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Unabashed B-Movie Fan

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A lot of the time, characters are shown watching stereotypically "bad" movies with titles like The Curse of ______ or The Attack of ______. This is possibly to keep the focus on the title characters and prevent a Show Within a Show from developing, or simply because the writers themselves enjoy that kind of movie. More recently, though, it may be because so many of the pre-1964 B Movies have fallen into the public domain and can be used as a Show Within a Show without triggering any copyright concerns.

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One of the biggest reasons writers do this, though, is that it can serve as an easy shorthand for a character's cultural values (or lack thereof). If a character is depicted as enjoying old B-movies, it is usually meant to indicate to the audience that they are low-brow and uncultured. These movies are notorious for being So Bad, It's Good, so the typical logic goes that anyone who enjoys watching them must have low standards for what constitutes a "good" movie. If you want to cement your character's status as an outcast from normal popular culture, having him or her be a fan of old B-movies is a common way to do it.

It also helps that typically B-Movies are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. For example, a more "cultured" movie title like Citizen Kane doesn't immediately tell you that it is a mystery-drama about a deceased man's life. Whereas if the characters watch a movie titled "Killer Lobsters from Planet X", you know what to expect and don't have to spend much time elaborating on what they are watching, so that the story can move on.

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May be a case of Stylistic Suck, especially if the B-movie doesn't actually exist outside the world of the characters. Revenge of the Sequel may ensue. Sister Trope to Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times, when a character's unabashed fandom of these movies involves numerous repeated viewings. See also Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The 1998 Got Milk? commercial "Return of the Milkman" is played out like this, in the style of a retro kitschy black-and-white horror movie about a milkman, killed in a milk truck accident, who rises from the grave as a mummy to take milk from a supermarket.

    Comic Books 
  • Blacksad: In Arctic Nation, Blacksad meets the missing girl's mother at her workplace, a drive-in theater where she works as a waitress; while waiting for her to show up, he watches a movie about giant killer ants menacing the United States (an allusion to Them!). Ultimately subverted, as he's just bored and killing time, and refers to it as crap that can't really be called a movie — though he also acknowledges he's not necking like all the teenage couples parked there.
  • Robin (1993): Stephanie Brown is a fan of cheesy Sci-Fi. When she and Tim Drake go on their first date she takes him to a show where the audience is all in costume, so that they don't get any odd looks for going as Spoiler and Robin.
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    Comic Strips 
  • In The Far Side, insects watch "Return of the Killer Windshield", worms watch "Beak 2: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back into the Topsoil", potatoes watch "masher" films, and bottles of ketchup watch some kind of ketchupy slasher film ("Don't worry, Billy. They're just actors. And that's not real ketchup.")
    • Another comic gives us a scene from "Return of the Nose of Dr. Verlucci".
      Egad! It's the disembodied nose of Dr. Verlucci! Returned from the grave on the anniversary of the night we all betrayed him!
    • Caption for a city being invaded by killer ungulates: "Scene from the film Giraffes IV: This time, they're not just looking for acacia leaves."
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is constantly trying to convince his parents (and sometimes his babysitter, Rosalyn) to let him watch sleazy exploitation movies with titles like Cuisinart Murders of Central High, Vampire Sorority Babes, and Venusian Vampire Vixens. Of course, he never actually gets to see them, except in one instance where he locks Rosalyn outside.
    • In a Sunday strip, he imagines himself as Godzilla rising from the sea (his bathtub) to defeat Megalon (his mother).
  • Jeremy from Zits has shown a similar obsession occasionally.
  • Shows up often in Garfield strips, particularly the older ones. One strip features several panels of ads for movies like "The Monday that Wouldn't Die" and "The Attack of the Incredible Slobber Monster". Jon then asks Garfield if he wants to go to a movie called "Slime Pit Zombie Chain Saw Massacre", to which Garfield agrees "as long as there are no Mondays" in it. The screen is not shown, the dialogue Narmy, the characters Genre Blind (with the occasional Genre Savvy character), and Garfield himself gives them the MST3K treatment.
  • In a 1960-era Peanuts comic, Linus and Lucy are looking over the movie listings in the paper and see "I Was a Teenage War Monger" and "I Was a Teenage Camel Driver" - Linus comments "It's hard to choose between such obviously quality motion pictures!"

