What's with the fascination with bad movies lately?
From the ongoing run of The Room at the Plaza Theatre (and venues around the country), the success of the recent documentary of Best Worst Movie, which chronicles the unlikely ascent of Troll 2 from direct-to-cable fodder to cult phenomenon, and the introduction of contenders like Birdemic, the post-modern idea of "good" bad is as hot as ever.
This may explain the popularity of the Razzies, the affectionate nickname of the Golden Raspberry Award.
While the Razzies have been around for over three decades, this year marks the first time they are being pursued for a broadcast deal.
Their press release:
With Sandra Bullock having just followed in the footsteps of Halle Berry, Bill Cosby and Ben Affleck by accepting a RAZZIE® statuette, The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation is exploring the possibility of a first-ever television broadcast of their award ceremonies next Spring, as well as developing other RAZZIE® branded entertainment properties. Riding an unprecedented wave of public and media interest, the Foundation that presents the RAZZIES® is already making plans for their 31st Annual RAZZIE® Awards, now set for the evening of Saturday, February 26, 2011 — as is now Hollywood tradition, Oscar® Eve.
In the three decades the RAZZIES® have been presented, they have jumped from their humble beginnings in the living room alcove of their founder John Wilson to a yearly event with media coverage and popular interest to rival that of any industry supported awards show. Globally, the RAZZIE® Awards are second only to OSCAR® in press coverage, eclipsing all other awards shows in column inches and broadcast attention. Perhaps because of their well-known irreverence and status as almost the only awards intended to get laughs, the RAZZIE® name and brand have entered American vernacular as synonymous with pointing out the worst in all things. They have recently been featured as an entire category on JEOPARDY, as clues in games and crossword puzzles, and have permeated virtually all areas of social commentary including political Op-eds in major newspapers and periodicals.
Viral Internet postings of iconic RAZZIE® moments have drawn millions of viewers on YOUTUBE. Following Sandra Bullock’s participation, traffic to RAZZIES.COM increased over 1500%. The fact that such high-traffic sites as NETFLIX, the IMDb and dozens of others feature the RAZZIES’ history alongside that of the Academy Awards® has proven the RAZZIE® imprint not only celebrates “bad,” but helps move DVDs as well.
Despite their being known and enjoyed by a worldwide audience in the billions, the RAZZIE® ceremony and variety show has never been broadcast. With awareness of (and interest in) the RAZZIES® at an all-time high, the next logical step in their growth process is an airing of the awards show spoof that has changed the way the world views Hollywood’s biggest bombs. In response to this groundswell of attention, RAZZIE® founder Wilson and his producing partner Maureen Murphy have partnered with Producer Eric Ortner to develop a televised version of the perennial event. Eric Ortner Productions will produce the awards show, and other branded entertainment, with the RAZZIE® team.
To paraphrase the 60’s pop song, the best of the worst is yet to come!
This trend of "dis-honoring" the worst in Hollywood makes the original masters of ironic camp—Rocky Horror Picture Show and Comedy Central's first hit franchise, "Mystery Science Theatre 3000"—seem quaint by comparison.
Both approach their subject with a movie-lover's passion for cinema, and a true appreciation that comic derision comes not from a superior detachment from the movie, but rather by immersing yourself headlong into the world of the movie.
In the case of Rocky Horror, the audience often assumes various personae of the characters in the film. The audience mirrors actions on screen—from throwing rice as Brad and Janet exit the Hapschatt/Monroe wedding at the films' open, to covering their heads with newspaper to defend against those spraying the theatre during the downpour that accompanies "There's a Light," to throwing toast during the diner scene and hurling Toilet Paper at the "Great Scott" proclamation. Joined by a Greek Chorus of Players who mime the action on the screen, and also lead the call-and-responsoe, the Rocky Horror experience is one of reverence. Both to the film itself, and the B-Movies to which it pays homage, from Flash Gordon to The Day the Earth Stood Still to The Invisible Man to King Kong.
MST3K was so schooled in 50's sci-fi cheez-whiz that the show's framers built a back-story, complete with flat sets, bad special effects, and clunky robots, around the action. Had the program simply been three clever assholes making fun of bad movies, it would have failed instantly.
It's a "one of us" Freaks thing.
The cult of Wiseau, and those who are presenting the Razzies, wouldn't understand.
When Tim Burton and Johnny Depp tackled the career of Ed Wood, they could easily have made him a clown. While many (including the Razzies) marvel at the ineptitude of Wood's films, Burton uncovered something magical in them.
There is a certain quality that makes them great. Bad films—truly horrible, unwatchable pieces of garbage—are a dime a dozen. To create something majestic, as Wood did time and time again, requires a special talent.
Burton and Depp "got" it. As such, Ed Wood transforms a punchline-of-a-director into an epic hero.
Ed Wood is a love-letter to the movies.
The Razzies, by contrast, have all the charm, humor, and good will of a speeding ticket.
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