I even like bad movies. Really. Sometimes they are what I like to call Great Bad, which means it’s a pretty terrible movie but it might feature great locations or cool actors or be so over-melodramatic with over the top acting that it reaches a level of supposed greatness – yet even an eight-year-old would recognize how truly awful the movie really is. I still find even the sappiest and pulpiest of movies to be entertaining. Many of these Great Bad movies are from the 1950s and 1960s.
An example of Great Bad would be The Best of Everything. It was a Rona Jaffe best seller that was soon turned into a movie. It followed three women who shared a small NYC apartment and worked at the same publishing firm. Full of stereotypes of the time, it had it all – the glamorous city (with the men and women to match), great costumes, broken love affairs, and ambition run wild. It was not a very good movie … but I loved it the first time I saw it on late night TV. It was the very essence of Great Bad. Any time it’s on TV and I stumble across it, I get a secret thrill of discovery all over again.
Great Bad can also be unbelievable while being incredibly earnest. This is the case with Steve McQueen’s debut in a leading role. The movie? The Blob, a horror/sci-fi film that portrays an amoeba-like alien that crashes on Earth inside a meteor. This old guy stumbles upon it, curiously pokes the meteor with a stick, and out pops this ooey-gooey, jelly blob. Which proceeds to crawl up the stick and attach itself to the man’s hand. Long story short, it eventually swallows up the man. And the nurse. And the doctor trying to help him (all while Steve McQueen is off doing stuff – which he does most of the movie – because we can’t let The Blob eat the hero, can we?).
The Blob terrorizes Steve’s small Pennsylvania town and gobbles up about half its inhabitants all in one night, getting larger, oozier, and redder with each person it consumes. Finally, Steve The Hero figures out how to stop it (freezing it), so the military swoops in and dumps the frozen mass somewhere up in the Arctic, and all’s right in Middle America once again.
It’s comical to see a clip from The Blob now – and crazy that 30 years later Hollywood shot a remake of such an awful movie. And no, even I draw the line at watching some movies. I can proudly state I’ve never seen nor care to ever watch the “new” Blob movie.
But I thought about The Blob the other day while I went on a cleaning / sorting / reorganizing spree. My daughter recently moved to an apartment, taking with her clothes, furniture, boxes, and the dog. Suddenly, I had room to breathe in our house. I began rearranging furniture, going through items to give away to charity, and I decided I would tackle our house’s very own “Blob” – the spilling forth, out of control, DVD collection.
Said daughter took a couple of hundred DVDs with her, but that still left a few hundred more (I’m being conservative in my estimate here, so don’t judge me). They took up two full bookcases and still spilled out in all sorts of nooks and crannies. I proclaimed De-Blobbing the DVDs my personal mission. Bookcases are meant for books (or cute knickknacks), so I would help them meet their destiny. Hey, it never hurts to have room for more books or knickknacks, right?
I went to Target (my fav store in the world) and bought travel DVD/CD cases. Then I removed the countless DVDs from their individual cases (unless they came in a boxed set, such as Lost or Horatio Hornblower or Pride and Prejudice – those got a free pass). I slipped the DVD into the first available slot until the travel case was filled in its entirety. Being super-organized, not only was I sorting them alphabetically, but then I typed a list that I would rest inside each case. That way my husband and I would know what was in that particular box. (I almost thought to have different groupings – a comedy case, another for drama – but what if the movie was a dramedy? Better to stick with alpha order.)
Voila! The 4 cases I filled take up less than half of a single shelf of one bookcase. I dumped all the DVD cases into the recycling bin. I now have tons of room, and the hundreds of DVD cases aren’t an eyesore.
Of course, I found Midnight in Paris about twelve seconds after my mission was accomplished. I’m not so obsessive that I would go all the way back to the M’s and move every M-Z DVD to a different slot (much less retype the cover lists – heaven forbid!). I know we’ll buy or receive more DVDs in the future. So only part of our collection will be alphabetized.
And I’m okay with that … because The Blob of DVDs? Now gone from my life – and it didn’t even require Steve McQueen or the military’s help.