Killer B's
October 19, 2007 1:14 PM   Subscribe should be fairly self-explanatory.
posted by Wolfdog (39 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Oh nice! This is a great find , I'll be enjoying this tonight after lights out.
posted by nola at 1:18 PM on October 19, 2007

What a horribly amazing project ... though I do wish they had some cult classics.. Dolemite anyone?
posted by SirStan at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2007

Ooh. Awesome.

Also, for a second I thought this was a Mefi's Own situation.
posted by cortex at 1:21 PM on October 19, 2007

Hey, cool. I love this kind of stuff.
posted by everichon at 1:25 PM on October 19, 2007

Robot Monster is by far the best. Of the worst.
posted by everichon at 1:27 PM on October 19, 2007

Wow, including "Carnival of Souls", "Bad Taste", and "A Boy and his Dog". Incredible. Who needs Friday flash with so much treasured trash?
posted by Curry at 1:28 PM on October 19, 2007

posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:28 PM on October 19, 2007

This is excellent, and while we're at it, let us not forget, also chock full of b movie fun.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:44 PM on October 19, 2007

How on earth is Metropolis a B movie?!
posted by shmegegge at 1:45 PM on October 19, 2007

This is great! "Cue the flying dino-monster!" I also would not think of Metropolis as a B movie. Weird.
posted by wafaa at 2:10 PM on October 19, 2007

They don't have a 'Cult Classic/Trashy' category for b movies? WTF? I guess since it would be dominiated by John Waters there is no use.
posted by toddbass10 at 2:18 PM on October 19, 2007

Dig these descriptions:

Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967): An expedition in the South Pacific lands on a tropical island where the natives worship the mysterious deity Gappa.
... and his high priest Flattafronta.

Eegah (1962): A hipster in a dune buggy, his girlfriend and her father discover a caveman in the desert of Southern California.
Come on out, Gray Davis, all is forgiven!

American Empire (1942): Two men join forces to build a cattle empire, and battle rustlers, bad weather and each other.
Are their names Hans and Franz?
posted by rob511 at 2:18 PM on October 19, 2007

Isn't this more or less the same stuff that's been on for a while -- without the commercials? Then again, they do have Eegah, so maybe I should add them to my list of online movies anyway....
posted by muckster at 2:25 PM on October 19, 2007

'Cult Classic/Trashy' = "Detour". I (heart) Tom Neal. And thanks, muckster, for the link.
posted by wafaa at 2:41 PM on October 19, 2007

This is fantastic indeed. Now someone call Tom and Crow for me please....
posted by carmina at 2:44 PM on October 19, 2007

Nice find.
posted by sleepy pete at 2:53 PM on October 19, 2007

Isn't this more or less the same stuff that's been on for a while?

I was going to say there's no way that (Peter Jackson's first film) Bad Taste is on, but I looked, and there it was. So yeah, looks like you could well be right.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:03 PM on October 19, 2007

Not to be confused for a moment with BeeMovie.
posted by deCadmus at 3:05 PM on October 19, 2007

Yeah, Bad Taste is, well... bad. In a completely wonderful way, mind you, but bad nonetheless.

It should be watched if for no other reason than to compare it to Jackson's later work. I mean, someone watched this movie and thought, "Hey, let's give this director a couple of hundred million dollars to make Lord of the Rings".

*pokes around a bit more*

Oh good god, they have Brandon Lee's Laser Mission too.

I'm gonna be living on this site for a while.
posted by quin at 3:38 PM on October 19, 2007

Thank you Wolfdog!
posted by sciurus at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2007

Damn domain squatters.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:02 PM on October 19, 2007

posted by dreamsign at 4:09 PM on October 19, 2007

This rocks and/or rolls.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:33 PM on October 19, 2007

This is awesome. You made my day, Wolfdog!
posted by brundlefly at 5:06 PM on October 19, 2007

Wow, I haven't seen some of this stuff since Chiller Theatre back in the 70's. Great find, Wolfdog.

I echo shmegegge; Metropolis a "B" movie?
posted by hojoki at 5:06 PM on October 19, 2007

This is soooo awesome!!! Thanks, Wolfdog!
posted by snsranch at 6:44 PM on October 19, 2007

Great post! I've wanted to see "The Killer Shrews" for decades. Now is my chance.
posted by McLir at 7:19 PM on October 19, 2007

shmegegge writes "How on earth is Metropolis a B movie?!"

Yes, that was my first thought as well.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:54 PM on October 19, 2007

But otherwise really great.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:27 PM on October 19, 2007

Gosh! This is great.
posted by nickyskye at 8:54 PM on October 19, 2007

I know it's ungeeky of me but I can't stand navigating I've tried on more than one occasion to find something there and I just left the website disappointed and frustrated. I'm sure it means I'm just stupid, but appears mildly easier to navigate.

