An editorial on loving movies

Far be it for me to tell you how to enjoy movies, but I’ve been noticing a few things and while I avoid group posting and saying things like, “Hey Mutant Fam” or “#filmtwitter,” I just wanted to explain a few things about my love of film and how I hope it can help you enjoy movies in your own way.

Also, because I’m a curmudgeon, it’ll probably be mean in places but that’s me tearing off the band-aid to help you, trust me.

Stop these: so bad it’s good, guilty pleasure, embarrassing films I like.

This phrase immediately makes me tune out on anything you have to say forever after you say it. You’re disqualifying your taste. You’re saying that a film that entertained you wasn’t worthwhile. Escape the need to explain your taste. Admit it: sometimes you like a movie that other people will make fun of you for liking. Sometimes, if you’re me, you hold the films of Andy Sidaris, Jess Franco, Bruno Mattei and Joe D’Amato in the esteem that others reserve for François Truffaut. If I was worried about embarrassment…

Something I need to stop: saying that the films I love are stupid.

It’s a term of endearment at times and at others, a lot of the movies that I adore do some really, really insipid things. But isn’t that why I enjoy them? I want Italian exploitation to punch me in the brain and balls. I want it to make me feel something. Often, the phrase movie drugs gets used in the way that I discuss film. I’m basing that on the writing of Stephen Thrower, who has commented that watching Fulci’s films gave the same serotonin rush as doing hard drugs. It puts your mind in a new place, it allows you to expand your consciousness and it changes you. So yes, those slow-moving Fulci spiders may seem dumb. The people just waiting to die may appear corny. But if you love it, you love it. I’m speaking — again — to myself.

I don’t want to choose.

What is the social media obsession with “You can only keep one of these movies?” Fuck that. You should watch every movie you can. You should absorb them, love them or hate them and use the experience to grow. Why would you close yourself off, even in a fantasy argument?

Make up your own mind.

I will for the life of me never understand people who post, “Will I like this movie?”

Who knows! By experiencing a movie that you dislike, you are creating the valleys for your peaks. You may see something you enjoy even if you hate the final film. But you need to watch it. I myself have been guilty in my life as to being a hater; I often see a trailer and instantly wonder, “Who the fuck is that for?” But the truth is, as I get older, I can admit that there are just some movies that perhaps are not for me and why should I ruin it for anyone else? You know, except Scream, because fuck that film series for all time.

Get over budgets.

The joy of working on the commentary tracks for Visual Vengeance’s releases is understanding that the budget doesn’t matter. Do special effects have to be perfect or are you watching the movie to laugh or be entertained? You shouldn’t expect regional or low budget films to look the same as a movie that wasted millions to look uncanny valley perfect.

The Medveds and their ilk made fun of Ed Wood because he used hubcabs as UFOs. Well, he did something. He made something. If you get caught in the right mindspace, the cheapest effect is just a tool to move the story forward and bring you into the world the filmmakers are creating.

Get obsessed.

I don’t expect people to watch as many movies as I do, but I do invite you to fall in love with cinema. Instead of asking, “Will I like a Lucio Fulci movie?” watch one. Tubi is out there, for free, with so many of his movies. And you know what? You might hate that movie you watched. Cool. It’s not for you. So what else is for you? If you decide that you love Hollywood blockbusters, it’s fine. Get into them. Watch them. Discuss them. Make them your genre.

Remember, above all else, there’s no such thing as a bad movie unless it’s boring.



2 thoughts on “An editorial on loving movies

  1. Right on, Sam. I’ve told people for years that I can like filet mignon and lobster as well as White Castle hamburgers. So why can’t I like Citizen Kane and Frankenhooker? 🙂 If a movie gives me enjoyment, entertains me, makes me think, makes me laugh, or even just kills a rainy afternoon, I’ll like it. I don’t have to add disclaimers or apologies.


  2. Completely agree. To me, there’s nothing more boring that a discussion about whether a film (or novel) is worthy. The line of commercial vs. literary is arbitrary and unimportant. There are good movies and bad movies. And I get to decide which is which for me, and you get to decide which is which for you. Preach!


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