Like Bad Films? You’re Probably Very Intelligent!
We like research like this. Research that’s a bit mad, a bit daft and a lot silly.
A new research paper claims to have found a link between appreciation of “trash films”, and high levels of intelligence.
By using an online survey, its creators claim they found that bad low-budget films are most likely to be enjoyed by educated arthouse fans.
The authors state, in slightly arty-farty fashion:
“Viewers attribute to trash films not just amusing/entertaining qualities, but also a positive, transgressive deviance from the cinematic mainstream, and their appreciation of these films is coupled with marked preferences for art cinema.
“The majority of trash film fans appear to be well-educated cultural ‘omnivores’.”
If you fall into that category, you can feel all smug now.
These findings certainly tally with the emerging boom in prominent attention for, commentary on, and even widespread screenings, events and festivals celebrating ‘so bad it’s good’ cinema.
Cult followings for movies like The Room, Samurai Cop and Birdemic are mostly fueled by ardent cinephiles, who – as the paper points out – “conceive of their preference for trash films in terms of an ironic viewing stance.”
In other words, it’s not the lowest common denominator that’s sending total schlock stratospheric, and giving it an extended shelf-life. It’s the insufferable, knowledgable movie snobs who like to laugh at that kind of thing.
You can probably blame the four Sharknado films on so-called smart people too.