Site Home > Film & Video > Articles> Good Reasons To Love Bad Movies
Site Map Blog About Us
Echopraxia Home
Film, Video & DVD Film & Video | People, Politics & Current Events Politics & Culture | Music & Audio Music & Audio | Books, Magazines, & Publishing Publishing & Books
Cinema Main Page Film & Video
Latest Articles
Film & Video
Hard To Deicide
The Frankenstein & Cain Motifs in Dystopian Cinema: better eat your young before they eat you.
The end of the world can be much more fun than you might think. The last of Ian's ramblings about dystopia in media.
Politics & Culture
Democratic Leadership: A New Oxymoron?
Part Two of "Can the Left Get it Right?
Fight for your Right to Copyfight
RunDMCA, Run: Part 1 in a series on the "copyfight" movements
Alright, Where'd You Hide That Freedom of Information, Anyway?
Ian interviews Joseph Haney, creator of
War Still Sucks
You Don't Have To Be A Liberal To Hate It
Music & Audio
MP3 Dot Bomb
Sifting Through the Wreckage of an Internet Innovator
Creedence Clearwater Revival
You can take the Ian out of the trailer park, but you can't take the...
Rust Never Sleeps
But It Didn't Seem Especially Alert In Seattle
Publishing &Books
Kula by Vlastimil Kula
Published by Taschen Books
Shooting Sex
by Bob Carlos Clarke - Terry mentally undresses strangers on his coffee table

People Often Ask Me...
...but If I told them I'd have to kill them

People often ask me, “Terry, why does someone who has seen as many hundreds and thousands of movies as you have the worst taste in movies on the planet?” It is often hard to imagine why I developed such bad taste. It is almost a fetish the way I love low budget movies. Drugs and alcohol have ravaged and claimed many innocent brain cells, so we could just lay the blame there, but we could also blame my parents. My dad loved porn, and raised us on James Bond and T&A. An avid gun enthusiast, my dad would watch “Dirty Harry” with us with his .44 magnum tucked under a couch pillow, and draw on the television every time the bad guy showed his face. It’s much funnier now than it was then.

As I got older, and began working on my own movies, I started to appreciate a little better what went into making movies, and how much work went into even the worst ones. It’s easy to love something ugly when it tries so hard. I learned to ignore low budget shortcomings, and suspend my disbelief at the drop of a hat. Tell me it happened, and that's good enough for me.

My appreciation for foreign films grew from viewing one movie, “ Betty Blue.” There weren’t too many foreign movies in Northern Michigan video stores when I was growing up, but when I saw a Siskel and Ebert review for “Betty Blue”, I had to find this movie. At first, the rampant sex and nudity just about killed my sixteen-year-old heart. I couldn’t believe it. If all foreign movies were like this, I was moving abroad. What hit me like a ton of bricks was the deep despair and spiritual awakening that the characters went through. I was moved, touched, and ruined for life. I was never the same after “Betty Blue.” A movie that beautiful and true was too good to be real, but it was real, and I needed more of the same.

Finding exciting movies with a fair measure of sex, nudity and violence is tough these days. A movie like “Jackass” can show human feces and grown men shooting fireworks from their butts, but you won’t see a sex scene or natural depictions of nudity. It’s OK to have a high body count as a result of violence, but those bodies better not be naked.

Some of you know, I earn money by reviewing movies for another web site. Yes, those kinds of movies. Some folks call them "pornos", some call them “blue movies,” but I prefer the term “erotic features.” Whatever you call them, they represent a 4 billion dollar a year industry that inspires outrage in many and delight in others. I actually don’t mind watching them, and badly need the money. I won’t pretend I have never seen an adult feature because I actually love 70’s adult movies and can think of a couple of adult directors, such as Andrew Blake and Shu Lea Cheang, who are elevating the material and creating, dare I say it? “Art.” My favorite adult director is Radley Metzger (who worked under the name Henry Paris, among others) during his career as a filmmaker. “Score”, about a swinging couple and a contest, starring the adorable Lynn Lowry is one of my all-time favorites, and “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” may very well be the smartest erotic feature ever made. (That is, after “I.K.U.”, which stands as my favorite adult film of all time.)

What does all of this talk of skin and sin have to do with my love for independent and unusual low budget movies? It is simple, many moviemakers complain about creative restrictions and bitch about financing, while adult filmmakers have ideas and go through whatever means they must to get their picture made. Granted, they don’t always turn out the way they want, and they aren’t masterpieces, but they have a spirit and charm typically missing in Hollywood movies. (Frankly, it doesn’t hurt to see beautiful naked bodies writhing around, either.)

There is always talk of the line between mainstream movies and adult cinema blurring. It happens in Europe every day, and there have been a couple American films that pushed the boundaries lately. One American adult company, “Excellence Entertainment”, is composed of people who have worked in the mainstream industry, who want to make big-budget adult films with interesting stories and over-the-top action sequences. Their first movie, “Jewel Raider”, was a spoof of Hollywood’s “Tomb Raider” and their follow up, “Tachnophobia” is a big-budget action movie, ala “The Fast and the Furious” that is visually impressive and has a lot going for it. Jeff Centauri and his partner Edy Ong just want to have fun and make interesting movies that just happen to have attractive actors and actresses having sex. (If they’re really smart, they’ll rush my script “Bubblegum Pop” or “Spooky” into development, as I found I have a flare for writing compelling adult fare.) Excellence Entertainment and other adult companies are focusing much more on making movies for a generation of young adults who watch movies like “The Matrix” and “Fight Club.” If the line between porn and the mainstream is blurring, it’s fueled by a return to independent film’s guerrilla devotion to creativity, not the sex. Poorly directed sex scenes still stop a movie in it’s tracks, porn or not!

The bottom line is, yes I will watch anything, and I will be fair in my judgment of a low budget film, but I won’t tolerate stupidity or lack of creativity. I would honestly rather watch a movie shot on video by a group of eager young filmmakers in Idaho than a big budget, soulless piece of crap like “Pearl Harbor” any day of the week. Of course, Michael Bay is too easy a target considering how vapid his entire filmography is, and how good he really thinks he is.

I want more movies from David Fincher, and Shu Lea Cheang. I want sexy, stylish movies that blow my mind with their unusual stories. I want David Lynch to take over Hollywood and I want to see the first movie from the most promising independent movie company out there, Digital Fantastique Studios! Honestly, I would rather watch the movies in my head than anything else, so I can’t complain. Lucky for you all, soon you’ll be able to see them too. “HYBRID” is coming to DVD in 2003. (That shameless plug felt really good.)

So, I love bad movies as much as good movies because I am insane and have no moral or cultural filter like all too many of you do. I watch it all. (No sheep, please.) Movies are supposed to entertain, enlighten and even arouse. So, sue me if I want to feel something from a movie.

Terry Osterhout
November, 2002
Get Your Film Reviewed
We'd Love To Review Your Independent Film Project -
Click Here For Details


about us | film/video | politics | music | books

© 2005 Echopraxia