"At first glance it seems paradoxical that someone should deliberately watch badly made, embarrassing, and sometimes even disturbing films, and take pleasure in them,” said the paper's co-author Keyvan Sarkhosh. A big part of the appeal for fans involves experiencing the films from an "ironic viewing stance."
"At the same time, viewers attribute to trash films not just amusing/entertaining qualities, but also a positive, transgressive deviance from the cinematic mainstream," reports the study.
The study goes on to note that fans of trash films tend to be well-educated and self-identified lovers of art films. "We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as 'cultural omnivores'," says Sarkhosh. "Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture." That means if you've seen Anaconda more than five times you can basically tell people at parties you went to Harvard.