    Fan Works 
  • In the infamous badfic My Immortal, protagonist Ebony is apparently fond of the equally infamous film Shark Attack 3.
  • In Speed and Purpose, Sonic is most excited to get a TV so he can watch x-rated horror films like Killer Zombie Penguins.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Captain Underpants's Extra-Crunchy Books o' Fun each had a story featuring a villain named Hairy Potty. The second Hairy Potty story was called The Night of the Terror of the Revenge of the Curse of the Bride of Hairy Potty, which ends with a teaser for The Night of the Terror of the Dawn of the Day of the Curse of the Late-Afternoon of the Son of the Bride of Hairy Potty.
    • One of the books also has a brief scene of George and Harold watching a Japanese monster movie on TV. From the illustration, it appears to be something involving Gamera.
  • Dave Barry likes to make fun of classic literature in this way, mentioning such titles as Hamlet II: The Next Day (noted for its Shower Scene) and Moby-Dick vs. the Atomic Bat from Hell.
  • The Snark Theater frequented by the protagonists of Daniel Pinkwater's Snarkout Boys stories seems to show an eclectic mixture of obscure foreign films and American B-movies. According to The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, a typical double bill might consist of Vampires in a Deserted Seaside Hotel at the End of August (in Serbo-Croatian with subtitles) and Invasion of the Bageloids, in which Earth falls under attack by "rock-hard, intelligent bagels from outer space."
  • In The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, Arm draws on his viewings of I Was a Teenage Werewolf to scare off a gang of superstitious witch-hunters. Apparently in 22nd-century Africa, B-movies from the 1950s are still running on late-night holovision. (Or it was remade under the same title, which would certainly not be unprecedented.)
  • In Proven Guilty, supernatural beings that feed on fear take on the form of that Verse's Expies of various horror-film villains. One of the films imitated is titled "Nature Red", which is at least minimally literate as B-movie titles go; the others come from slasher-style series which play this trope to the hilt. Molly is the biggest fan among the main cast, to the point of helping organize the convention that attracts the beasties in question.
  • Two examples exist in the United States Of Monsters universe with Straight Outta Fangton protagonist Peter Stone and Bright Falls Mysteries lead Jane Doe. The former has an encyclopedic knowledge of vampire movies (despite being a vampire himself) and the other worked in the last Blockbuster in Michigan where she gained a vast knowledge of terrible horror movies. Given they live in an Affectionate Parody universe of monster movies, it makes them both very Genre Savvy.

