The Big B

            What is more fun than a late night B Movie? The acting is dubious, the plot usually stretches credibility just beyond limits, and the “special effects” often include plastic models and fishing line. Just add in a little popcorn and friends and you have a party!

            After all, you’re allowed to comment during B movies. You can mock the actors. You can hit the pause button so you can all point out the zipper down the back of the monster’s costume. Watching for strings on the spaceships, boom mics in the frames, and rubber knives and boulders is half the fun.

            Mystery Science Theater 3000, aka MST3K, was a television series in the late ‘80’s that turned watching B Movies into an art. With a plot even more ridiculous than any movie featured in its episodes, the characters chatted and jeered throughout the films they were forced to watch as punishment.

            Turner Classic Movies and other movie channels occasionally show a full day or weekend of low budget features. These often become cult classics. The monster movies of the ‘50’s, the sci-fi films of the ‘60’s and the psycho-suspense “thrillers” of the ‘70’s all offer a bounty of B’s.

            Last October, we spent every Friday night watching a parade of vampires, werewolves, and aliens. They all had neon orange blood effects and wire-strung rubber bats, and glowing gelatin. It was fantastic!

            When the real B Movies aren’t enough anymore, count on the subtle comic genius of creators like Larry Blamire. He and his troupe of players spoof and satire the beloved B’s with films like the 2001 film, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. In 2009 they released the sequel, The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, and the haunted horror, Dark and Stormy Night. He and his players have an entire repertoire of satires.

These contemporary movies raise the legend of the B film to new heights. They make me laugh in a way that other comedies don’t. Blamire appreciates and highlights the otherwise overlooked silliness in style and cinematography.

My boys and their friends quote Cadavra lines constantly. Because of Blamire’s story-telling, my guys now enjoy the creature cult classics, too. I recommend his films to all of my friends with a good sense of humor. Do you like funny movies? Go get them!

Check the listings for B Movies and invite the gang over. Pop some corn and laugh until your sides hurt. It’s good for you.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema! Thanks for reading!

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