The hit TV show, “Community”, tells about an experience we’re all familiar with – watching intentionally bad movies with your college roommates. They define it as a, “Purely college experience.”
In my experience, this tradition was one of the building blocks of the most important friendships I made throughout my time at Castleton. When I started in Ellis Hall in 2013, we still had cable in every room. This led to our forced-triple room being tuned into channels like BET and the Sci Fi networks constantly, hoping for a bad movie that we could all stop and joke about.
As we matured through our college experiences, we all gained our own areas of expertise. I, of course, imposed my knowledge of history on the films, while John Barone, a senior music major here at Castleton, pointed out all of the cheesy music changes. Our other friends imposed their knowledge of writing, english and photography, and it becomes a melting-pot of comical criticism.
There’s a sort of mysticism that comes along with a bad movie. It’s almost exciting.
When I sit down to watch the 6th “Nightmare on Elm Street” film, I know I’m not going to be moved – this film isn’t going to make me reevaluate myself.
“Sometimes it’s better to watch a bad movie with your friends than a really good movie,” Barone said, then adding, “When everyone is watching a good movie, they’re typically engaged and not talking.”
He sheds light on the beauty of bad cinema in the sense that we’re not looking for minute details – not picking through each scene. We’re waiting for that dramatic cut that makes us almost cough-up whatever we’re drinking. That ridiculous delivery from a supporting actress that somehow stayed in the movie, or even the absolute garbage fire of a track that some unknown musician put together for the credits.
What upsets me about engaging movies is that I feel like it’s my social responsibility to be quiet. I’ll take it upon myself to sometimes shush someone next to me if they’re being too disruptive.
That goes out the window when I’m wearing pajamas, drinking beers and watching a terribly-great series like “Pumpkinhead”, or the standalone juggernaut that is “Spiders 3D.”
I think the best thing about watching these movies is the memories it creates. It starts with a single joke someone makes, and it’ll make a few appearances during the movie. In the next few days, we’ll be somewhere – in public, at dinner, or even walking down the hall, and something will spark that reference.
The best moment is when you look and your friend in a public place and both yell something stupid in unison like, “MOOOOSE!” Then, a year later you or a friend will pick that reference out of nowhere and the cycle starts all over again.
“There’s something about wasting time watching a movie that totally sucks that’s just awesome,” says Doug Jeffery, a Business student here at CU.
He really nailed the therapeutic aspect of watching bad movies. Even though you don’t have to be totally engaged, it helps to take the edge off when you’ve been reading and studying all day.
If it’s not bad movies, then grab your best friend and watch a completely new series and get lost for a little bit; If it’s not any good then at least you’ll have something to laugh at.