting Underbelly (whose posting is a bit rude) so he didn't actually state "Bad DOES NOT EQUATE TO B-Movie."  Again, this thread was about defining a term, an oft-used term, "B-MOVIE."  If you read my original response here, you will see that I wrote the same point in what you agree with what Underbelly wrote, though I do not agree with your commentary about TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (I wouldn't call it "torture porn"):

The term "B Movie" is certainly banded about this forum quite a lot, but BAD does not necessarily mean "B."  For example, XANADU is a truly BAD movie that had an "A" budget.  On the other hand, CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a truly low-budget "B" movie that despite it's many shortcomings and technical flaws could be described as "bad", but really is not BAD at all! 
And then repeated myself:

...Nonetheless, this thread is about defining a term.  My point is that "B" is not necessarily "BAD." 
KP, How many times must I state that which you stated you agree with?  Masterdebater was looking to define the term "B-movie" and I applaud his effort. 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 04:22:39 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 04:50:26 PM »

This is a pointless thread...
I think that's rude. 
...but I will say don't confuse B-movie with Bad movie. They are not the same thing. A b movie can be a good or even great movie. The thing is, if you are trying to categorizing films you will end up with 200 different categories and still that won't be enough, so give it up.
If a thread is "pointless" why respond?  The idea was not to "categorize" movies, but to define the term "B-movie" a term valid for every genre of film, whether it be Horror, SciFi, Romance, Action... 

Meh, I don't see the need to define terms. Anymore I think "B-movie" is a blanket term that applies to anything with less than a Hollywood budget, while "bad movie" is anything cheesy or goofy that most people would watch and either turn off or just come away from scratching their heads and wondering why such a thing would be made in the first place. Those are my definitions. Everybody's definition varies from person to person and no new blanket term needs to be made, because that term will have the same issue.
There is always a need to define terms, whether you see it or not (with all due respect AnubisVonMojo, you know I love you!)  If we don't define our terms, how will we understand one another? 

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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 05:07:47 PM »

"NoLo Movies"??

as in No or Low Budget Movies.


"Drive Off Movies"??

as in they were the second movie shown at the Drive-In, but it was getting late and we drove off...
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008, 05:09:49 PM »

Quote from: Allhallowsday link=topic=120667.msg210021#msg210021
Meh, I don't see the need to define terms. Anymore I think "B-movie" is a blanket term that applies to anything with less than a Hollywood budget, while "bad movie" is anything cheesy or goofy that most people would watch and either turn off or just come away from scratching their heads and wondering why such a thing would be made in the first place. Those are my definitions. Everybody's definition varies from person to person and no new blanket term needs to be made, because that term will have the same issue.
There is always a need to define terms, whether you see it or not (with all due respect AnubisVonMojo, you know I love you!)  If we don't define our terms, how will we understand one another? 

No offense taken at all Wonka. I just find that the definitions given to something like a "b-movie" or a "bad movie" vary from person to person and as such simply cause discourse when the matter is addressed. When Andrew posted his El Topo review last month, I remember someone posting angry comments about how Andrew should remove the review immediately because it didn't fit the poster's definition of a "bad movie" and therefore putting it up at badmovies.org was some kind of horrible insult. I don't know. Aside from delving into the various genre and sub-genre classifications for movies, I don't think a universal agreement can be had. Then again, I'm an anti-social pessimist for the most part, so every thing I say should be taken with a grain of nevermind anyway.  TongueOut
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