I recently was wandering through the local Borders and found that they’ve finally released the 1980’s Flash Gordon in a nice DVD box set. I’ve loved this film since my college days, when I would get together with a number of friends on a semi-weekly basis to watch the film and enjoy it. My girlfriend, however, was rather appalled by the film.
This got me thinking about other films that are ridiculously flawed yet astonishingly enjoyable nevertheless. The only other example that comes to mind is The Fifth Element, which I saw in the theater while in grad school. I still vividly recall trying to explain to my friend Jim how horrible the film was, only to have him respond, “But I enjoyed it!” My response: “So did I, but it’s a horrible film!”
It seems there’s a class of films which are utterly and completely flawed — poor acting, inconsistent and incomprehensible storyline, cardboard characters — but which are still incredibly fun and enjoyable to watch. This baffles me.
Before anyone comments, I’m not simply referring to films which have camp value — as a regular MST3K viewer, I know there exist films which are fun to watch because they’re bad. What I’m talking about here are films that are fun to watch in spite of being bad. I genuinely like watching Flash Gordon, and actually care what happens to the characters in the story.
I’m somehow able to get past all the ridiculousness in the film and enjoy it for what it was (apparently) intended to be.
Does this make any sense? I’m still trying to understand this myself. Anyone have any other examples of such ‘good in spite of being bad’ films?