Pallogrillin palvojat - a Finnish title that roughly translates out to "worshippers of the kettle grill" - is one of my favorite short films. It's the work of Finnish independent (or 'findie' for short) production crew Anti-Teatteri. The crew specializes in short splatter films, and music videos for bands such as Verjnuarmu and Turmion Kätilöt (a Finnish industrial metal band that is among my own personal favorites).

The short is a fairly typical example of low-budget splatter – heavy on blood and gore but light on plot. The short's protagonist Setä Samuli (Finnish for Uncle Sam) is having a barbeque by himself, getting ready to feast on some delicious sausages. However, his good time is disrupted when the local sheriff and his associates arrive to confiscate Sam's sausages because he doesn't have a permit for roasting them on his grill. Sam doesn't take too kindly to this and proceeds to react how any man who was having his delicious sausages confiscated would react – by attacking the sheriff and his men, and going on a killing spree. What follows is fifteen hilarious minutes of blood, gore and explosions.

Now, some would call a short like Pallogrillin palvojat a guilty pleasure. A guilty pleasure is when you know something is objectively bad, but you enjoy it anyway. Some would be tempted to call Pallogrillin palvojat so bad it's good for its lack of plot, lack of character development, and its reliance on comedy and violence for entertainment value. Not to mention that due to its low budget nature, most of the blood and gore effects that the short banks on are nowhere near realistic or convincing. For these reasons, some might claim that you can find the short enjoyable, but not good. I disagree.

You can criticize a splatter short like Pallogrillin palvojat for lack of plot or subtext, but to do so is to completely misunderstand the genre that the short represents. The point of splatter films is to come up with creative, almost cartoonish ways of killing off characters to showcase blood and gore effects. Splatter films are in fact like live action versions of cartoons like Tom and Jerry, only unlike in cartoons, the violence has bloody real-life consequences. Pallogrillin palvojat being mostly comprised of bloody violence is a merit in its genre, and due to its compact fifteen-minute length, it doesn't get dragged down by the unnecessary filler that finds its way into so many full-length splatter films.

You can criticize a short like Pallogrillin palvojat, but it should be done, I feel, by evaluating whether or not it succeeds in the things a film of its genre should succeed in. I don't judge a horror movie by its ability to make me laugh, or a comedy by its ability to ponder the human condition. If a horror movie is scary, it's successful in its genre, as is a comedy in its own genre if it's funny. That's not to say there aren't horror films and comedies that actually do have something to say, but to me, these are the special exceptions that elevate the genre - they're not the standard to which all other films need to necessarily be compared to. There's room in this world for both popcorn entertainment and more contemplative, intellectual art.

Now sure, there are some absolute trainwrecks that I still enjoy. Deep Blue Sea, for example, fails spectacularly as a thriller but is succeeds as an unintentional comedy to the point where I'd be hard-pressed not to recommend it to people. And then of course there's The Room (2003), which fails in more ways than it would seem possible for a film to fail, yet seeing it with a festival crowd remains one of the most fun movie-going experiences I've ever had. I still have one of the plastic spoons people were throwing at the screening as a sort of souvenir. So while they're both pretty bad, I am not one bit ashamed of enjoying them. And that's why I refuse the notion of guilty pleasures – I don't believe in feeling guilty for liking something.

Just because the common consensus says one thing, doesn't mean you're wrong to say something else, and vice versa. Remember, you can acknowledge a film's weaknesses without being ashamed of enjoying it. And not every film has to be enjoyed for the same reasons anyway. Just like what you like, and don't feel you need to justify your personal tastes to those who don't understand them. You don't owe those people anything.