Welcome to Cinema Judgement Day!
As a kid, I would read film guides of all sorts as a hobby. This was way back when the “internet” was Prodigy on a 300 baud modem. I’d scour these books in hope of discovering great new stories to distract me from my math homework and hopefully educate me in the art of filmmaking. Some books were better than others and I quickly found my favorite: VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever.
What set this one apart was it’s rating system, it fit the canine theme and ranked films on a 4 “bone” scale. Eventually, I stopped looking for movies with the highest number of bones and started a search to find all the movies that earned the lowest score possible – a “woof”.
Some VideoHound “woofs” were “Class of 1984″, ”Ator: The Fighting Eagle”, “Meatballs III” and “Bloodsucking Freaks”… movies I happen to love! Sitting through these guilty pleasures was easy, the hard part was trying to find them. This was the golden age of the VHS tape. Mom and Pop video stores had 50 copies of “Gymkata” lying around waiting for a fool (me) and his money (allowance) to soon part. But every now and then there would be a flick that was nearly impossible to find, such as “Petey Wheatstraw, The Devil’s Son-In-Law” that would become a coveted film for years and years. It would get to the point that something like “Petey” was so talked up for years and years, that when it finally hit DVD it was impossible to live up to the hype.
But that wasn’t the point. The point was the anticipation and sense of discovery led to a lifelong love of “bad” cinema.
Fast foward to the 2010′s.
As I reviewed films for Beyond the Marquee, I found it increasingly difficult to rate a film like “Troll 2″ (one of my all time favorites) 5 of 5 reels, knowing that BTM’s mainstream audience probably would not necessarily get the “so bad, it’s good” thing.
Enter: Cinema Judgement Day.
I started this site with the goal of being able to give “The Room” a 4 of 4 score right alongside a 4 of 4 for “Chinatown”. Obviously “Chinatown” is the “better” film, but to be quite honest there are many nights when I’d enjoy “The Room” far more than an adventure with Jake Gittes.
So CJD has a dual rating system: Angels and Devils.
A film like “The Departed” is ranked on an Angel scale while something like “Mr. Jingles” will rate on the Devil scale. If you like “so bad, it’s good” cinema, a 4 devil film would be right up your ally. If you only like “quality” movies, stick with something wearing a halo. In the event either side is bad, the film is met with a skull and crossbones so you know this film is DVD poison.
Take your time and read through the site. Hopefully you’ll appreciate the insight the CJD staff has on these movies and have a laugh along the way. Any questions, comments, concerns, or if you are interested in writing for the site, you can email me here.
Cinema Judgement Day