Little Miss Scare-All

A college goth trying to find her way in the world.

Current partakers in bad horror misunderstand what makes the subcategory work

Oversaturation is killer, even when it attaches itself to a realm so heavily focused on death.

The horror genre has been consumed with purposely bad horror flicks for quite a while, but recently I’ve been noticing an increase in this particular subcategory. This should come as no surprise.

Technology and the Internet have allowed your average inspired citizen to take on filmmaking and garner attention for their efforts. I’m not demonizing these attempts for there have been instances in which the Internet has allowed talented groups of people (no, I’m never going to shut up about my love for Tangerine) to reach acclaim, but it’s impossible to deny that such an entertainment setting has allowed undeserving pieces to float to the surface.

Photo courtesy of Radiograph Pictures

Photo courtesy of Radiograph Pictures

Pair this with the popularity of The Room and RiffTrax, which have re-sparked the general public’s interest in subpar movies, and you’ve got yourself creations such as Revenge of the Spacemen, which sports an unfortunate mess of a trailer that wishes to rely on minimal and misplaced retro horror aesthetics with little else backing the flick.

This subcategory may appear to be perfect for the average, uninformed director newbie because low budgets typically accompany these types of movies, making it ideal for those who can’t afford the proper equipment and aren’t attached to a studio. It comes across as an easy path to take, both in financial and marketing terms, but what ends up happening is that the finished work betrays a complete avoidance of the fact that quality must go into low-quality material.

Some of you who’ve been keeping up with Little Miss Scare-All since its inception may be thinking, “But, Kim, you once blogged about how terribly made releases are necessary for the horror genre. Why the sudden backtracking?” I wouldn’t necessarily consider this an evolution of opinion, rather an expansion of it.

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

See, good bad horror walks along a line defined by the formulaic. You have to have the cheesy, laughable threat paired up with abysmal acting and questionable cuts. It’s part of the territory. What many people are forgetting it seems is that story is just as important here, maybe even more so.

When you’re working so hard to produce a garbage product, you need to at least give someone a reason to look at your pile of trash. If you don’t, well, it’s just trash. If there’s not a story to be invested in or at the very least characters with addictive personalities to ooze over, then you’re basically asking your audience to sit down and suffer for 90 minutes. You’ve given them no reward.

There’s more to it than the intentional mistakes. Presenting junk as valuable junk is an art form, and people should stop underestimating the amount of effort that goes into such an endeavor.


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