There's No B in Movie
Some characters are watching an old B-Movie with a title like The Curse Of ______ or The Attack Of ______. This is done to parody the characters' perceived lack of culture, or possibly to keep the focus on the title characters and prevent a Show Within a Show from developing, or simply because the writers themselves enjoy that kind of movie. More recently, though, it may be because so many of the pre-1964 B Movies have fallen into the public domain and can be used as a Show Within a Show without triggering any copyright concerns.
It also helps that typically B-Movies are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. For example, a more "cultured" movie title like Citizen Kane doesn't immediately tell you that its a mystery-drama about a deceased man's life. Whereas if the characters watch a movie titled "Killer Lobsters from Planet X", you know what to expect and don't have to spend much time elaborating on what they're watching it so that the story can move on.
Revenge of the Sequel may ensue. See also Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death. May be a case of Stylistic Suck, especially if the B-movie doesn't actually exist outside the world of the characters.
- Bert I. Gordon liked to Product Place his B-movies in his other B-movies. Earth vs. The Spider has a scene where the hero talks about how much he wants to see Attack Of The Puppet People while the marquee of a movie theatre shows an ad for another Bert I. Gordon movie, The Amazing Colossal Man. Attack of the Puppet People also features a viewing of the Colossal Man as well.
- There's a scene in Troll 2 of Elliot and his friends watching a movie about a gorilla who uses a crystal ball to fly around. Of course, Troll 2 is hardly any less stupid.
- My Name Is Bruce is a meta-example of this trope, the movie being about B-Movie star Bruce Campbell As Himself meeting a bunch of B-Movie fans to help them get-rid of a local monster. This is funny because it is by itself also a B-Movie.
- In Donnie Darko, Donnie goes to see Evil Dead.
- In Lord Love A Duck, T. Harrison Belmont is the producer of beach movies such as The Thing that Ate Bikini Beach. Every one of his films has the word "bikini" in the title.
- In Matinee, the film centers around a creature-feature titled Mant!, a riff on Them! and The Fly.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Captain Underpants's Extra-Crunchy Books o' Fun each had a story featuring a villain named Hairy Potty. The second Hairy Potty story was called The Night of the Terror of the Revenge of the Curse of the Bride of Hairy Potty, which ends with a teaser for The Night of the Terror of the Dawn of the Day of the Curse of the Late-Afternoon of the Son of the Bride of Hairy Potty.
- Dave Barry likes to make fun of classic literature in this way, mentioning such titles as Hamlet II: The Next Day (noted for its Shower Scene) and Moby Dick vs. the Atomic Bat from Hell.
- The Snark Theater in Daniel Pinkwater's stories seems to show an odd mixture of foreign films and American B-movies. According to The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, a typical double bill might consist of Vampires in a Deserted Seaside Hotel at the End of August (in Serbo-Croatian with subtitles) and Invasion of the Bageloids, "in which rock-hard, intelligent bagels from outer space attack Earth."
- In Proven Guilty, supernatural beings that feed on fear take on the form of that Verse's Expies of various horror-film villains. One of the films imitated is titled "Nature Red", which is at least minimally-literate as B-movie titles go; the others come from slasher-style series which play this trope to the hilt.
- Used as a Subverted Trope in Mr. Show in the sketch "The Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost".
- Live Action Example: Lister's favourite movies in Red Dwarf include Revenge of the Surf-Boarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls and Vampire Bikini Girls Suck Paris. Another episode features Attack of the Giant Savage Completely Invisible Aliens, which is just as daft as it sounds.
- In Star Trek: Voyager, Tom Paris and Harry Kim are big fans of the campy B-serial The Adventures of Captain Proton, and frequently take on the roles of Captain Proton and his sidekick Buster Kincaid (respectively) in the holodeck (the program being in black and white, including Tom and Harry themselves.)
- In one episode Tom recreates a 20th century movie theater in the holodeck so he and B'Elanna can watch Revenge of the Creature. At the end of the episode many characters have gathered to watch a double feature which includes 'Attack of the Lobster People'.
- Apparently B Movies are shown on Movie Night on Enterprise as well, though this is only referred to in conversation.
