So Bad They're Good

Last week, B-Movie Theater, a Web site celebrating the art and industry of the low-budget film, announced the first round of inductions into the new B-Movie Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from over 1000 nominations submitted by cinephiles around the world, who selected the classic films and most prolific artists of the B-Movie genre.

"We were literally flooded with the most amazing variety of nominations," says Ron Bonk, president and founder of the B-Movie Hall of Fame. "Some of our inductees were expected, such as Roger Corman and Night of the Living Dead. But other inductees were rather surprising, such as director Joseph Kane and actress Jeanne Carmen. If anything, the B-Movie Hall of Fame highlights the extraordinary depth and scope of the B-movie world as well as the many talented individuals in this unique and wonderful section of the film industry."

The charter members of the B-Movie Hall of Fame, categorized by artists and classics and listed in alphabetical order:

The Bowery Boys
Also known as the Dead End Kids and the East Side Kids. A comedy ensemble led by Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall, who starred in the longest-running B-movie comedy series of all time.

Jeanne Carmen
Star of the B-movie classics Striporama (1954), Gang Busters (1955), Untamed Youth (1957), The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1958), and Born Reckless (1958).

Roger Corman
Director of the B-movie favorites A Bucket of Blood (1958), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), and The Masque of the Red Death (1965); founder of New World Pictures and Concorde Pictures.

Inoshiro Honda
Japanese filmmaker who helmed many of the Toho Studio monster epics, including Godzilla (1954), Mothra (1962), Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1965), Destroy All Monsters (1968), and Yog, Monster from Space (1970).

Joseph Kane
Prolific director of 116 features for Republic Pictures. Best-known films include Springtime in the Rockies (1937), Under Western Stars (1938), Sons of the Pioneers (1942), The Flame of the Barbary Coast (1945), Dakota (1945), and Fair Wind to Java (1953).

Lloyd Kaufman & Michael Herz
Director/producer team who founded the B-movie studio Troma. Best known for the films Squeeze Play (1979), The Toxic Avenger (1984), and Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD (1991).

Béla Lugosi
Hungarian-born horror-film icon whose long career ranged from the sublime (the 1931 masterpiece Dracula) to the wonderfully ridiculous (1954's Bride of the Monster).

Ronald Reagan & Nancy Davis
The 40th President of the United States and his First Lady began their careers in B-movies before moving on to bigger and better roles. He was the happy star of the B-movie hits Code of the Secret Service (1939), Bedtime for Bonzo (1950), and Hong Kong (1951), while she offered the world The Next Voice You Hear (1950) and Donovan's Brain (1953). Together, they starred in Hellcats of the Navy (1957).

John Waters
Baltimore-based filmmaker who created the trashy underground comedy hits Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972), and Female Trouble (1974) before going mainstream with the hit movies Hairspray (1988) and Pecker (1998).

Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Belatedly beloved filmmaker who created the amazing entertainments Glen or Glenda? (1952), Jail Bait (1953), Bride of the Monster (1954), Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), and Night of the Ghouls (1960).

Blood of Jesus (1941)
Directed by Spencer Williams. All-black drama, originally shown only in segregated theaters, focusing on a dying woman's test of religious faith.

Carnival of Souls (1962)
Directed by Herk Harvey. A car-wreck survivor embarks on a career as a church organist, only to be haunted by a mysterious spirit.

Death Race 2000 (1975)
Directed by Paul Bartel. Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine star in this action/comedy mini-epic about a most unusual futuristic auto race.

Detour (1945)
Directed by Edgar Ulmer. A musician with a dark secret makes the mistake of picking up the most dangerous hitchhiker imaginable.

The Evil Dead (1982)
Directed by Sam Raimi. Filmed in Tennessee on a $90,000 budget, this influential chiller tells the tale of five students in a remote cabin who accidentally unleash demons.

The Leopard Man (1943)
Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Stylish thriller about a predatory beast on the loose. Considered to be the finest of the Val Lewton productions at RKO Radio Pictures.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Directed by George Romero. A group of strangers take shelter in a deserted house as the recently deceased return with a craving for live flesh.

Pink Flamingos (1972)
Directed by John Waters. The notorious $12,000 comedy starring Divine as trailer trash seeking to become the filthiest person in the world.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. Aliens seek world domination by raising the dead in this unintentionally hilarious cult favorite.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973)
Directed by Tobe Hooper. A killer named Leatherface goes on a flesh-and-bone slicing rampage. Inspired by actual events.