The Necessary Cheesy Ingredient
Let’s face it – as geeks we probably have a higher tolerance for what is commonly referred to as “cheese” when it comes to movies, games, and other media. What’s cheese, you say? Well, like its namesake, it’s something that probably came about by accident (I mean really, letting milk get old enough to take the form of cheese, who thought of that) but which is somehow still enjoyable.
Bad line from a game like Resident Evil? Cheesy, but classic (Jill Valentine, the “master of unlocking” comes to mind). Bad line from a movie? Also not really that high-quality, but still a guilty pleasure (The Princess Bride and “have fun storming the castle” seems to fit the bill). And then there are movies that frankly, are themselves just one big ball of cheese (ever watch Big Trouble in Little China? Spaceballs?).
A lot of people can’t stand cheese. Hell, some people are downright unable to have it without issues. But unlike the lactose intolerent, cheese in the geek arts is something that actually can be stomached – if for nothing else, to have something we can conspiratorially quote to our fellow geeks and giggle over like two Furby toys pointed at one another. Sure, some geeks may decry the presence of cheese in geek media as a lowbrow, bad quality bunch of laziness, but let’s be honest – if there was the cheese, you wouldn’t remember it as such.
Destructoid recently did an entire podcast dedicated to jamming and jawing on the 1994 cheeseball classic, “Street Fighter”. Perhaps there was no greater microcosm of how something so awfully “bad that it’s good” could be loved as that episode, and the inevitable worshipping of the late, great Raul Julia’s last role as would-be dictator M. Bison. There’s a terrible sort of hilarity in paintings of Raul Julia/Bison riding a majestic horse or the famous “It was Tuesday” quote, not to mention the unintentional comedy of an American hero (Guile) being played by a dude whose non-American accent couldn’t be masked (sorry, Jean Claude Van Damme, real-life Flash Kicks don’t make us forget). We make fun of it, facepalm over it, perhaps even groan over it, but if we didn’t have that to compare a good, non-cheese product, how would we ever set the bar?
So the next time G4 plays one of those “Movies The Don’t Suck” but which actually are meant to be called “Aged Daily Overload Extravaganza”, stop and watch it. You’ll probably simultaneously be horrified and entertained, and who doesn’t want that?