B-Movies by Michael Kamp
I’m a fairly prolific writer. I have 30+ titles out in Danish and most of them are in the horror genre.
And I love B-movies.
Now, I love most horror movies and a decent budget allows for better effects and (more importantly) better writers, but it’s hard to compete with the absolutely genius insanity of B-movies.
Where else can you find titles like “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death” or “Robo Vampire” or “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”?
Sure, the effects are often lacking and the acting can be lackluster, but the sheer creativity in the absurd premises can fuel the whole movie.
I remember being a teen and discovering a movie called “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe that was an actual movie and that someone had actually made it. Of course this was before the internet. Heck, it was before the PC. Way back in the prehistoric eighties. Back then the local video rental was the only place to find movies that the cinemas wouldn’t show. Most of what they had was mainstream, but as I discovered the weird world of B-movies, I found likeminded people. We borrowed pirated VHS-tapes from each other and would gather to see the crazy tales in the weekends.
“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” changed my world. A story of alien clowns coming to Earth to hunt humans mired itself in my young mind and I watched that tape so many times it fell apart.
B-movies taught me that no idea is too crazy to be made into a story.
But it’s not just the weirdness of the stories. There’s a lot of crap produced as B-movies, but every so often you discover a gem of a movie.
The Blob is considered a cheesy B-movie, but it’s also a damn classic.
Cyborg has almost no redeeming qualities and yet it is a favorite of mine.
Something magical happens when all involved part are having a blast and a love of the genre oozes from the screen. There’s a joy in storytelling that you don’t really get from major productions, because they have responsibilities and need to be accessible to a larger audience.
Samurai Cop does not concern itself with accessibility. It’s a horrid mess of a movie, and yet tantalizing is all it’s campy glory.
B-movies are great because they take chances. They explore stupid ideas and turn them into actual movies. The brute force of creativity can carry a movie much further than we anticipate and as a sucker for the absurd, I get to tack along. It’s like watching a brain storm where every idea is used in the script.
You want to make a movie about zombie beavers? Let’s do it. How about a sickness that melts people? Great. You know what could be scary? Sheep!
And then there’s movies that defined a generation.
Return of the Living Dead.
Big Trouble in Little China
Today the cost of effects have dropped and even a no budget movie can have a descent production value. This has caused a bit of an avalanche in the B-movie genre and there’s a revival going on with the Sharknado franchise , Kung Fury and the ability to distribute the movies digitally.
Sure, I will go to the cinema to watch a marvel movie, but I’ll catch a B-movie on streaming.
— By Michael Kamp
Michael’s first English novel is a love letter to the campy days of murderous clowns. The Danish version was the most downloaded YA novel at the Danish libraries last year and is featured on this year’s Orla-Awards.