9/1/10

WTF: An Asinine Yet Somehow Effective Classification System


 Once in a while I want to recommend a fantastically bad horror movie to someone.  You know: a movie that most people would flip the channel past its cheese-tastic bearing, its dated and unabashedly overdone gore, or the occasional (often hysterical) bad voice-over.  Yes, you can use phrases like "it's campy" and "it's so bad it's good".  But often, it's blurrier than that.  Though it is far from perfection, this is my little horror rating system, lovingly dubbed: WTF.
 
W= Wit: 
substance, plot devices, twists n' turns, character depth, deep thematic messages, social commentary, conflicts, special little nuggets of wisdom that you take with you.  (Scale: 1-10)
example: the thematic message of "Dawn of the Dead" enacted by zombies ambling through a shopping mall as an example of how human consumerism persists beyond the grave.  

T = Technique: 
style, effectiveness in achieving what the film or book sets off to do, whether it's realistic or ironically fake bloodspatter, believability, trippy-ness, or campy comedic horror, decor of setting, costumes, acting, dialog,  etc. 
(Scale: 1-10)
example: how convincingly the little dead boy in "Salem's Lot" (be it movie or text) taps on the window. 

F = Fear: 
effect - most subjective of all -  how scared/amused were you?  And if the movie/book was not meant to be frightening per se, how well did it achieve the intended (or unintended) reaction. 
(Scale: 1-10)
example 1: how well or poorly did Richard Matheson's "Hell House" scare you into keeping the light on after you put the book down?

example 2: how many of your vocal chords were damaged while you laughed yourself stupid watching "House on the Edge of the Park" (or "House on the Park of the Edge" as the title appears)? 

In sum...
The Best Horror Ever = 30
and
The Total Piece of Craptastic Crap from Crap Mountain That Sucked Ninety Minutes From My Life That I Shall Never Get Back = 0
*** note: I don't believe in telling people NOT to read or watch something, whether or not I feel it wasted my time.  Time is an interesting thing and everyone has a different interpretation of what is wasted time and what is worthwhile.  So, while I won't advise people not to watch or read, (unless I'm really enjoying process of expounding on what triggered my zero bullshit tolerance), I generally keep reviews for the 'meh' stuff shorter.

1 comment:

  1. rufus the great1/22/11, 10:59 PM

    Go Plaga Zombie!!!!!! Underappreciated. Love that pic and that character.

    ReplyDelete