so bad it's good?

Radar Men from the Moon was always one of my favorite serials. Back in the 1950’s, viewers had to wait an entire week to find out what happened next. But growing up in the 1980’s, I had it made. Three VHS tapes from K-Mart contained all twelve exciting episodes! The story was all right, but the dialogue had me at hello:

Villain: How 'bout a ride to town, mister?
Motorist: Sure. Hop in.
Villain: There's a man in a flying suit chasing us. Step on it.
Motorist: Huh?

Last week, I noticed that Plan 9 From Outer Space was available through Netflix online. I’d heard it was something like the worst movie ever made, and I hoped it would remind me of Radar Men. Holy ray gun, it did not disappoint:

Narrator: We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. Can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?

And that was just the opening scene. The remaining 90 minutes had me either gawking dumbfounded or laughing out loud—the same reaction I had to reading John Twelve Hawks’ Fourth Realm Trilogy recently. Bad writing? Yes; utterly cringe-worthy, but I didn’t stop reading. I could blame my penchant for B-grade stories on the Radar Men, but quoting William Faulkner is so much more literary:

“Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.”

My window remains wide open.
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