- There were movies in some Seinfeld plots, many of which were B movies like "Sack Lunch", "Checkmate", and "Prognosis Negative".
- "DEATH BLOW! When someone tries to blow you up, not because of who you are but, for different reasons all together."
- "Rochelle, Rochelle: One Woman's Erotic Journey From Milan to Minsk".
- In The X-Files, Mulder claims to have seen Plan 9 from Outer Space 42 times, and claims he finds the movie useful for shutting down his brain's logic processes, allowing for intuitive leaps.
Scully: You've seen this movie forty-two times? ... That doesn't make you sad? It makes me sad, Mulder.
- In the Nickelodeon teen series Drake and Josh, Josh works at a movie theater with a marquee filled with movie titles like 'Cave Mom' - each title indicating a more schlocky movie than the last.
- On Charmed, Phoebe's favorite movie is a B-horror movie called Kill It Before It Dies.
- In The League of Gentlemen, Ally and Henry are essentially a subversion of this trope. The two are gore-obsessed teens who judge a movie on "how many killin's it's got". Despite this, between the two of them they've watched such critically acclaimed films as Se7en, Richard III and Trois Couleurs: Bleu.
- On one episode of Community, Abed hosts a showing of the '80s movie Kickpuncher, which appears to be a bad Mad Max/RoboCop mash-up. Abed and Troy even do their own version of it for The Stinger.
- The sequel features Kickpuncher's nemesis, Punchkicker.
- On Forever Knight, Nick Knight likes to watch old horror movies, particularly ones about vampires.
- On the Animal Planet series, The Most Extreme, clips from B-movies and horror flicks are used to demonstrate talents that a particular animal has.
- During one scene in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of No Return", we briefly see O'Neill watching a black-and-white UFO movie.
- Musical example: The Frank Zappa track "Return of the Son of Monster Magnet".
- And live album, Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n' Play Your Guitar.
- Oddly enough, the band Monster Magnet (not named after the Zappa song) give shout outs to comic books and B-movies in their songs, "Goliath and the Vampires" and "Ego, the Living Planet" being examples.
- The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Nature Trail to Hell" is presented as a trailer for one...in 3D! His later song, "Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters From a Planet Near Mars" is also B-movie inspired, although the song itself claims to be referencing actual events.
- Don't forget his song "Slime Creatures From Outer Space". That song just screams b-movie.
- Who can forget the opening of Michael Jackson's "Thriller": On a date, Michael turns into a monstrous werewolf, lunges toward the girl, and the Fake-Out Opening ends, revealing Michael is watching a B movie on a date. Then the music starts up and the whole video transforms into a B movie...
- An album by a dub musician Scientist, itself called Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Which you may well know from the K-Jah station in GTAIII) has all its songs named in this fashion.
- In a The Far Side comic, insects watch "Return of the Killer Windshield."
- Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes often would attempt to get cheesy slutty movies like "Venusian Vampire Vixens".
- In a Sunday strip, he imagines himself as Godzilla rising from the sea (his bathtub) to defeat Megalon (his mother).
- Jeremy from Zits has shown a similar obsession occasionally.
- Shows up often in Garfield strips, particularly the older ones. One strip features several panels of ads for movies like "The Monday that Wouldn't Die" and "The Attack of the Incredible Slobber Monster". Jon then asks Garfield if he wants to go to a movie called "Slime Pit Zombie Chain Saw Massacre", to which Garfield agrees "as long as there are no Mondays" in it.
- In a 1960-era Peanuts comic, Linus and Lucy are looking over the movie listings in the paper and see "I Was a Teenage War Monger" and "I Was a Teenage Camel Driver" - Linus comments "It's hard to choose between such obviously quality motion pictures!"
Video Games[edit | hide]
- The Para-Medic from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is obsessed with (real) B Movies and Japanese Toku, and talks about them a great deal to the main character, who isn't obsessed with B Movies. To be fair, she does like some classic movies, but there's no excuse for anyone, fictional or not, trying to convince an unsuspecting soldier to see Plan 9 from Outer Space or The Alligator People.
