Craft services are the people on a set who provide the cast and crew with food and snacks during production.
Craft DISservices are when critics and experts trash a film because they don’t understand it, or it wasn’t what they were expecting, or it was too earnest, or didn’t make enough money, or . . . let’s face it . . . they’re just stick-in-the-mud-no-fun-poo-poo-heads.
The ur-example of this phenomenon is Teen Wolf. Teen Wolf is a inoffensive coming-of-age romp with a supernatural twist that skewers the tropes of contemporary “high school” films, was written by Jeph Loeb (of Commando and “Batman: The Long Halloween” fame), and features one of Hollywood’s most charismatic stars surfing on top of a delivery van. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating? 47%. That’s it.
It’s not that critics can’t be trusted; it’s that criticism itself is a product of the environment and zeitgeist it originates from. Consider Blade Runner. On its release, many critics called it slow, with the LA Times dubbing the film “Blade Crawler” for its deliberate pace. Critic god Pauline Kael liked the look of the film but criticized its humanity (or lack thereof). Compare that cold reception to its current, exalted Epimethean status. Now, the film’s wet garbage-noir look is hopelessly dated, yet the film’s comprehensive depiction of its replicant characters’ struggle to come to terms with the humanity that’s been thrust upon them is what makes it a classic. Pauline’s still a critic god, but her liturgy needs updating.
And that’s where Craft Disservices comes in. We’re here to give the lie to to the self-gratifying, condescending, wanky hatchet jobs that critics of both then and now have given to creative, gamesome, adventurous, and yeah . . . sometimes bad films. Don’t let sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic write the epitaph for some of your favorite films. Join us on Craft Disservices for a serving of appreciation (with a side of irony) for the “bad” films of cinema history.