Monday, November 8, 2010

B-Movie Books?

So every now and then I get these crazy thoughts as I'm falling asleep late at night. (Okay, who am I kidding? It's every night). Anyway, these thoughts are totally random and usually fall under the categories of:

-Why am I thinking about this NOW?
-That would make a good idea for a book

Or my personal favorite:

-Now I have to write a blog post about that, thanks brain.

Today's blog post is brought to you by last night's random thoughts. You're welcome.

So yesterday, the shiny new husband and I (don't worry, he's not actually that shiny. Unless he's been working out or just took a shower or is dressing up as a golden statue of Adonis for Halloween or something) were sitting around, doing a whole lot of nothing. We've pretty much exhausted most of our television and movie choices lately, and were feeling a little desperate. So we scoured Netflix for something, anything to watch, and mine eyes alighted on several examples of none other than my favorite category of movie ever: bad shark movies.

Bad shark movies are, for lack of a better descriptor, the Frankenstein's monster lovechild of Jaws and any other (horrifying) factor. My favorite example is DEEP BLUE SEA, with genetically engineered sharks that are wicked smart. And actually JAWS itself, due to its age, is a bad shark movie now.

So we found both SHARKTOPUS and MEGA SHARK vs. GIANT OCTOPUS yesterday, and we watched them both. They did not fail to live down to my expectations. (If you're curious what they're about, click through to their IMDB pages, or look 'em up on Netflix. But don't say I didn't warn you that they're bad. Really bad. Awesomely, deliciously bad).

The thing is, as a former marine educator and a big shark aficionado, I still scream at the television whenever they get something wrong in one of these movies. Yesterday it was things like, "They keep saying it's acting like an octopus but it has the head of a shark! Clearly it would think more like a shark!" and Hubby had to calm me down by saying, "It's a B-movie, honey. B-movie. B-movie."

And the writing in these things is pretty brilliantly bad, as well. A lot of the cheesiness of these movies has to do with the horrible special effects and bad acting, but even a good actor can't hide some of the cliche and stilted lines that get used. Or a bad story premise in general.

All of this got me thinking about the sort of writers that write b-movie screenplays, and sell them to SyFy (come on, we were all thinking it). And then of course I wondered if there is an equivalent in book form. Fiction has come a long way in the last 10-20 years. I would have said romance novels ten years ago, but frankly, that doesn't hold absolutely true for me anymore. Writers like Nora Roberts have actually brought decent story-telling to the genre (you may groan but it's true), a trend that I see continued in the (admittedly few) romances I pick up.

So I guess what I'm asking today is, because I love b-movies so much, are there any good b-books you can think of? Extra points if they're about sharks. I do have my limits, people.

(Feel free to share your favorite b-movie finds, too!)


K. Marie Criddle said...

Dude, I hear you on the romances. The ones I've read are crazy B-movielicious (enjoyable, of course, but enjoyable ridiculous. I know there are VERY well written, impeccably crafted literary romances out there, but none have done me the courtesy of crossing my desk yet.)

I think Stephen King, in his Langolier-y novella streak, can be awesomely B-movie. They're no Shawshanks, but they're not meant to be, you know?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch these awesome shark movies.

Gary Corby said...

The Final Programme. Made in the 70s. Based on the novel by Michael Moorcock. Not recommended for anyone who expects their movies to be in any way normal.

Unknown said...

Louisa May Alcott's 'blood and thunder' stories. Deliciously bad sensational stories with absolutely no character depth or logic to the plots if you pull yourself out of the drama long enough to think about it.
But very enjoyabe late night reading. Very very enjoyable.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

As long as the hubs isn't sparkly, you're in good shape.

And apparently every Manga-turned-movie has to, by definition, by b-level.

Susan R. Mills said...

I get frustrated with B movies and B books for that matter. In my opinion, if a story is worth telling, it's worth telling good. I hope to do that with my own writing. God help me if someone ever refers to one of my novels as a B novel. :)