Checking Out Some Syfy B-Movies

Movies are similar to any type of merchandise or entertainment. You have your high-quality movie, and you have the movie giving you the same thing cheaper, but with lower quality. Then you have B-Movies. B-Movies are, more or less, films that range from disasters to monsters to aliens and more of the same. Films on the Lifetime channel, by comparison, actually feel like they could be indie films in a theater. B-Movies don’t. There are many forms of B-Movies and these particular ones are courtesy of the Syfy channel  and production company The Asylum.

This duo has been responsible for films so bad, so legendary in their stupidity that a few have become household names. I’m sure all the casts and crews involved in these tried to make good movies and hopefully they’ll all have successful careers. I’m not blaming them- most of the time. I’m going to rank every Syfy-aired B-Movie I’ve seen from most pathetic to least pathetic. Well, at least the ones I can remember the titles to. When you see too many of these some of them get combined together. The only restrictions are that I had to watch more than five minutes of each film. And if I miss any, I’ll update the list.

 

Birdemic: Shock and Terror– I’ll get this one out of the way first. The film’s title sums one’s reactions to the movie quite well and I’ll throw in disgust and hatred for balance. Director/writer/cinematographer/whatever-else-he-did James Nguyen made this film by himself as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds. That, at least, was his goal, a goal he did not achieve in any way, shape, or form. If you know anything about this film, you know that seeing it is the only proper way to experience it. I agree and have nothing else to say.

Raptor Island– The first time I saw Raptor Island, I knew it was awful within the first minute. I got maybe twenty minutes in, if that, before changing the channel. Like Birdemic, the movie’s title explains itself. It’s an island in the South China Sea inhabited by Velociraptors, humans show up on a rescue mission, etc. Plot sound familiar? I assure you, Jurassic Park III is far, far more worth your time than this movie.

Sharktopus– This one is ranked below Raptor Island only because it was produced by the legendary B-Movie titan himself, Roger Corman and stars an actually decent actor, Eric Roberts (best known as Sal Maroni in The Dark Knight). Recognized names don’t mean a thing if the film isn’t good. This one is laughable, with horrendous effects and uninspired acting and action scenes. The main stars chase the half-shark, half-octopus all around the ocean trying to kill it while the best actor is stuck on a faraway boat (very similar to Liam Neeson’s character in Battleship)! However, The Asylum saw something in the monster, as Sharktopus went on to star in two sequels, neither of which I’ve seen.

Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus– The second film in the unnecessary Mega Shark trilogy, this one has the titular character take on a giant crocodile from the dinosaur age (Megladon vs Suchomimus, more or less). As with most Asylum movies, it takes forever to get going and honestly, I’ve never watched it far enough to see the ending- like I care what it is. People get eaten, bad CGI happens, and I get bored.

Mega Shark vs Meca Shark– Yes, the sequel is less pathetic than its predecessor. Even though it’s clearly ripping off a series of better Godzilla movies by the title alone, this one looks slightly better but has an even stupider story. I guess since The Asylum didn’t want to get sued by Toho, they made the military heroine pilot the talking mechanical shark from inside it while chasing after Mega Shark! I’d go into a rant about how stupid that setup is, but I have too many films to cover.

Ghost Shark– Again, the reason this is above everything else is the decent production values and the attempt to craft an original story that falls on its face when they explain how the ghost shark is created (supernatural stuff). The film’s best scene has to be when the shark swallows a teen mid-jump off the diving board during a party. Or perhaps its when the group of stereotypical female models get devoured at a car wash, I don’t know. How can the shark do any of this? It can appear in any body of water (swimming pools and buckets of water included) since it’s a ghost. Despite the fact the filmmakers tried to make the movie interesting, it’s not.

Sharknado– It took me a while to finally watch this film. Everyone was talking about how stupid it was, not since Birdemic had a B-Movie been discussed this much by the general public. Like Ghost Shark, the cast and crew genuinely tried to make the best B-Movie they could, despite laughable effects and a cast that didn’t try half the time- save for lead star Ian Ziering, who’s probably the best thing in it. Still, that isn’t saying much. The first Sharknado easily joins the list of “laughably bad but it tried” B-Movies. The sequels are much, much worse.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus– What to say about Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus? To start, this was the first B-Movie I ever saw all the way through. It features a stupid title, perhaps the dumbest yet somehow best destruction scene in B-Movie history, a story that makes some sense in that you can understand who’s who and what’s going on but still has dumb moments, a cast and crew that actually all try for once, poor effects, and more over-the-top destruction scenes. Despite all of this, it’s my favorite B-Movie, no question. I had a ton of laughs watching it all the way through, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to invite some friends over and laugh at a dumb, campy movie.

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