The one billion dollar B movie!

This is a half-baked idea for a thread, I will admit. I was thinking, what separates a B movie from an A movie, besides budget?

What would it be like if the makers of a particular B movie had an effectively unlimited budget? What would the final product look like?

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The nightgown wrestling scene in Manos would take up half the film and the nightgowns would be by Yves St. Laurent… and even filmier. :wink:

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I know I should go into this with the spirit of fun that intended, but people often say this; but you still have to have the talent. Coleman Francis with a million dollars is just going to make an expensive train wreck with lots of coffee drinking and parking, whereas Orson Welles with a pocket full of change and broken cigarette, can give you a masterpiece (we know this, because he has).

But back to the spirit of things, it would be wild to imagine Red Zone Cuba with a budget. I imagine it would be shiny and loud and explosive and idiotic… you know, basically Coleman would become Michael Bay.

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Like most of the AAA movies out there these days?

Zing!

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I now want to draw a poster of that movie, with Shia LaBeouf as Cherokee Jack

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Oh we don’t have to ask, we know.

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Does it star Zach Braff? Well, there’s your problem.

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As I’ve said before, Coleman Francis makes absolutely clear from his productions that he doesn’t want people watching his films.

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Well if you want to get technical, B-Movies were paired with A-Movies in the era of the double-feature. The A-Movie was the generally the movie you were actually paying for with your ticket, and the B-Movie was the “Get one free” movie that you could stick around and watch if you had the time and inclination. The B-Movie had the lesser stars and the lower budget.

With that said, we could brush off our hands and say B-Movies don’t exist anymore since there aren’t any double-features with A-Movies to accompany them. But language is fluid and the term evolved and now we sort of use it to refer to something harder to define, and here we are!

Maybe the market for the B-Movie shifted to “Direct to Video.” That concession means that all the movies that HAVE made it to theaters in the last 30 years or so have NOT been B-Movies. And now here comes streaming, which has perfectly serviceable movies to offer without theatrical release.

For lack of better criteria, I would argue that the modern B-Movie would just be “The sort of film you’d expect to watch on MST3K.”

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I think The Matrix and Overdrawn at the Memory Bank illustrate this. Matrix was a whiz-bang cultural phenomenon, but Overdrawn told roughly the same story, just 20 years earlier and on a shoe-string budget. This is a fun exercise, but I’m glad we get both versions.

Coleman Francis with a budget is hard to imagine. His budget(s), or lack thereof, are largely what make his movies Coleman Francis movies. The first thing that comes to mind trying to imagine Coleman Francis with a budget is Battlefield Earth.

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Also worth noting, Tommy Wisseau proved that you could have a 6 million dollar budget- a budget most MST3K movies would have loved to have- and still end up making The Room.

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Bert I Gordon would have splurged on color postcards.

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I think the answer is “James Cameron”. He got his start working with Corman. In fact, I remember hearing that when Corman saw Terminator, he was effusive with praise towards Cameron and asked him how he did it? And Cameron responded, “We did the same thing we did when we were working with you, we just had more money.”

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What if Ed Wood had money? Can any amount of money fix Plan 9?

He wanted to be the writer, director, and producer, so I’m not sure that more money would make him turn over any of those duties to anyone competent.

But he did give us Tor Johnson. For that, we are grateful.

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What would Coleman Francis do with a movie budget like that? Would The Beast of Yucca Flats or Red Zone Cuba look better? I’m sure he wouldn’t have had to ask for money for every scene.

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If Ed Wood had the budget, he could have added some visual aides to the gas canister speech.

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At the very least, he could have afforded to hire a stand-in approximately the same height as Bela.

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Money in someone else’s hands could probably fix, or at least significantly improve, Plan 9. But if we can’t get rid of Ed Wood… oh boy.

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I like this answer. Avatar is almost unwatchable as a film, but I saw it in 3D in the theater, and had enough fun watching unlimited-budget-googaws come right at me that I still had a good time.

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I always think of the DCU films I’ve seen as being what studios like The Asylum would make if they had a budget.

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