- The main character from Secret of Evermore was obsessed with movies and would equate any encounter he had to being "Just like" various movies, most of them either starting with Attack of... or ending with ...from Planet X.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- John Egbert from Homestuck loves terrible movies, although they're all real, relatively recent films (his favorite is Con Air). This has gotten to be the point where fanworks often Flanderise this quality, and his other interests - computer programming and magic tricks - are almost completely ignored.
- Don't forget pranking, this was supposed to be his primary character trait judging from things like the Prankster's Gambit and the Colonel Sassachre text.
- Schlock Mercenary has a bunch of fictional media within the setting. Many of these are all sorts of awful.
- The Jack San Robo series is heavily implied to be a horrible mindless action flick.
- Fashion Assault is every bit as stupid as one would expect from the title.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates (retconned into The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries due to copyright) is either brilliant and hilarious, or incredibly trite and mindless.
- In Broken Plot Device, Liz, who is a lizard woman, sometimes plays at being a female Godzilla to amuse herself.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- The title characters of The Angry Beavers are fans of these types of movies. Such choice titles as Viking Women from Venus (Who will become the bride of the volcano?!) and The Oozing Flesh... of the Rotting Hand.
- So are Coop and Jamie from Megas XLR.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, "Bloooo" has one.
- One episode of The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo had the cast sucked into "The Curse of the Ghost of the Son of the Bride of Frankenstein".
- In one episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the gang discusses a movie called "I Was A Teenage Blob".
- In an episode of Garfield and Friends, the entire plot of the cartoon "Video Airlines" revolved around Jon and Garfield trying to find something to watch besides the alien invasion B-movie Kung-Fu Creatures on the Rampage II. Eventually they're forced to go to a movie theater, at which point they explicitly ask to make sure that the theater is not showing Kung-Fu Creatures on the Rampage II, but discover after the movie has started that they're watching Kung-Fu Creatures on the Rampage III.
- You're not Sylvia! You're one of the kung-fu creatures on the rampage...two!
- "PBS is airing a special presentation: The Making of 'Kung-Fu Creatures on the Rampage II'."
- The comic strip also mocks these every once in a while, with the screen not shown, the dialogue Narmy, the characters Genre Blind (with the occasional Genre Savvy character), and Garfield himself giving them the MSTK treatment.
- You're not Sylvia! You're one of the kung-fu creatures on the rampage...two!
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Lilo wants to see a monster movie called "Attack of the Bones." In the first movie, Stitch is also entranced by the film Earth vs. The Spider, because of all the destruction.
- As Told by Ginger: In The Movie, the girls watch a movie at camp about a slime monster coming out of the lake.
- In one of the brighter spots of the first season of Fantastic Four, Thing and the Human Torch watch one of these.
- Rocko's Modern Life brings us "Night of the Shaved Kittens".
- One of the background TV movies is Assisted Living Dracula on Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
- ATHF has a lot of these, such as the "Vegetable Man" and the creepy puppet thing the Plutonians were watching, and most are included as DVD extras.
- In Static Shock, two of the characters are seen watching "Attack of the Zombie Cows". Other than the title, it is not seen...but you can hear it, and it consists of glass breaking, screaming, and mooing. Again and again and again.
- Ed of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy is obsessed with B horror movies and comic books.
- ReBoot season 1 brings us the episode Wizards, Warriors, And A Word From Our Sponsor, in which Mike the TV saves the gang from a shadow monster by blowing out the light. When asked how he came up with that idea he replies: "Tonight! Dr. Goldsmith vs. the Shadow Monsters part 4! Only on BMMN, the Bad Monster Movie Network."
- The games can be seen as a video game version of this.
- On Regular Show, Mordecai and Rigby watch Ello, Gov'nor, an old British horror film about a haunted taxicab. Mordecai was not impressed, but Rigby, who chose the movie in the first place, is freaked out and thinks the cab from the movie is out to get him.
- In his defense, it is, although it turns out to be the Video Store Clerk in a British Taxi Costume.
- Every film by Vincent Van Ghoul in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
- The ultimate Real Life movie title of this sort belongs to a Gag Dub of Night of the Living Dead called Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating, Subhumanoid Living Dead, Part II.
- In Shocking 2-D!