Monday, 9 January 2017

Gods alive!

Guilty pleasure's. Apparently they're a thing. I don't really subscribe to this as a concept, as I believe you either like something and stand by it or you don't. If it's guilty that implies you are somehow ashamed of it which means you are embarrassed to acknowledge a certain part of yourself in wider society.

In my previous blog I mentioned that I have a love of classic old musicals and would have loved to have learnt to dance like Gene Kelly. There is no guilt in this, I'm not worried about different ideals of masculinity as for me being a man does not revolve around having the most bulgingest biceps, or toting a gun better than your rival (which is lucky as I can do neither). But I digress, I was talking about guilty pleasures, which brings me to.....

Crap films.
I love crap films. Some people live in the mistaken belief that as a fan of film I can't switch my brain off and enjoy some car crash movies. Well, I can. If it helps, I could also break them down in a variety of readings and discuss theories on a variety of topics. But if needed, I can quite happily watch utter drivel and thoroughly enjoy it.

Deep down everyone has a few favourite bad movies. And I don't mean "so bad they're good". I mean "so bad they're bad". Not the camp classics like Flash Gordon, or the Charlie Sheen comedy action movie genre (Terminal Velocity is still the best sky-diving movie ever made), I'm talking about irredeemable drivel.

Fanning the flames of mediocrity.
These are the sort of films that are only truly enjoyed with close friends. Rachel (my other half and the brains in our relationship) takes no enjoyment in watching such films. She sees them as a waste of time and will only tolerate watching them if she is taking complete pity on me.

Which is where my friends come in.

Back in my younger days my friends and I would watch crappy Chinese martial arts movies and the entire back catalogue of Rutger Hauer that we'd bought on VHS from the local flea market.

At university we'd raid the HMV sales and pick up all sorts of tat for a quid each.

Think of the money Rutger.
Nowadays, I go round Gary's house and with him, Jamie and Mal we end up watching utter garbage while we talk crap and put the world to rights. And I mean this in the most endearing, fantastic way. These are the sort of films that make you stop what you're doing because you can't believe how bad they are. I'm talking about Sharknado levels of cinematic awfulness. The sort of films where the highest paid star is famous for being a supporting actor from a mid-nineties sit-com.

I'd cite Cockney's versus Zombies in this bracket, yet somehow Honour Blackman, the fella who played Bricktop in Snatch and Richard Briers (RICHARD BRIERS!) were coerced into appearing in it. I think this was Richard Briers' last piece of acting, and if that's true that completely outdoes Raul Julia's final appearance in Street Fighter the Movie. What a way to be remembered. Although he does manage to pull off an escape from a zombie by shuffling along on a zimmer frame, which is genius.

Up to this point in my life I thought this level of film was squarely levelled off as a straight to DVD release, or only appearing on Dave at midnight. Turns out I was wrong.

Because I recently watched Gods of Egypt.

Yea Gods!
I'd heard it was bad. I'd heard it was a turkey. I'd heard it was one of the biggest flops of 2016. And it's all of those things. It's cataclysmic in it's turdishness. It has all the charm of one of those bad mid-nineties CGI movies where everything looks fake. It's got good actors acting badly. Bad actors acting worse. Geoffrey Rush eats the scenery. Gerard Butler turns up thinking he's still in 300 and channels the spirit of Sean Connery in Highlander (that other famous Scottish Egyptian). It features a really annoying lead character. Jamie Lannister turns up with one eye. It's got appalling dialogue and a terrible plot that you could work out by the end of the opening credits. Despite being a fantasy movie it manages to recast the entire Egyptian race as white, apart from the slaves who are somehow mostly black. And the subservient women are all kohl-eyes and push-up bras.

This is Cairo!
In short, it's amazing. This is exactly the sort of movie I can fall in love with. Is it on a par with the Seven Samurai? No way. It's not even on a par with Anaconda 3. But this is part of the joy of watching films, you can't pigeon-hole yourself or others into one type of film genre. We're just not made that way.

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