• Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau

    lostsoul

    I have never actually seen the 1996 film The Island of Dr. Moreau but I certainly have read a lot about it.

    It’s one of those films that seems to get mentioned whenever film critics start talking about the worst films of all time and, as a result, the story of the film’s production has become legendary.  The film’s shoot was difficult, for reasons of both nature and human nature.  The film was shot in the inhospitable Australian rain forest and shooting was briefly shut down due to a sudden hurricane.   Richard Stanley, the original director, was unceremoniously fired by New Line Cinema and apparently proceeded to go native in the Australian wilderness, smoking a huge amount of weed while the studio executives feared that he would return and burn down the set.  Veteran director John Frankenheimer was brought in to finish the film and clashed immediately with the film’s notoriously eccentric and difficult stars, Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando.

    And I have to admit that, every time I read about The Island of Dr. Moreau, there’s a part of me that wants to track down and watch this film and see how bad it could possibly be.  But, every time I find myself too tempted, I think about a shirtless Val Kilmer lounging around in a kilt and I quickly change my mind.

    Val

    Fortunately, if I want to get a feel for the insanity behind the film’s production, I no longer have to actually watch The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Instead, I can just get on Netflix and watch an entertaining documentary called Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau.

    Lost Soul could have just as easily been called Everybody Hates Val Kilmer.  Val himself declined to be interviewed for the documentary and I have to say that I think that was a huge mistake on his part because literally everyone who did agree to be interviewed appears to absolutely despise Val Kilmer.  It’s not so much that everyone tells story about Val’s bad behavior as much as the fact that, decades later, everyone still seems to be so traumatized by the experience of having been  anywhere near him.  (German actor Marco Hofschnieder especially seems to take a lot of delight in doing a devastating yet hilarious imitation of Val Kilmer smoking a cigarette and complaining about every line of dialogue, regardless of whether it was his dialogue or not.)

    The documentary also includes plenty of crazy Marlon Brando stories but there’s a noticeable difference between the Brando stories and the Kilmer stories.  Brando is portrayed as being an almost tragic figure, a great actor who hated his talent and, as a result, went out of his way to give performances that mocked the very idea of even trying to be good.  As annoyed as everyone seems to have gotten with Brando, there’s still an undercurrent of affection to the Brando stories.  That’s something that is definitely lacking from the Kilmer stories.

    (According to the documentary, Brando was not a Val Kilmer fan.  When Kilmer asked Brando if he had visited the Australian reef, Brando replied, “I own a reef,” and reportedly didn’t speak to Kilmer for the rest of the shoot.)

    As interesting as the stories about Brando and Kilmer may be, the heart of the film rests with Richard Stanley, the promising young South African director whose brief “mainstream” film career was pretty much derailed by the drama surrounding The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Interviewed at his home in France and captivating the audience with both his intense stare and his mordant sense of humor, Richard Stanley describes both his vision for The Island of Dr. Moreau and the pain of having that vision snatched away from him.  Not only does he confirm that, as has long been rumored, he did sneak back onto the set as an extra but he also explains that the production’s problems were largely due to a mishap involving a warlock named Skip.

    Lost Soul makes for an interesting cautionary tale about what happens when an artist has to deal with the establishment.  Watch it with Jodorowsky’s Dune and have yourself a double feature of “what could have been” cinema.


  • Let’s Talk About Sharknado 3!

    Sharknado3Feature-1748x984

     

    (This review contains spoilers because it’s impossible for me to imagine that you somehow have not already seen Sharknado 3.)

    Last night, I watched and live tweeted Sharknado 3 and I’m still recovering.  After the first hundred, I lost track of how many tweets I devoted to Sharknado 3.  Of course, I wasn’t alone in that.  Last night, it seemed like the entire nation was tweeting about Sharknado 3and it was a wonderful thing.  At its best, twitter can be the great equalizer, giving everyone an equal voice and last night was one of those moments.

    In fact, I was tempted to just devote this review to posting the best Sharknado 3 tweets from last night.  However, if I did that, 90% of those tweets would be from me.  Out of the millions of Sharknado 3 related tweets last night, mine were definitely the best.

