The Overlook: The Last Year At Marienbad of Z-grade bad movies
In The Overlook, A.V. Club film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky examines the misfits, underappreciated gems, and underseen classics of film history.
“Picture a flat surface. Out of the surface, one letter rises.”
“From the alphabet?”
—After Last Season
Far beyond the merely shitty and indifferent lies the valley of the bone-deep bad—the transcendently bad, the Ed Wood bad, the “Manos” The Hands Of Fate [sic] bad, the bad that is wrongly fascinating and captivating, the bad that spawns cults. When we speak of having a taste for these Z-grade bad movies, even treasuring them, what we’re talking about are those peculiar cocktails of the cringe-inducingly sincere and the vain, the obvious and the baffling, the naïve and the lurid, the out-of-nowhere and the plodding—the tendency of truly artless and amateurish movies to do everything in extremes. Anyone can be incompetent, but what distinguishes the bad sublime is …