You Had Me at Space Vampires / by Courtney Mehlhaff

It's been awhile since I've posted, so let's start this one out with some real honesty. I have a confession to make. I'm not sure when it started or how it evolved, but I've developed a real addiction ... to really bad movies. No, not XXX movies. I'm not even talking Sci-Fi Channel "original" bad, because they're in a class of their own. I'm referring to action-packed, formulaic, laughable one-liner, villian-with-an-iffy-foreign-accent flicks. More than that, I seem to be fascinated with what I call "afternoon wasters," the ones on TNT or TBS that catch your eye on Sunday at 1:00 ... and suddenly your day is gone along with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

I don't consider myself to have bad taste in movies, but my DVD collection does resemble that of a teenage boy. I'm not against chick flicks, per se. I think most women watch them for the same kind of escapism guys get from seeing things blow up. They both know it probably isn't going to happen, but isn't it damn fun to imagine?

As I've examined my preferences lately, I've come to identify a sort of rating system for the awesomeness of terrible action movies. And by "terrible" I mean not even close to high art, but a hell of a ride. Here are a few just to get you started:

If the movie is set in some sort of future dystopia, perhaps after a cataclysmic event, 1 point.
If it involves assembling a team of people, each with special skills, to fix something/rescue someone, 1 point.
If someone on the team is a computer whiz who can hack the Pentagon while eating various forms of junk food and saving everyone's ass, 1 point. 
If one person on that team is secretly working for the government/enemy/is a robot, 2 points. 

If the team has to go someplace dangerous to accomplish the task (space/deep sea/a cave), 1 point. 
If they have to go someplace ridiculous (an ancient pyramid, into the earth's core), 2 points. 
If they go to the Arctic/Alaska, that's a whole new category.

If the team encounters monsters or aliens, 2 points.
If, at any time, the audience gets to view things through the eyes of a creature, as in "snake vision" or "Predator vision," 3 points. 
If the team must fight nature itself, 1 point. 
If what they encounter is supernatural or paranormal, 2 points. 
If they find out it's the result of genetic experiments, 3 points.
If whatever it is USED to be human and/or the team starts turning into them, 4 points.

If the movie stars Coolio, 5 points, because that's a guarantee you're going to witness something truly awful.

This is just a rough framework, but I think it generally holds true. However, I'm open to suggestions from other bad movie lovers out there.