I am commonly known as a movie snob. People perceive my overwhelming love of all things movies as being purely contrary to popular opinion, that I like only what others don’t, and that my tastes are of the “art-house” variety. What many people don’t know about my movie watching habits: I am a sucker for B-Movies. I probably have more “guilty pleasures” than most. These are movies that are lower in quality, horrid in terms of acting, and the writing definitely leaves something to be desired. But to me, all of them inspire joy, entertainment out of absurdity, and happiness from laughter. To put it succinctly, I believe in B-Movies.
I grew up on movies. At the age of eight I could not tell the quality of one movie apart from another. I thought that if they were good then, that they would always be good. Upon revisiting these movies, I learned that I was wrong, and what I thought to be brilliant in my youth was only of B quality in reality. In this realization I found a new kind of brilliance.
Just as we can learn much from higher quality movies, I believe that we can learn a great many of life’s lessons from B-Movies. They can teach us to see the perfection in imperfection, that something may be flawed, but that doesn’t make it bad. Through the campy dialogue and the poor costumes, we see that even in the darkest of places we may find a silver lining.
The discovery of something like a B-Movie can show us the change we experience as we enter old age. Just like I never viewed my childhood movies the same as I entered my teenage years, we never seem to find the time to take the same look at ourselves. Rarely do we sit down and acknowledge that, like our changing perceptions, that we too are not the same.
B-Movies have the ability to save us from our own pretension. Sometimes we get so caught up in our high expectations that we often dismiss anything that fails to meet our standards as too conventional, poorly done, or pointless. Watching something as awful as a bad movie humbles us, by exposing our habits to enjoy even the worst of movies.
B-Movies, like the smallest of actions, can have a ripple effect, like a leaf in a pond, but sometimes these ripples are not strong enough to reach the shore. Although they may be small in size for the movie industry, they still have the power to affect many. Although our actions may not always have the greatest magnitude, that shouldn’t discourage us from acting.
I believe in the power of the B-Movies of the world. I find that they provide a healthy reprieve from the dramas, thrillers, and horror movies of life, even for the biggest of movie snobs.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.