The Absurdity of B Movies

Since one of my target ideas to write about here is the absurd, one of my favorite displays of the absurd, often much to the dismay of my wife, is B movies.  I think part of it goes back to watching Godzilla movies and George Pal movies as a kid and another part is the very first time I saw an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).  I also think a large part of it is because of my love for comedic scifi and fantasy books like Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker Trilogy, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series, and the stories of Harry Harrison and Robert Sheckley.

The truth is, whether comedic scifi fans and writers want to admit it or not, the best comedic scifi really reads like a B movie.  The best B movies are the ones that end up either being funny without intending to or are so aware of the absurdity of their plot that they intentionally laugh at themselves.  The Asylum‘s mock busters are some of the best at this.

Whether it’s a combination of multiple disasters, hilariously bad science, or the most absurd giant monsters, the best B movies leave you laughing at the screen while you watch the whole world (or at least the world of the movie) go to hell in a hand basket.  The more absurd the plot and the worse the writing, the better the laughs and the better the B movie.  If there’s some incredibly weird family drama going on in one of the subplots, that’s just a bonus.

One of the decisions we made when we moved to St Louis was to discontinue cable and become cord cutters.  The $200 a month bill to watch a handful of channels was an expense we felt we could do without.  Instead, we purchased a high-speed internet account, a Roku, a Netflix and a Hulu account, and a tv antenna.  We also invested more time in our local library for books and movie “rentals”.  We’re not really missing out on anything.

I mention the cord cutting because the Roku device has access to a channel called Pluto TV, which works like a network of channels and includes channels for The Asylum, MST3K, and RiffTrax, the post-MST3K MST3Kcast project.  Between Pluto TV and some of the other Roku channels, the Roku is a B movie lovers’ dream.

Even as I wrote this, The Asylum channel was on my tv showing some movie featuring earthquakes, volcanoes, and tornadoes all happening at the same time.  There was definitely a family drama with the main father character’s oldest daughter yelling at her stepmom for not being a mom.  And before I finished writing this, the disaster movie was followed by a Cars knockoff set in Cargo North Dakota that even had orange Hot Wheels tracks showing in some of the scenes.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.