“You made me look bad. And that’s not good”: The millennial cultification of Fatal Deviation, Ireland’s only martial arts film

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    Abstract

    The ultra-low-budget video-shot Fatal Deviation (1998) has become renowned in cult cinema circles as Ireland’s only martial arts action film and as a unique example of ‘badfilm’, both critiqued and celebrated for its technical ineptness. This article interrogates its classification as ‘badfilm’, analysing the ways in which it both meets and fails to meet expectations concerning its generic classification, and the role of the soundtrack in shaping these expectations. Rather than the sound being considered ‘bad’ purely due to a failure to meet recognized technical standards, I argue that critique of the soundtrack demonstrates a conflict of sonic taste frameworks and hierarchies. In addition, Fatal Deviation’s cultification is a peculiarly millennial phenomenon, associated with technological changes and changes in the social uses of media technologies from the 1990s onwards that have shifted in tandem, and I argue therefore that this process of cultification is historically contingent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)692-704
    Number of pages13
    JournalContinuum
    Volume33
    Issue number6
    Early online date26 Oct 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

    Keywords

    • film sound
    • cult
    • taste
    • martial arts cinema
    • media technologies
    • masculinities
    • Irish cinema
    • badfilm
    • Film sound

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