Man at His Best

The Surprising Link Between Loving Rubbish Films And Being Actually Quite Smart

Take that, movie snobs.

BY Olivia Ovenden | Aug 9, 2016 | Film & TV

It might be time to stop ripping your friend who prefers Snakes On A Plane to The Godfather Part II. Research from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (which yes, we checked, is a real place) has found a link between those that enjoy trashy films and higher levels of intelligence.

The survey found that viewers "attribute to trash films not just amusing/entertaining qualities, but also a positive, transgressive deviance from the cinematic mainstream, and their appreciation of these films is coupled with marked preferences for art cinema".

"At first glance it seems paradoxical that someone should deliberately watch badly made, embarrassing and sometimes even disturbing films, and take pleasure in them," writes Keyvan Sarkhosh one of the study's authors. 

"To such viewers, trash films appear as an interesting and welcome deviation from the mainstream fare. We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as 'cultural omnivores'. Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture."

One film the study pinpointed to explain their argument? The 2013 low budget, rubbish plot movie Sharknado (where a storm leaves the streets of LA festering with sharks) is a classic trashy film which along with Plan 9 from Outer Space and The Toxic Avenger, was the most mentioned by the study's participants.

The reason these films are so linked to enjoyment was put down to 'ironic enjoyment' in watching films that are rubbished by critics. It is worth noting that nearly 90 percent of the participants in the study were men, which might have skewed things ever so slightly.

From: Esquire UK.