    Over the past three years, the premiere of the latest Sharknado film has almost become an unofficial national holiday, a summer version of the Super Bowl.  On twitter, Sharknado 3was trending for days before the film even premiered.  And, once Sharknado 3 did start, it seemed as if everyone in the country was watching and taking bets on which celebrity guest star would be the next to die.  (I’m very proud to say that I correctly predicted the bloody and prolonged death of Frankie Muniz.) Even the majority of the commercials were specifically meant to tie in with the Sharknado franchise.

    maxresdefault

    But what’s amazing and admirable is that, even though the franchise has now become an international phenomena, Sharknado 3 stayed true to its SyFy roots.  Ignore all the hype and you’ll see that Sharknado 3 tells  a story that will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched any SyFy original movie.  The world is threatened by a flamboyant threat, in this case a bunch of tornadoes that happens to be full of sharks.  Only one man (Ian Ziering as Finn) can save the world but first, he has to deal with skeptical military jackasses.  As always seems to happen in these films, he’s separated from his wife (Tara Reid playing the role of April and sporting a truly badass robotic hand).  Meanwhile, their teenage daughter (Ryan Newman as Claudia) has gone off on her own and finds herself right in the center of the disaster.  It’s a plot that has been used in thousands of SyFy and Asylum films but director Anthony C. Ferrante directs with a lot of energy and writer Thunder Levin provides so many clever one liners that it doesn’t matter if the storyline is familiar.  Ignore all the hype and you’ll discover that Sharknado 3 is still a wonderfully fun film that features everything that we love about SyFy movies.

    Of course, one thing that distinguishes Sharknado 3 from other Asylum film is that it is full of celebrity cameos.  Usually, I am weary of excessive celebrity cameos because they’re distracting and the celebs often turn out to be terrible actors.  But the celebs in Sharknado 3all do a wonderful job.  (Add to that, the majority of them get eaten, as well.)  Then again, the same could be said for the entire cast.  Regardless of what they’re asked to do or say, Ian Ziering and Tara Reid both full commit to their performances.  Casting director Gerald Webb is indeed one of the unsung heroes of the entire Sharknado phenomena.

    The film opens with a shark attack on Washington D.C. and it’s during this time that we meet President Mark Cuban and Vice President Ann Coulter.  And, oh my God, how certain heads on twitter exploded when Ann Coulter showed up.  But you know what?  After seeingSharknado 3, I would totally vote for a Cuban/Coulter ticket.  I don’t care what their platform is, they know how to fight sharks and they seemed far more believable than anyone who is currently running for President.  At first, I assumed that Mark Cuban was supposed to be playing himself and I thought that Sharknado 3 had somehow managed to predict the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.  However, I then checked with the imdb and I discovered that Cuban was playing President Marcus Robbins.

    sharknado-3-mark-cuban

    The same people on twitter who were bitching about Ann Coulter weren’t much happier when Michele Bachman showed up, playing herself.  (For a few minutes, I was hoping that the movie would be full of cameos from former Presidential candidates.)  However, the political cameos in Sharknado 3 are bipartisan.  When the action moves down to Orlando, noted Democrat Jerry Springer shows up as a tourist and promptly gets eaten.  And then Carlos Danger himself, Anthony Weiner, shows up as a heroic NASA guy.  Eventually, for those of us who lean towards the libertarian side of the political spectrum, Penn Jilette and Teller eventually show up.  Personally, I suspect that Teller knew how to stop the sharks but, of course, he wasn’t going to say anything.

    As for the cameos from various media personalities, Sharknado 3 never manages to top the moment from Sharknado 2 where Kelly Ripa stomped a shark with her high heels.  But no matter — it’s still fun to watch Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda get drunk while sharks fall around them.  And then Matt Lauer gets eaten by a shark so yay for that!

    (Incidentally, whether intentional or not, the film was full of former contestants from The Celebrity Apprentice, with Ian, Penn, and Lou Ferrigno all showing up.  Personally, I would have enjoyed seeing Piers Morgan get eaten by a shark.)

