Genuine Badness Is A True Artform

There’s bad, and then there’s bad. Once upon a time there was a film called The Room. Auteur/melted candle lookalike Tommy Wiseau wrote/directed/produced/acted in a melodrama that was meant to end in a crescendo of tragedy, but instead had audiences howling with laughter.

The key to the success – for lack of a better word – of that film was because Wiseau genuinely believed in what he was doing. Watching it you get the impression that he has never had a real conversation with another human being before.  For example:

Something truly terrible is hard to come by. The reason that  The Room or my own personal favourite Manos: The Hands of Fate work is because they try and fail to be legitimate. There’s no winking humour, no tongue-in-cheek  ‘aren’t we just wacky’ moments and they’re created by someone who genuinely didn’t know how it would be received until it was unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

Sadly faux-badness has taken over. There’s a worrying trend to enjoying things ironically, and luckily there’s a market just for it. Films like Sharknado, Zombeavers and Two Headed Shark Attack are geared towards the so bad, it’s good audience. It’s easy to churn out a bad script on the cheap when you know that your film isn’t really meant to be enjoyed anyway. Instead they skate by on their premise and cheap effects and despite being deliberately bad, they’re just boring (Really the worst thing a film can be).

Luckily there are still people out there creating bad art and Neil Breen is one of them. Imagine David Lynch, now imagine that he lacked style and the capacity to put his thoughts into action. That’s Neil Breen. Like Wiseau he writes/directs/stars in his own material, including I Am Here Now in which he casts himself as a Christ figure who comes back to earth to check on humanity (Truly the mark of a bad writer is inserting themselves as a Messianic figure). Breen never hit it big like Wiseau did, his films came and went with little fanfare, so he’s never had magazine profiles or books written about him – a book soon to be made into a film by James Franco. Whereas Wiseau now insists that The Room was a comedy all along (And his follow up attempt tries to capiltalise on this – if the trailer is anything to go by then it’s terrible) Breen doesn’t have to make excuses. Instead every couple of years he’ll come out with something new, and this time it’s Fateful Findings. The simplest thing to say is that it looks terrible. Genuinely terrible. Inept, bad writing, terrible acting. It’s all there, and it’s real. Embrace it.


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