A growing concern I have about the current state of podcasts is the amount of negativity sneaking into some of my favorite shows. No names shall be mentioned here, but on a recent episode of an established show, a listener encouraged the hosts to be more critical. He hoped for the failure of a blockbuster movie because it wasn’t his idea of a good film. Not enough gore and lazy writing. On one hand, I can understand what he was trying to say but I also heard something that really puzzled me. Why would we hope for the film to fail when we can simply choose not to support it at the box office? It’s been successful, so there are obviously people who enjoyed it. Does every movie released need to fit our designed parameters of success?
Last year, studio executives successfully sabotaged John Carter, dooming it to be referenced for the foreseeable future as one of the biggest flops of all time. Yet, there are those who thoroughly enjoy the movie, this writer being among them. In fact, it was one of my favorite movies from last year. Many of us were upset that a movie studio would hope for a film to be a failure yet here we have a listener hoping for the very same thing. Now, I understand his overall point. He is hoping that Hollywood studios listen to the fans and start giving us movies we really want. However, I think we need to understand that those of us who listen to podcasts are only a portion of the audience. We have a passion for all things horror or sci-fi, or just film related in general. Yet, that passion can often turn into an outcry of negativity towards anything that doesn’t fit our parameters of “fun” or “successful”.
Let’s be honest and admit that for every well-made film, there are dozens of mindless flicks many of us find a waste of time. Brother D reviewed countless zombie movies on the Mail Order Zombie podcast. Many were not well-made yet had moments that gave him enjoyment. Some of these I enjoyed, others I did not. Yet, at no time did I wish for these filmmakers to stop making them. I simply chose not to watch them. Many of us love the old and cheesy movies of the 50s. Yet, at the time, they were cheaply made and many turned their nose down on them. But, because there were people who enjoyed them, they continued to crank them out. Just as today, SyFy and The Asylum continue to release film after film of two-headed sharks and bigfoot-inspired beasts, riddled with forgotten TV actors and horrible CGI. And people continue to watch them week after week. I choose not to but I also don’t wish they’d stop being made. There is a little something called diversity. The sci-fi and horror genres used to embrace it. Now, I fear there is a growing trend that is making many so-called fans sound like those film lovers of decades past who turned their noses down on sci-fi and horror.
Many people have forgotten a time, or perhaps never lived through it, when sci-fi and horror was not main stream. It was a niche group looked down upon by true lovers of film. After all, those types of movies were crude and not really worth a true cinema lovers time, right? I thought those days were gone yet now I am beginning to see a growing trend amongst genre fans and podcasts where many think its okay to be overly critical and hope for a film’s failure simply because it doesn’t fit their vision of what a zombie flick should be or what Star Trek is supposed to be about. Remember that little saying Gene Roddenberry came up in the third season of Star Trek? Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. It’s a saying some of us have lost sight of but sorely need in our daily lives.
These movies we watch online or rent or go to the theater to see are supposed to be for enjoyment. An escape from our everyday lives. They can make us laugh or cry, scream out in terror or clap in celebration. No director or writer ever created something in hopes that people would bash it for every possible fault. The podcasts we all listen to have created a community of diverse opinions interspersed with familiar visions. However, when the negative begins to overwhelm the positive, it leaves one to question whether they are truly enjoying what they are watching or listening to. Too many of us have lost connection with that inner child we all embraced when we discovered the wonderful world of movies. It was that child who chose to enjoy the moment rather than be overly critical of every fault. It’s that inner child that many of us need to reconnect with. Otherwise, what’s the point of going to the movies when all we do is moan and complain about what we just paid $10 of $15 to see?
Remember that if a horror flick you just watched doesn’t have enough blood and gore, I guarantee you there is one out there you haven’t seen yet full of just that. Not a fan of shaky camera? Do some searching and embrace a movie from decades past that matches the style you love. The movies of the past never go away. They wait to be rediscovered. I am constantly amazed by what I still haven’t seen. For me, a movie truly has to be bad for me not to enjoy it, at least to some degree. Yet, I guarantee you, someone out there enjoys every movie I don’t, and that is what used to separate us from the so-called Hollywood snobbery. Many have abandoned that philosophy and sorely need to rediscover it. Embrace your inner child and enjoy the cinematic experience. Otherwise, what’s the point?