Metropolis is one of the greatest movies of all time, but by today's standards it doesn't measure up. While at the time it came out Metropolis was a groundbreaking achievement, the best of the 1920s matches the worst of the 1950s. At least under scifi it's listed currently as the most popular film.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:17 AM on October 20, 2007

I love these movies, and thanks a lot, Wolfdog. I guess, though, I've never understood the concept of 'B movie'. If I enjoy a movie, how can it be 'bad', or sub-par? Movies are just entertainment, right, so if I have a good time watching a movie, I rate it on whether I enjoy it or not, and not on whether it's got something called 'quality acting' or whatever. For example, the movie 'Gosford Park', to me was unwatchable - my friend and I couldn't get through the first hour, but apparently critics loved the dang thing. Why is that _not_ a B movie, but something I really enjoyed, for example, the previously linked Robot Movie, which I enjoyed tremendously, called a B movie. I think this kind of of discrimination is ridiculous. My two cents, anyway.
posted by greasepig at 8:35 AM on October 20, 2007

Robot Monster, sorry
posted by greasepig at 8:40 AM on October 20, 2007

'Carnival of Souls' is a film I've wanted to see for years ever since I learned about it's (visual) influence on Night of the Living Dead, my absolute favorite horror movie.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:05 AM on October 20, 2007

GreasePig, the term 'B movie' or 'B picture' stems from the early days of cinema. Today all we get when we go to the theater is one feature film and a bunch of commercials before it. Back in the 1950s the feature film was preceded by a news reel, two or more cartoons, short subject films which were often like live-action cartoons themselves, sometimes a weekly serial installment like Flash Gordon or Masked Marvel, and then the feature film.

Then there were 'double features' where the serial or live action short subject film would be replaced by a movie that was long enough to pass for a second feature. Invariably the people watching double features would compare any two films that went together. In order to save on money, the movie houses would often look to buy films that were cheaply made and put them with more expensive films, so they could claim double feature status in their advertising but not pay much more than they would for a regular feature presentation.

So you'd have a 'grade A' film with grade A stars from Hollywood using big budgets and getting top billing and all that, then there'd be the B movie with no budget and nobodies in the roles. This didn't necessarily mean the B movie was always worse than the A movie, but that was generally the reaction of the audience. Over time, as movie theaters realized their audiences were leaving during the second feature anyway, they dropped the pretense and just started showing single films by themselves. There might be the occasional double bill in some older movie houses today, but it's the exception and not the rule.

Times have changed. Today, the term 'B movie' means more than sub-par. It means for some movie fans, 'so bad it's good.' Robot Monster appears bad on the surface to the untrained eye, but it is essentially intended as a child's apocalyptic nightmare. Taken in context, it's completely acceptable that a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a snorkeling helmet would work as an evil alien. The movie Halloween was a low budget film back in 1978, but is still considered one of the greatest classic horror films. A film like Jason versus Freddy would be called a B movie even though it had a respectable budget, because of the subject matter.

One of my personal favorite films ever, Blair Witch Project, was made for between $30-60K. However, it grossed almost $30 million on its first wide release weekend, and grossed well over a hundred million in its first month. The film itself is very low budget with no famous names, but it was fun and entertained millions. Its successor, Book of Shadows, cost fifteen million to make, and while it did pay for itself in the box office, its lackluster performance pretty much insured there would be no further sequels. When viewed, Book of Shadows feels more like a stereotypical B movie than Blair Witch did. The characters are stereotypes, the special effects were rushed, the plot is tenuous, and the acting is melodramatically weak. The original Blair Witch had no special effects to detract, there was a simple plot that doesn't get convoluted or contradict itself, and the acting was believable, heartfelt, and sincere.

They're both B movies, but for different reasons.

Most genre films like scifi, horror, martial arts and spaghetti westerns are automatically considered by movie-goers as B movies, and even after a viewer enjoys the film may still perceive it as a B movie. Kill Bill Parts one and two purposefully utilizes a lot of camera gags and tricks that were made famous by action oriented B movies of the 70s, because the director was trying to go for that feel. However, Kill Bill can't be considered B movie status itself. Tarantino was going for "so bad its good" in his presentation, but I think he fell short of his goal. Kill Bill's too good, despite itself, even if it has many of the trappings of a B movie.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:04 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Shamelessly stolen from the Unknown Armies email list. This is about Metropolis but the point stands. Thanks Jade Hammons.

"But firstly, it's classic status aside, B-Movie didn't mean anything bad throughout most of movie history, and never meant "Bad". In fact, Metropolis, while an expensive "A" in it's native country, was recut and shown in Arthouses as a "B" in America. In fact, it is basically only that American cut that survives to this day. A-movie and B-movie refers, in it's classic meaning, only as it's role in Double Features. The 'B' movie being generally shorter, of lower budget, and of genre. By 1929 Sound was widespread in America, and Metropolis is Genre, Silent, and for the time it reached the American shores, not as high a budget as it was in its homeland.

It may be a classic, but it was a B movie. It was an import, and all in cost it's distributors was a re-write and a re-cut.

B is a theme, not quality. It was a tidal shift in Hollywood (or an Ascension if you're feeling UA) that made such B-Movie fare as American Graffiti, Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, and The Exorcist into the Hollywood money makers and not the side peices to the the A-movie Epics such as 10 Commandments, Ben Hur, and the like. In fact by the time of the great sea change, the 'Children' of the Star-studded epic where such things as Airport, Towering Inferno, The Posiedon Adventure, etc.

B is not a bad thing, don't be so offended. Even today, the B genre continues to evolve. Only now, people call it 'indie'."
posted by clockworkjoe at 11:10 AM on October 20, 2007

Also, I will not have a bad word said about Bad Taste. It's infinitely better than Lord of the Rings.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2007

I disagree respectfully that Bad Taste is better than the LotR trilogy. Better than Jackson's remake of King Kong definitely, but not LotR.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2007

...I should also add that even though Book of Shadows did suck, Kim Director was hot!
posted by ZachsMind at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2007

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