Even though one grades B-movies on a curve it’s possible to establish a consistent metric, awarding points in each category based on the following scale:

  • -2 points: total failure
  • 0 points: awful
  • 3 points: mediocre
  • 7 points: successful
  • 8 points: you really want to

These can be applied to the following subject categories:

  • Plot: this is probably a rip-off. How well executed is it? If this is actually original or you can’t identify the source, spot it a field goal and go from there.
  • Actors: how’s the acting? You’ve got some stunt casting in all likelihood–are those actors used well? Anyone stand out?
  • Effects: are they inventive? Well-executed?
  • Dialogue: judge as you like, but is there memorable dialogue or are you shouting WORDS every five minutes? The tradition of WORDS comes from the B-Movie Festival, from those films which contain endless, unnecessary exposition.
  • Atmosphere: this can be anything not specifically attributable to the above, or combinations of the above that produce more than the sum of their parts. In other words, “something is working here.”

Automatic safeties:

  • There’s a lesser Baldwin or an Estevez in the cast.
  • Asylum made it.
  • Adapted from a work by Stephen King/Richard Bachman or Dean Koontz.