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B Movies

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Shock! Horror! 1000-Foot Mutant Killer Vampire Alien Ghost With Huge Tentacles Attacks New York!

This is the sort of incredibly implausible plot line that is the hallmark of the B movie. Most aren't even this good.

A B movie is a film that has a director that wants to get on in 'the business that is show business'. This director will have heard of the following phrases...

  • 'High-budget special effects blockbuster'
  • 'Convincing dramatic performance'
  • 'Wry satire'
  • 'Gritty, realistic cinema'

...but has no truck with them. He - undoubtedly a he - will wear a garishly-coloured flat cap, similarly vulgar tweed trousers, and will go around calling everybody 'ducky', 'daaaaaarling' or 'luvvie'. He will also have a slightly effeminate personal assistant called Potty. Or possibly Donald.

Traditionally, B movie budgets are minuscule, and employ a cast of show biz wannabes with such wooden acting ability that small furry animals would seriously consider nesting in their trousers. The actors will make a great play of pointing at the great big 1000 Foot Mutant Killer Vampire Alien Ghost With Huge Tentacles attacking New York, with horror, even though the monster is very obviously not there during filming. B movie actors are artistic luvvies in their purest form. They will go on and on and on about the time when they once shook Frank Sinatra's hand, or when they saw Dennis Norden across the room at a party. They will complain about how badly they're paid, and how badly they're treated by the producer and/or studio owner.

The producer of these films will often be a very large man who smokes a Cuban cigar, wears a three-piece suit, and drives an unnecessarily enormous car. His connections with the local mob invariably enable him to secure the best shooting locations and generally keep worries like licences and byelaws out of the director's way.

The number of truly terrible B movies is quite large, but some manage to carry themselves off with such style and panache that they achieve cult status, and miraculously, against all expectations, these films make a large amount of money.

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