Most critics have the wrong approach to the production from SyFy (former Sci-Fi Channel). Even if they know what to expect, they have to whine and cry over crappy CG, silly scripts, uneven acting and absurd storylines. Why do they continue to bash these productions? I have no idea, but personally I think most of them has some good entertainment value – and some is more or less unwatchable.
Since Saturday I’ve been focusing to turn of my brain by watching five different SyFy-productions, all quite different from each other. I had a great time. I also started to watch Shark in Venice, with the Republican cover-boy Stephen Baldwin (obviously high on something), but first of all – it’s no an official SyFy-movie and second, it was crap – so I couldn’t finish it. Which is very rare in my house.
I started with House of Bones (2010), a haunted house-flick directed by Jeffery Scott Lando and with Corin Nemec in an extended cameo. This was a lot more fun that I thought it would be. The whole thing is a send up on reality ghost-hunting shows, with a wonderful and perfect pastiche on the credit sequence of a show called Sinister Sites. Hosted by Quentin French (Nemec) and his crew of ghost-hunters, this time visiting the terrible Wicker House. It won’t take long until they realize the house is a living being itself (with flesh inside the walls!) and starts killing them off one by one. Fun movie, creative and with good acting and some minor and nice gore.
After watching Corin Nemec in House of Bones I felt I finally needed to take a look at the notorious S.S. Doomtrooper (2006)! I don’t think it never been released on DVD and I didn’t find it on Nemec’s official page, which is a pity because it’s a very fun and quite violent WW2-movie with nice production values and probably one of the worst CG-creatures I’ve ever seen. A Nazi-Hulk! Expect this visual effect, this is a nice decent adventure-movie – and I think you all could be entertained by it. If I was the producer I would go back now, redo the CG-monster and release it again.
To much Nemec is not good, at least not in one day – so I decided to support Lou Diamond Phillips instead. Carny (2009) is a slightly more expensive movie than the first two. Excellent directing by Sheldon Wilson and a nice creature, both as a physical and digital effect. The Carnival-set is of course great, and so also the “freaks” there. Lou Diamond Phillips looks old, but he feels a lot more relaxed as a middle aged sheriff than the other parts I’ve seen him in recently. It also has a fun take on religious fanatism, which makes it the only SyFy-production I’ve seen with some kinda political standpoint.
Next up is Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Aztec Rex (2007)! Made on a very low budget, shot in 15 days on Hawaii… this is better than I first thought. It took some time to accept and get used to the very, very, very bad CG-dinosaur and the very, very, very, very bad wig on Ian Ziering’s (Why him? I would have chosen Dean Cain here) head, but after that it became a quite decent adventure-movie with some gore, gorgeous locations and the worlds smallest Aztec-community. But the story, with dirty, evil Spaniards coming to find some gold in Mexico works better and better and I was never bored. And yes, Ian Ziering is Cortes. Weirdest miscasting since Charlton Heston as a Mexican.
I saved the best for last, Sea Beast (2008)! Directed by my old favourite Paul Ziller and with... Corin Nemec as a grumpy old fisherman! Maybe not that old, but old enough to have a 17 year old daughter! Excellent cinematography and a bigger look make this one of the best SyFy-movies I’ve seen for a long while. The creatures are cool too, some two-legged fuckers that spits poison and then rips you to pieces. The gore is mostly after-the-fact, but it’s far from bloodless and has one great graphic gore-scene! Ziller is bothing mixing rubber-effects and CG and everything looks quite good. Nemec is convincing as the fisherman too, though I was very sceptical in the beginning.
So, five classics! :) Now I need to see something with depth and proper character development, so I can regain some brain cells!