B Is for Bad Cinema: Aesthetics, Politics, and Cultural Value (Suny Series, Horizons of Cinema)

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When you mention b-movies or bad cinema, everyone pictures the same general assemblage of films, compiling cult hits, blockbusters that underperformed, curious small-time projects, the abundantly weird and underfinanced, and the odd misfires that resonate later with a different audience. But b-movies have undergone something of a resurgence recently, and even “bad cinema” no longer means what it once did.

B is for Bad Cinema collects essays examining the cultural and social value of b-movies in modern society, though from essay to essay, “bad” can mean very different things. From enjoyably schlocky (as in most b-movies) to ineffectual cinema (well-intentioned efforts that failed), from what makes a “bad” villain great to how DVD commentary can immortalize a b-movie with context and sincerity, these essays each take “bad” in a different direction, making for something of a confusing read overall.

The editors have even coined a term I’ve never encountered before — paracinema — and they seem a little too pleased with themselves every time they use it, as if “b-movies” simply doesn’t get the job done anymore.

Each b-movie fan will find one or two articles of interest, but the collection as a whole will leave them a little cold.


Reviewed By:

Author Edited by Claire Perkins and Constantine Verevis
Star Count 2.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 274 pages
Publisher State University of New York Press
Publish Date 2014-Mar-01
ISBN 9781438449951
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2014
Category Music & Movies
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