‘Badfilm’ as a reception genre dates from a specific mode of production, exhibition and circulation, built on a canon of genre pics issued from the margins of the American film industry at mid-century. Its subsequent cultivation during the 1970s and 1980s depended on the repurposing of titles on television and on a host of historically specific reception and exhibition cultures. These contexts are contrasted against the various contexts for the appreciation of bad cinema in the twenty-first century. The article ends by proposing a distinction between an appreciation for the old ‘so bad it’s good’ and a newer, emergent taste culture: one which appreciates mainstream Hollywood’s perceived creative bankruptcy and bureaucratic mediocrity for being the new ‘terrible’.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts