Sometimes we find a piece of content entertaining because of it’s amazing production value, exceptional writing, or spectacular performances. These are the recipients of Oscars, Grammys, and other distinguished awards reserved for what we consider quality works of art. But entertainment is mired in complexity, and sometimes we find amusement in what is obviously a horrid creation.
Uploaded on Dec 31, 2011 / 668,000 views (reupload)
“if you were born between 1990 to now, chances are, Duane is your father. look no further” – YouTuber MCSubliminalSol
Typically referred to as “so bad it’s good”, this entertainment niche has been exploited by sites like Everything is Terrible, where cheesy 80’s camp is paraded for us to laugh at as if it is missing some kind of cultural chromosome. Internationally there is the Chinese “Kuso (恶搞)”, a genre of bad video games that are appreciated for their lack of quality (“kuso” roughly translates to “shitty games”).
But there are two areas that consistently provide this kind of bad content: the film and music industries. Here are three examples from each that have been significant in Internet culture.
A Scene From Troll 2 (YouTube embed disabled)
“They’re eating her! And then they’re going to eat me. Oh My Gooooooooooooood!”
A scene from the awesomely bad 1990 horror film Troll 2 became a YouTube sensation after being uploaded in Spetember of 2006. It ended up spawning a slew of remix videos, and on the website TV Tropes it is considered an iconic NARM (something that’s funny when it is intended to be serious). For more, go to KYMdb – They’re Eating Her! Oh my God!
“Garbage Day! Mwahahaha.”
Like Troll 2, the 1987 horror film Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 had a scene with acting so horrendous, it’s hard to believe it isn’t an intentional comedy.
The video has received almost 3 million views since 2006, and spawned numerous parodies and remix videos. For more, go to KYMdb – Garbage Day.
The Room – “Hi, Mark.”
“I did not hit her! It’s not true! It’s bullshit! I did not! Oh, hi Mark.”
When Tommy Wiseau famously spent over 6 million dollars producing the 2003 film The Room, it’s hard to believe that he was intending for it to be a comedy. Although he claims otherwise, Entertainment Weekly reported that at least one cast member anonymously admitted Wiseau was really trying to make a serious drama.
Google Trends results for the keywords “tommy wiseau” and “the room movie”
The film has substantially increased in popularity since it’s 2003 release, and the Internet played a significant role in it’s spread. In 2010 a popular flash game was uploaded to Newgrounds, and there have been countless parodies and remix videos on YouTube. For more, go to KYMdb – The Room.
Rebecca Black – Friday
“Yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.”
Rebecca Black’s parents paid Ark Music Factory $2,000 to produce her infamous music video featuring a song that is considered by many to be the worst audio ever recorded in the history of humankind. At almost 138 million views, it ranks just under Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” as the 23rd most viewed YouTube video of all time. For more, go to Rebecca Black Friday.
Without You – Mark Gormley
Mark Gormley’s low budget music videos remained hidden in obscurity on a local access station in Pensacola Florida until they were discovered on The Uncharted Zone’s YouTube channel, and subsequently became a popular internet joke. His earnest delivery, cheesy green screen backgrounds, and signature side-step dance move made him ripe for ridicule, and it was clear that Mark wasn’t in on the joke.
For more, go to KYMdb – Mark Gormley.
Insane Clown Posse – Miracles
“Water, fire, air and dirt. Fucking magnets, how do they work?”
Insane Clown Posse managed to create an unintentional viral hit when they revealed they were actually Christians attempting to spread God’s word with their infamous “Miracles” music video. After rapping about killing people with axes for the past decade, it was surprising to see them preach about the beauty in nature being attributed to super natural forces.
For more, go to KYMdb – Fucking Magnets, How Do They Work?
Production Fail: Intentional vs Unintentional
After seeing how successful bad media can be, producers have attempted to make intentionally bad films for the sole purpose of becoming cult classics. Recently Tommy Wiseau released The House That Drips Blood On Alex, an absurd horror movie with terrible acting, a ridiculous plot, and frightful editing -- all of which was intentional. But one key element was missing that was quite pervasive in his first film -- something that media on sites like FAIL Blog have proven there is a strong demand for: the presence of authentic failure. If someone is in on the joke, and actually trying to be bad, it’s far less entertaining.