A guilty pleasure flick is really all about perspective. For instance, I view “Tango and Cash” as my ultimate guilty pleasure film. It’s a film so bad it’s wrong to love it, yet I do. However, some people may just see it as so awful it has no redeeming features.
“Flash Gordon” could be classed the same way. To me, it is so cheesy and camp it’s great, but to someone else, those exact same reasons I love it are the reasons they think of it as a stain on modern cinema.
“How To Make An American Quilt,” to me, is an abomination. Simple. As. That. But to someone else, they may be willing to see the things in the film I view as detestable in a whole different light, thus viewing it in their eyes as a guilty pleasure, or *shudder* a good film.
So how do you know whether a film is your guilty pleasure flick? It would be one of those films that — even though you have it on DVD or video — if it is on the TV when you’re flicking through the channels you will sit down and watch the whole thing. You will also probably have worn out said DVD or video by watching it so many times, and yet you will struggle to admit to anyone that it is one of your favourite movies.
But again there are unquantifiable elements to the whole guilty pleasure situation. For example, I love “Hook.” It was panned by the critics, but I don’t view it as a guilty pleasure since I genuinely think it is a brilliant film. Others may view a film as their guilty pleasure due to the fact that journalists and reviewers rated the film poorly. I don’t, though. Take “Tango and Cash.” I know it is a badly written, directed and acted (“I hate Danish!”), but I still love it. “Hook,” I think, is wonderfully crafted and makes great use of Robin Williams’ strengths to play the boy who never grows up.
IJM writer Cam Smith loves “Shark Attack III: Megalodon” as his guilty pleasure. He obviously watches the over-the-top acting and awful effects and still finds something endearing about it. But others may disagree. Fellow IJM writer Tom Elce says “Judge Dredd” is his guilty pleasure. I have to say I can agree with that one. Maybe we should call it “the Stallone Effect.”
Maybe it has to do with the situation and circumstances to where you first saw the film. Somebody might have seen “Hook” after popping down to the cinema and that was it. To me, it will always bring back personal and special memories from my childhood, therefore the film is held in a much higher regard to me. “Tango and Cash,” on the other hand, reminds me of video-taping late night films off the TV that you knew your parents wouldn’t want you to watch, like the aforementioned “Tango and Cash” or “Judgment Night” or even “The Blob.”
So there are some theories and thoughts of what makes a film your guilty pleasure film. As always — and I am genuinely interested in hearing yours — sound off in the comments box with your guilty pleasure films.
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