Thursday, May 01, 2008

I wish I'd thought of "Aztec Rex" first...

In the world of TV movies, there can be only one king. And I’m sorry Lifetime Channel but your overuse of Meredith Baxter Birney has lost you the crown. I submit that the Sci-Fi Channel deserves the throne because, really, how many other networks would have the temerity to actually produce the gloriously wonderful crap they do?

I realized this a few weeks ago when I woke up early Sunday morning and lost an entire 90-minutes to a Sci-Fi Original. Yes, while other people were at the Farmers Market or ensuring eternal life by going to church, I watched a movie about gigantic rubber mosquitos trying to eat a band of misfit humans. The best part was when one of the actors was supposed to be fending off a mosquito with a chain saw but had to keep NOT hitting it for fear, I presume, of wrecking the one rubber model on which they’d blown their entire budget.

The titles of these movies are the best. “Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep” and “Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy” are just two that bear mentioning. Even better than the titles, though, are the taglines. No doubt if you watched any Sci-Fi a few weeks ago, you’ll recall their promos for “Warbirds,” the “film” about World War II pilots fighting…wait, for it…pterodactyls. The tag line, I believe, was something along the lines of, “They knew they’re voyage was historic. They just didn’t know…it was prehistoric.” Brilliant! I love it.

And don’t even get me started on the synopses. Hemingway himself would have wept for a chance to write these. “Aztecs and Conquistadors must unite to battles a T-Rex in Mexico,” is how “Aztec Rex” is described. Awesome. “Heatstroke” is even better. With a title like that, guess what the movie is about? Yup, you’re right – it’s about “a model and a soldier fighting aliens that are causing global warming.” Yeah, the title’s practically a spoiler for the whole plot!

I have seriously great affection for these made-for-TV productions. Cheese is so much fun. Embracing the cheese and just exuberantly promoting swarming pterodactyls, rubber mosquitos and models fighting aliens over global warming is so wonderfully ballsy you can’t help but feel love for the little network that could. Go ahead, Sci-Fi Channel, keep making ridiculous movies ‘cause I’ll sure as heck keep watching.


Nightfall said...

At my house, they are affectionately referred to as "_____ of Satan" said with an overly dramatic voice.
For example, "Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep" transforms into *dramatic raspy voice* "Squid of Satan." My favorite to say is, of course, "Magma of Satan" (Magma: Volcanic Disaster) just cus you have to say Mag-ma ala Dr Evil.
Surprisingly, Mammoth is really good. "Jolly Roger of Satan," sadly, is not.

Liz said...

Exactly, even the titles are fun to say! I'm glad to hear Mammoth is good. Seems to me you can't really go wrong with a giant woolly prehistoric elephant. :)

Kathe said...

Thanks for this post! My hubby and I always flip on Sci-Fi in the middle of the day on Saturday to take a weekend nap. There's nothing better than falling asleep to the sounds of rubber mosquitos buzzing on the surround-sound. :) Though I will admit that sometimes my nap is interrupted b/c I get sucked in to these tales of destruction!

Liz said...

Kathe, I know exactly what you mean. I alternate between laughing at these movies and totally getting drawn in. Sometimes you can't help it where there are killer pterodactyls on your screen!