Since PULP’s inception 29 issues ago for whining and complaining about completely irrelevant issues that concern no one, ASH has often been criticized for his ratings system, in that he tends to either give a movie five stars, one star, or on the odd occasion when he forgets to hold down the shift key, several 8s. In response to these concerns, we have decided to reprint the movie marking manifesto that appeared in PULP’s inaugural issue all those years ago. Enjoy.
I like to fancy myself quite the movie buff. Unfortunately, I have neither seen enough movies, nor do I have good enough taste to be considered one. However I do like to pretend, so PULP represents my attempts at film criticism. I have no doubt that my opinions themselves will be criticized by those who read this, should by some strange twist of fate anyone ever get past the first page without casting this aside in disgust, so there are a few things I feel obliged to explain.
First, I am a horror movie fan by nature and by practice. I watch a lot of movies, usually about one a day, the vast majority of which are horror films. Some might say that this means I cannot properly review a real movie like, say, The English Patient, and I tend to agree; that sort of movie is generally not my cup of tea, but in my defense, years of watching cheap B-grade horror movies has forced me to hone an appreciation for the little things in movies. The only way anyone can sit through the crap I’ve seen is to look for that one shot or that one good line that salvages an otherwise vomitous movie. I’ve never seen a movie that does not have at least one point of interest in it, and I try to mention them in the reviews if I can remember them, but I often can’t, since years spent absorbing cathode rays like a sponge have left my attention span about as long as a second, movies reviewed are only compared to other movies in their genre. You can’t honestly compare a classic film like Citizen Kane to a movie like Bride of Chucky and expect Citizen Kane to hold up. So horror movies are rated against other horror movies, comedies against comedies, worthless chick-flick tearjerkers against mounds of steaming feces, etc... If a horror movie gets say, four stars, then it’s a great horror movie, but if you don’t like that type of film, you probably won’t enjoy it, and also you’re a worthless human being.
Finally, the intricacies of my rating system probably requires some explanation. Not only do I like to mention in the review any points of interest in a movie, I tend to award extra stars for particularly interesting ones. Therefore it is important to read the review and subtract any bonus stars from its rating before rushing out to see it. So it’s conceivable that an absolutely terrible movie can get like three stars for having a few lesbian sex scenes and a brutal axe murder. Here, for your reference, is the rating system:
**** GREAT (or it’s an acknowledged classic, and I’m too stubborn to give it five stars but too chicken to stick my neck out and trash it like it probably deserves)
***** THE BEST OF THE BEST I am reluctant to give these out, although it may not seem that way, and regardless of the genre, it must be a movie that I could watch over and over and still enjoy.
I hope this helps un-confuse all you people who were wondering how exactly Redneck Zombies got four stars in issue 15, or why it is that I stubbornly maintain that Evil Dead II is the greatest film of all time, and I urge you to keep this in mind before writing me anymore smarmy emails, which have been steadily arriving at PULP’s email account ever since I printed the Titanic review in issue 23 that only gave it one and a half 8s.