    Live Action TV 
  • Red Dwarf. Lister's favourite movies include Revenge of the Surf-Boarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls and Vampire Bikini Girls Suck Paris. Another episode features Attack of the Giant Savage Completely Invisible Aliens, which is just as daft as it sounds. According to Rimmer, the movies are shown to the prison population as a Cool and Unusual Punishment, but that doesn't stop Lister from liking this one as well.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Tom Paris and Harry Kim are big fans of the campy B-serial The Adventures of Captain Proton, and frequently take on the roles of Captain Proton and his sidekick Buster Kincaid (respectively) in the holodeck (the program being in black and white, including Tom and Harry themselves.)
    • In one episode, Tom recreates a 20th-century movie theater in the holodeck so he and B'Elanna can watch Revenge of the Creature. At the end of the episode, many characters have gathered to watch a double feature which includes 'Attack of the Lobster People'.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Apparently B Movies are shown on Movie Night on the Enterprise as well, though this is only referred to in conversation. The one film we do see them watching, The Wages of Fear, is a very good movie... but still arguably a B-movie with minimal licensing costs.
  • There were movies in some Seinfeld plots, many of which were B movies like "Sack Lunch", "Checkmate", and "Prognosis Negative".
  • In The X-Files, Mulder claims to have seen Plan 9 from Outer Space 42 times, and claims he finds the movie useful for shutting down his brain's logic processes, allowing for intuitive leaps.
    Scully: You've seen this movie forty-two times? ... That doesn't make you sad? It makes me sad, Mulder.
  • In the Nickelodeon teen series Drake & Josh, Josh works at a movie theater with a marquee filled with movie titles like 'Cave Mom' - each title indicating a more schlocky movie than the last.
  • On Charmed, Phoebe's favorite movie is a B-horror movie called "Kill It Before It Dies"; in the episode "Chick Flick", a demon's powers cause the characters to become real, then the sisters to be trapped in the movie.
  • In The League of Gentlemen, Ally and Henry are essentially a subversion of this trope. The two are gore-obsessed teens who judge a movie on "how many killin's it's got". Despite this, between the two of them they've watched such critically acclaimed films as Se7en (although they didn't like it because it only had seven killin's), Richard Eye Eye Eye and Trois Couleurs: Bleu.
  • On one episode of Community, Abed hosts a showing of the '80s movie Kickpuncher, which appears to be a bad Mad Max/Robocop mash-up. Abed and Troy even film a Fan Sequel for The Stinger.
    • The sequel features Kickpuncher's nemesis, Punchkicker.
  • On Forever Knight, Nick Knight likes to watch old horror movies, particularly ones about vampires.
  • On the Animal Planet series, The Most Extreme, clips from B-movies and horror flicks are used to demonstrate talents that a particular animal has.
  • During one scene in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of No Return", we briefly see O'Neill watching a black-and-white UFO movie.
    • What we see of the Show Within a Show Wormhole X-treme! is essentially a TV version of this. In-universe, it's a show based on the real show's main characters, and out-of-universe it's an excellent parody of the show itself and of science fiction in general, especially '60s-style campy sci-fi — with plenty of Stylistic Suck to go around.
  • M*A*S*H used this as a Running Gag. Almost every movie mentioned as playing on a given day was some lousy B picture. On the rare occasions the camp was getting a good movie, it was usually a plot point. E.g., in "The Moon Is Not Blue", they want to get The Moon is Blue (a film notorious at the time for its use of the word "virgin"), and instead get State Fair. We see clips from both, and they end up bored by both. (Ironically, history has decided State Fair is marginally the better film.)
    • They didn't care if it was good or not, just that it had been labeled "obscene", which had to be better than the horrendous G-rated schpeel they've gotten nonstop.
  • In the episode "Hollywood Babylon" of Supernatural, Dean is revealed to be a fan of low-budget Horror movies.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Ted and one of his girlfriends go to see Plan 9 from Outer Space on a date, and in another episode, as part of a two-minute speed date, they watch a few seconds of Manos: The Hands of Fate.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Penny has had roles in the (fictional) B-movies Serial Ape-ist and Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill''. Howard found and watched the first film, probably enjoying Penny's Shower Scene. Amy and Bernadette found and watched the second film, where Penny had a more substantial role. By their reactions, the film was So Bad, It's Good.
  • In Monster Warriors, Kreeger runs a video store devoted to obscure B-grade science fiction and horror films. In particular, he is a huge fan of 1950s director Klaus Von Steinhauer and is a walking encyclopedia regarding Klaus and his oeuvre. This makes him the perfect person to advise the Monster Warriors when Klaus starts creating real monsters based on his old films and unleashing them upon Capital City.

    Music 
  • Frank Zappa loved B-films, especially cheap monster movies, and referenced them a lot in his work, sometimes only in the titles.
  • Oddly enough, the band Monster Magnet (not named after the Zappa song, but just the toy of the same name) give shout outs to comic books and B-movies in their songs, "Goliath and the Vampires" and "Ego, the Living Planet" being examples.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Nature Trail to Hell" is presented as a trailer for one...in 3D! His later song, "Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters From a Planet Near Mars" is also B-movie inspired, although the song itself claims to be referencing actual events.
    • Another song, "Slime Creatures From Outer Space", just screams b-movie.
  • The opening of Michael Jackson's "Thriller": On a date, Michael turns into a monstrous werewolf, lunges toward the girl, and the Fakeout Opening ends, revealing Michael is watching a B movie on a date. Then the music starts up and the whole video transforms into a B movie.
  • An album by a dub musician Scientist, itself called Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Which you may well know from the K-Jah station in GTAIII) has all its songs named in this fashion.

