No matter how bad a film is, but if it supports positive enjoyment, trash films could also provide amusement and would often be considered entertaining to the audience, says a study.

Typically, trash films are low budget films, which do not correspond to the mainstream standards and taste.

For the study, an online survey was conducted among regular consumers of trash films and it was found that most of the participants agreed that the term “cheap” best describes trash films like “Sharknado”, “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “The Toxic Avenger”.

The label trash itself covers films from various genres however, almost all participants mentioned low budget horror films as typical examples.

The study, published in the journal Poetics, not only arrived at supporting established hypotheses and assumptions on “bad films” but also at providing new and surprising findings on trash fans and their attitude towards these films.

“Although to a large extent the participants stated that the films in question were cheaply made and thus “trash”, the study also confirmed that trash films are overwhelmingly perceived as a form of positive entertainment,” said Keyvan Sarkhosh, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics — a Germany based non-profit association.

Furthermore, the study provided strong evidence that trash film fans are predominantly male-centric — almost 90 per cent of the participants indicated that they are men — and highly enthusiastic film buffs.

The “delight in cheapness” is associated with an active exchange over the films watched. A substantial part of participants write about their trash film experiences in forums and blogs.

While many of the typical assumptions related to a cult film experience could not be confirmed with regard to trash films, the authors of the study were able to show that an active engagement in exchanges considerably contributes to the enjoyment of trash films.