There are good movies and bad movies. But then there are subcategories that are just as important when you’re trying to categorize a film. There are good good movies and bad good movies. What would be an example of a bad good movie? Any film critically lauded, with high production values, that is nonetheless boring as hell. (THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a good example of this type of film.) If we’re talking about bad movies, there are good bad movies and bad bad movies. Good bad movies are fun. Bab bad movies are, or can be, a literal pain to have to sit through.
We can break it down further, though. Let’s say a movie is a bad bad movie, like REEKER. There are further subcategories here to apply as well. A *bad* bad bad movie is one of those like I just mentioned, a pain to watch, because they’re boring as well as bad, because the quality is so low that it insults the entire concept of cinematic arts. (Think THE HOWLING 3.) Then there are *good* bad bad movies, like REEKER, movies that manage, though achieving nothing else, to be entertaining. REEKER is certainly that. Writer-director Dave Payne said in the behind-the-scenes featurette accompanying the DVD that he hoped with his film to create something “scary” and “fun”. I can’t speak as to the former, as no scary movie ever scares me. But he definitively succeeded at the latter.
So why do I classify REEKER as a good bad bad movie instead of just a good bad movie, even though it’s fun and it has a zombie slasher as its star and has some effective sequences? Because it attempts a big swerve at the end, a twist ending that (A) has been done before in other films, more than once, and (B) doesn’t quite fit with the overall vibe of the rest of the movie. That ending drops this one’s score a bit.