    Video Games 
  • The Para-Medic from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is obsessed with (real) B Movies and Japanese Toku, and talks about them a great deal to the main character, who isn't obsessed with B Movies. To be fair, she does like some classic movies, but there's no excuse for anyone, fictional or not, trying to convince an unsuspecting soldier to see Plan 9 from Outer Space or The Alligator People.
  • The main character from Secret of Evermore was obsessed with movies and would equate any encounter he had to being "Just like" various movies, most of them either starting with Attack of... or ending with ...from Planet X. Or just plain weird titles like Mars Needs Lumberjacks or Acropolis Apocalypse.
  • The loading screens of War of the Monsters have a B-Movie poster for the level of choice, and generally has a B-Movie-like feel to the game. The menu screen is even a drive-in theater.
  • One of the lines you can hear in Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative involves Cave mentioning watching a movie called "Attack of the Killer Ants". He fell asleep shortly after it reached the part where they attacked the nation's sugar reserves.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad has expressed a fondness for "triple-R" rated movies like Women's Penitentiary Bakesale Nightmare, the Fists of Knuckles series, and Axe-Gun: Legends of the Brain-Outener. Similarly, the Cheat Commandoes have expressed a love for a series of Exploitation Films called Pony Fights.
    • The Strong Bad Email "unnatural" further parodies this type of movie, with Bubs mutating into a giant kaiju called King Bubsgonzola Supreme.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck:
    • John Egbert loves terrible movies like Mac and Me and Little Monsters, though his favorite is Con Air. He eventually grows out of this during the Time Skip when he watches Con Air again and suddenly realizes "THIS MOVIE SUCKS!". That being said, he learns to love it again when he realizes he doesn't have to stop liking it despite its bad quality.
    • Jake English is also a fan of cheesy action movies, but he and John do show an interest in some actually famous and good films, notably Avatar and Ghostbusters (1984) respectively.
    • Karkat Vantas loves awful romantic comedies with long, spoilery titles. Unlike the other kids, his films are all noted to be of terrible quality.
  • Schlock Mercenary has a bunch of fictional media within the setting. Many of these are all sorts of awful.
    • The Jack San Robo series is heavily implied to be a horrible mindless action flick.
    • Fashion Assault is every bit as stupid as one would expect from the title.
    • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates (retconned into The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries due to copyright) is either brilliant and hilarious or incredibly trite and mindless.
  • In Broken Plot Device, Liz, who is a lizardwoman, sometimes plays at being a female Godzilla to amuse herself.
  • Mountain Time offers Trampoline Tony and the Man-Eating Lettuce from Toronto, Blood Orange, and Apocallipsis (which is presumably about an ellipsis that ends the world), among others.
  • Star Power briefly features a show called "Psi-Cop" at the start of Chapter 16. What little we see seems to be in this vein, considering the classic Damsel in Distress scene, the protagonist uses "mind swords" and, as is revealed later, the bad guy is named Corporal Crime. From their reactions, they're well aware of its camp nature, but Danica sees it as a Guilty Pleasure and the others find it So Bad, It's Good.
    "This show is so stupid."
    "Then stop watching it."
    "I can't."
  • Ennui GO! has Renee, who loves to watch bad and outright strange movies from various genres and eras, often delivering in-depth critical analysis on them. It's a trait she apparently picked up from her father Chuck.

    Web Original 
  • Obscurus Lupa reviews mostly "Z-grade" films from the eighties and early nineties. She is plainly in love with that material, although some films aren't fun even from a camp standpoint.
  • Solidly in The Cinema Snob's territory, as his portrayer is a fan of such schlock (specially of the exploitation kind) and the character is supposed to call out The Movie Buff who looks down on such material.

