I can admit, I generally a bit of a snob when it comes to “the arts.” I’m likely to refer to 80% of the population as philistines, while I sit on the floor of my living room, caressing the cover of my latest original-pressing vinyl purchase, that I probably spent countless days/months tracking down on the internet. I’m a rare breed. A coffee shop faithful, who winces at the thought of Bon Jovi or grinds my teeth when I hear the words “Jersey Shore” float through the air. When it comes to entertainment, I demand the best, and easily shit on all the rest. But in the dark corners of mind, lurks this Bizzaro Chase, who is out to damage my pointless “hipster” reputation. He’s killing me softly, and it usually involves a good amount of gore, bad dialogue, and a budget that almost never hits 7 digits.
My name is Chase Martin, and I’m a glutton for trash cinema.
I can look over my film collection, and generally be pleased with myself. Yes, I have numerous films featured in the Criterion Collection. And I wrote several papers in school defending the brilliance of French New Wave cinema or the techno-phobia of David Cronenberg. But scattered throughout my shelf sit nasty little titles that stink of betrayal. Older ones, like The Toxic Avenger, to the more recent Crank series. The most damning of them all, and the harbinger of my dark deeds, my 43 episode collection of Mystery Science Theater 3000 sits there, reminding me of my handicap. These DVDs suggest a problem that dates back to the mid-90s. And it’s a problem that I’ve been rapidly embracing over the past few years. I can pinpoint it to the exact moment of my life: the day I signed up for Netflix.
In this age of digital distribution, demands are met instantly for little effort, and usually a cheaper price tag. I still prefer my music to be in physical format, and my books to take up space on an IKEA shelf. But Netflix’s ability to stream movies instantly to my TV and computer has brought upon my household a barrage of crap movies, usually viewed during the twilight hours of the morning. The ability to view movies like Jesus Christ: Vampire Slayer and Dumpster Baby an a button’s touch has caused me to re-evaluate myself as a “film graduate.” What kind of an intellect stays up until 2am watching a movie about a zombiefied killer turkey entitled Thankskilling? And this takes place on a regular basis. I watch more crap movies than “good” films these days. Sure, Netflix puts films like Fellini’s La Strada at my fingertips, but those same fingers can’t seem to pass up something called Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus.
Like any good addiction, I’m seeing it spiral out of my control. Sure, I argued with myself about it. It’s possible that I’m exposing myself to the bad in order to further appreciate the good. I’m going to extremes here. I’m overindulging on it. Maybe this is my way of keeping myself in check, or maybe Bizzaro Chase is slowly oozing to the surface. Either way, I can hear The Room beckoning me away from my computer for the 5th time.
You’re tearing me apart, Netflix!!!!!
-Chase (or Bizzaro Chase, it’s getting harder to tell)