There are some things we all read and watch that we feel guilty for loving. It can’t be helped. As terrible as 80s music is, hearing it on the radio sparks a ridiculously happy feeling within me. Science fiction and fantasy can sometimes have this effect too. And here is my list of what I consider to be my science fiction and fantasy guilty pleasures:
Eragon/Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Books)
I’ve heard the arguments for while Paolini is terrible, and I have to admit that he’s not exactly the greatest of writers, but I can’t help loving these two books. The movie was terrible, but the books have always been entertaining for me. Maybe it has to do with listening to the audiobook for Eragon before actually reading it, but whatever the reason, I love these books even if I shouldn’t.
Total Recall (Film)
This movie has, perhaps, gained some traction in the science fiction community in recent years due to its somewhat pulpy, if not campy, feel. True, the film is ridiculous (primarily in its science) and features the Governator doing his generally poor attempt at actual acting, but yet the film is strangely enjoyable for me. It could be because of the violence, or the lady with a certain extra body part, but maybe the reason doesn’t matter, because so many other people enjoy Total Recall too, and feel just as guilty about it.
Talk about campy and outdated. Hackers is one of those ridiculous computer hacker movies that is both ridiculous and incapable of keeping up with the real world. But, to be fair, it has a cult following, so perhaps it’s not such a guilty pleasure after all. Oh, and it has a young Angelina Jolie in it, which some people think is a good thing.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Book)
Though not technically fantasy, this romance novel is both incredibly sappy and strangely enjoyable for me. Considering I tend to avoid romance like the plague, liking The Notebook is certainly uncharacteristic for me. I suppose if you’ve read the book you’d understand, but if not, don’t make fun of me for putting this Sparks novel on this list.
Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (Book)
I’m not sure why I like the first book of this Bible-inspired fantasy series (yes, it’s fantasy, deal with it). I tend to avoid religious mumbo jumbo like the plague due to my tendency to light on fire when exposed to Biblical teachings. Regardless, I read the first book on a whim and loved it. I guess that makes me a bad person, right?
The Chronicles of Riddick (Movie)
I suppose The Chronicles of Riddick isn’t nearly as much of a guilty pleasure as Eragon or some of the other things on this list. Still, I thought the movie was great and always have, despite what others have said. It’s not every day that someone can take an already pretty cool character and turn them into an epic grey hero. Riddick is pretty much the most badass figure in science fiction film next to Boba Fett; hence why The Chronicles of Riddick is awesome.
Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (Movie)
Don’t get me wrong, the remake of Planet of the Apes is quite terrible, but it’s also quite enjoyable. The makeup and stunts are phenomenal in this movie. I also love Paul Giamatti, who has a great part as an orangutan-man. I still re-watch this movie from time to time, because I think it’s good. Sue me.
It seems like everyone hates this movie. I’ve always thought that nobody understood Signs, but I suppose arguments for or against this movie are relatively pointless. Signs is one of those movies that I think is cute and re-watchable. I might be the only one, though.
And that’s it! What about you? What are your guilty pleasures in science fiction and fantasy? Let me know in the comments!