John Dyck and Matt Johnson (2017) identify a connection between good-bad movies and bizarreness, claiming that when watching a good-bad film,
‘One is left not just laughing, but rather genuinely curious and bewildered, wondering: How could someone think this is a good idea? The bizarreness commands our attention as viewers.’ (2017)
The example I came up with is the recent film adaptation Baywatch (2017) which has such a bizarre narrative along with stereotypical characters and cheesy dialogue. I think in this case the film is intentionally bad and is supposed to be a spoof of the original tv show from the 80s, however, I think it turned out to be much much worse than was intended and this makes watching the film a very bewildering yet hilarious experience. The jokes are terrible and every action scene is excessively dramatic. I first watched this film in the cinema with my mum and sister and there was a shared sense that we were all watching something completely insane.
In the final action scene, the two main male characters (Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron) are trying to stop the villain (an insane and glamourous drug dealer played by Priyanka Chopra) from getting away and this scene is really just a series of totally bizarre events. Johnson’s character gets shot in the chest but survives by stabbing himself with a poisonous sea urchin to give him an adrenaline rush, there’s the discovery of a ‘big red button’ which will obviously solve everything, and then Chopra’s character gets blown up by fireworks. All in all, this definitely fits the idea of something so bizarre that it becomes comical.
Baywatch. Directed by Seth Gordon. 2017.
John Dyck and Matt Johnson (2017), ‘Appreciating bad art’, Journal of Value Inquiry, 51(2), 279-292.