    Western Animation 
  • The title characters of The Angry Beavers are fans of these types of movies. Such choice titles as Viking Women from Venus (Who will become the bride of the volcano?!) and The Oozing Flesh *gag*... of the Rotting Hand. A Halloween Episode revolved around the monsters from those movies coming to life at the mansion of Oxnard Montalvo, the star of all these movies. Another had them finding some discarded film of an incomplete Oxnard Montalvo film...and then deciding to complete it themselves.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Lilo is a fan of these films and loves to watch them marathon-style. In the first movie, Stitch is also entranced by the film Earth vs. the Spider, because of all the destruction. In an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Lilo wants to see a monster movie called Attack of the Bones, and she also enjoys a film series called Wasp Mummies. In Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, the 'ohana watch Them! for family fun night.
  • One of the background TV movies is Assisted Living Dracula on Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
    • ATHF has a lot of these, such as the "Vegetable Man" and the creepy puppet thing the Plutonians were watching, and most are included as DVD extras.
  • In Static Shock, two of the characters are seen watching "Attack of the Zombie Cows". Other than the title, it is not seen...but you can hear it, and it consists of glass breaking, screaming, and mooing. Again and again and again.
  • Ed of Ed, Edd n Eddy is obsessed with B-horror movies and comic books, which, given his intelligence and grip on reality, does not bode well for his behavior. Especially when it rubs off on others. Cheese-ball movies like these appear to be popular enough in the show's world that stuff like "Robot Rebel Ranch" still plays at the local multiplex.
  • ReBoot season 1 brings us the episode Wizards, Warriors, And A Word From Our Sponsor, in which Mike the TV saves the gang from a shadow monster by blowing out the light. When asked how he came up with that idea he replies: "Tonight! Dr. Goldsmith vs. the Shadow Monsters part 4! Only on BMMN, the Bad Monster Movie Network. I like that."
    • The games can be seen as a video game version of this.
  • On Regular Show, Mordecai and Rigby watch Ello, Gov'nor, an old British horror film about a haunted taxicab. Mordecai was not impressed, but Rigby, who chose the movie in the first place, is freaked out and thinks the cab from the movie is out to get him. In his defense, it is, although it turns out to be the Video Store Clerk in a British Taxi Costume.
  • Every film by Vincent Van Ghoul in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
  • In the 1987's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the turtles are often watching cheesy monster movies on TV. This got Down Played in the 2003's series where Michelangelo is the only one who is a b-movie buff.
  • In Sabrina: The Animated Series the local drive-in was playing "I was a Teenage Mutant Lobster Zombie From Outer Space" in which a teenager was mutated into said creature. Though where he obtained the spaceship from is never explained.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Doofensmirtz inspires a plan after watching a low-budget horror movie about giant killer cats, though what the viewers see is footage of real-life kittens crawling and playing on top of a set made out of cardboard. This was very likely a parody of the laughably bad Night of the Lepus.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • At the end of "Summerween", the gang watches a horror movie marathon, which includes a film called The Fear Guy From Terror Town Street that apparently consists of alternating shots of a screaming woman and a growling, obviously fake alien.
    • "Into the Bunker" opens with Dipper and Wendy watching a cheesy zombie movie called Nearly Almost Dead But Not Quite! The Stinger features a selection of bad movies showing on Gravity Falls Bargain Movie Showcase, such as Attack of the Exclamation Points!!!!!, Ghost Turtle, Planet People from Planet Planet and Help! My Mummy's A Werewolf (and its sequel Help! My Mummy's a Werewolf 2: This Again).
    • Inverted in "The Inconveniencing", where Grunkle Stan ends up becoming very invested in the highbrow, extremely dry costume drama The Duchess Approves.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, both the Farmer and the sheep seem to like low-budget horror films.
  • Bob's Burgers
    • Bob in particular seems to be a big fan of old B-movies. He and Gene bond over their shared love of the Banjo Spaghetti Westerns (which spoof the Django movies), and with Louise over the Hawk and Chick films (parodies of the Lone Wolf and Cub samurai films). He also takes Tina to a screening of Vampire Disco Death Dance, a campy horror musical where the audience is encouraged to go in costume and throw things at the screen - an obvious parody of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • "The Deepening", a Jaws rip-off shot in the town where the show takes place. It features a younger, more handsome Teddy as a lifeguard.
    • Teddy is a big fan of The Ham and Egger, a blatant Rocky rip-off, which Bob does not hesitate to point out.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): B Movie Fan

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