I don't have "guilty pleasure" movies.
Because I like all kinds of off the wall and trashy movies, people assume I have to with some regularity.
I don't have a stock answer.
Well, I do. It's that I don't feel guilty for experiencing pleasure. That usually leads to an eye-rolling "You know what I mean!" response, since our society so wholly embracing the basic premise of this. But I'm not sure I do... exactly.
I mean, it has something to do with enjoying movies like Ed Wood movies or Troll 2, right? Yeah, I enjoy those. Not as a habit, but on occasion.
I also admit having a more complicated relationship with Mystery Science Theater 3000 than merely the trash movie fan offense at the fact of it or the movie geek's frustration at people taking it as legitimate or valid criticism and know the movie's bad because it's gotten the MST3K treatment and they "saw" it.
Just trust me, you could that to Citizen Kane, to reach for the tritest example, and most people who saw it like that first would assume it's terrible. It's a trick.
And kind of like a magic trick, a reasonable person should be aware that it's a trick even if you don't bother learning it or how it works. You can enjoy the trick for the art of it and preserve the illusion for yourself, but you shouldn't assume Joel or Mike "proved" a movie is bad any more than you should believe the guy at your kid's birthday party made a rabbit appear from nothingness inside his hat. That makes you a fool.
But then my opinion of what defines "bad" is different than a lot of people's, too.
But then a lot of people's opinion of what defines "bad" is just goddamn wrong as all Hell.
No, don't give me that damn lecture on people having opinions. I mean, most people's opinion of what they think is bad is wrong as all Hell.
If you've ever complained that you didn't like some movie because it wasn't "realistic" and then praise, I don't know, 300 or, say, Fantasia means that you were just goddamn wrong about why you didn't like the first movie.
I've said I like the name "Best Worst", as in Best Worst Movie, best of what I've heard for this kind of ironic viewing, at least of the terms I've heard.
Partly that's my critical mind that notes that the title acknowledges there's something right (or at least rightish) about the rare "bad" movie that works as it's own bizarre kind of ironic treat. Most bad movies are just fucking boring.
But most I'm actually offended by the idea that I would or should feel guilty for taking pleasure from something as simple as a movie (or a song or TV show).
Fuck you for suggesting I should be!
Seriously. I don't mean this because I'm making some point about the direct logic of the words and their literal correctness or some other pedantic grounds. I find the term morally repugnant. I won't stand for it.
Sometimes I've considered making up a stock answer that annoys people less.
"Just think of a movie that you enjoy with some degree of irony and stick with it. Have a stock answer."
But I don't want to have a stock answer to that any more than I want a stock social answer to what my favorite "nigger joke" is. The answer's the same, "Fuck you for asking!"
I don't mean to be a spoilsport. I like to play along with everyone. I'm willing to play along. I'm just not going to lie, even by implication, about my opinions to suit the kind of disturbing Puritanical notions that other people allow to thrive in their own mind and life.
And that's not even getting into the fact that if I do try to play with more than two people, one dipshit invariably says something like genuinely brilliant like RoboCop, in that case usually because they're too dumb or self-delusional to catch that all of the irony is carefully placed there by the moviemakers and not because they are better or smarter than the movie.
Thanks to Tenebrous Kate, whose excellent Ms. 45 review contains this statement, "as a culture, it's time to banish the term 'Guilty Pleasure' and own the fact that sometimes, we get a thrill out of watching grotesque things."
Obviously I agree and I've been meaning to write this all done for a long time and I'm glad I finally just went ahead and put it all down.