If one were to map my love of bad movies, I suppose you could start with Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I only started watching during it's Sci-Fi channel run in 1997. I had a lot of catching up to do, of course, which was assisted by friends of friends who had VHS tapes to lend me and that I dutifully copied. It was a grand time, and I damn near wore those tapes out.
Another phase started when I went looking online for reviews of one particular MST3K subject called Girl in Gold Boots. One of the review links on the IMDb went to a website called Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension. Upon clicking on that link, I was treated to a thorough (and I mean thorough) eviscerating of the movie in question. It was a joy, and I quickly devoured all of the other reviews on the site, most of which were to movies I hadn't even seen (which did not diminish the enjoyment of the reviews).
But there was one film on Jabootu's list that I had seen (and not with the aide of MST3K, either), and that film was Death Wish 3. Now I know I said that my affection for bad movies started with MST3K in 1997, but that's not entirely correct. Seeing the title Death Wish 3 on Jabootu's site immediately transported me to my teenage years in the 1980's when I first watched this movie on Saturday afternoon television. I remember many things about watching it, but one thing rang crystal clear: It was the first time while watching a movie that I thought to myself, "Wow. This is really bad!".
This did not compel me to turn off the TV, of course. Instead, I enjoyed the badness, and that was something I wouldn't discover again for another ten years or so. More's the pity. I recently revisited all this with the AV Club's latest article in their "The New Cult Cannon" series, which focuses on Death Wish 3. It doesn't go into as much detail as Jabootu (who could?), but it touches on the more ridiculous points of the film and was a nice reminiscence for me.
I think about Jabootu (and other members of the B-Masters) every now and then, but I don't visit the sites on a regular basis like I used to. In the case of Jabootu, the reviews started to have a political bent that completely turned me off, so I parted ways with the site that started me on the road of cheese. Others, like And You Call Yourself a Scientist, can still be depended on great analysis of films both good and bad (though I wish Liz would hurry up and fix the links to her old reviews).
These days, I take in bad movies via my steady supply of MST3K, RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic DVD's (not to mention my Mill Creek back catalog). And it's a habit that has gown into a hobby, so I can't forget my roots.
Thank you, Death Wish 3, for being so incredibly, absolutely awful.