    Hoff-in-Sharknado-MAIN

    However, of all the celebrity cameos in Sharknado 3, nobody could top the Hoff.  When David Hasselhoff first showed up as Finn’s father, it felt like a funny but obvious joke.  Of course, Finn’s father would be David Hasselhoff.  But you know what?  Give credit where credit is due.  The Hoff actually gave a pretty good performance and, during the film’s interstellar climax, he managed to do a pretty good impersonation of George Clooney as he looked out into space and said, “It’s a beautiful view.”

    And yes, Sharknado 3 does go into space.  How could it not?  The film may have started out as an homage to the classic weather disaster films but, by the end of the movie, it turned into a delirious combination of JawsGravity and Interstellar.  By the time Finn was exploring the stomach of a shark while it floated through the starry sky, Sharknado 3 had achieved a definite state of grace.

    Incidentally, the film ended with a cliffhanger and we were asked to vote whether or not April would live.  At first, I voted to kill April because, quite frankly, I thought it would be fun to see a vengeance-obsessed Finn.  But then Tara Reid tweeted the following and made me feel totally guilty:

    So, I’m changing my vote!  APRIL LIVES!

    Of course, all this means that there will be Sharknado 4 and I can hardly wait!

    Sharknado_hero_April_02


  • Let’s Talk About Zombie Shark!

    ZombieShark_hero_movie

    On Monday night, immediately following 3-Headed Shark Attack, SyFy premiered one more shark movie as a part of Shark Week.  That movie was entitled Zombie Shark and it was everything that you could possibly hope for.

    Zombie Shark takes place on one of those depressing island resorts that always seem to pop up in films like this.  The sky is permanently overcast.  The sand is kind of gray.  There aren’t many people on the beach and the ones who are there are busy drinking beer and daring each other to swim in shark-infested waters.  This depressing beach is undoubtedly the result of the film’s low-budget.  But, whether intentional or not, the effect is to create a pervasive atmosphere of existential doom.  This film takes place in a dark world where the beach was an unhappy place even before the sharks and zombies showed up.

    Four friends head out to that beach for what they hope will be a fun weekend.  Amber (Cassie Steele) and Sophie (Sloane Coe) are sisters.  Bridgitte (Becky Andrews) is their bikini-clad friend who, later in the film, gets to say, “I’m not going to die for those people!”  (For what it’s worth, I was in 100% agreement with Bridgitte.  If someone is stupid enough to get in the water during a shark attack, he deserves whatever happens to him.)  And then there’s Jenner (Ross Britz), who is Amber’s boyfriend.  When the four of them come across a dead shark on the beach, Jenner makes the mistake of getting too close.  Suddenly, the shark comes back to life and eats Jenner!  Unfortunately, Jenner had the keys to the boat in his pocket so now, the three survivors are stranded on the island.

    It turns out, of course, that it’s all the fault of science.  Dr. Palmer (Laura Cayouette) created a zombiefication virus and infected one shark.  Now that zombie shark is infecting other sharks!  And those sharks are attacking people!  The people who aren’t digested are transformed into zombies!

    Luckily, military badass Maxwell Cage (Jason London) is sent to the island.  Working with the rife-toting Amber and Sophie, Maxwell tries to find a way to curb the zombie outbreak.  Meanwhile, resort owner Lester (Roger J. Timber) tries to rally the few remaining uninfected humans to fight the zombies.

    Soon, the water is full of sharks, the beach is full of zombies, and blood is everywhere.

    I totally loved Zombie Shark.  To a certain extent, it reminded me of the classic Italian zombie film, The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead.  Like that film, Zombie Shark started out as your typical resort movie, complete with elements of broad comedy and hints of relationship drama.  And then suddenly, out of almost nowhere, it turned into a portrait of a grim and bloody zombie apocalypse.

    The cast did a surprisingly good job, bringing as much credibility as they could to a film about a bunch of people being menaced by zombie sharks.  Jason London and Laura Cayouette (remember her as Leonardo DiCaprio’s odd sister in Django Unchained?) are both memorable as representatives of the establishment.  Cassie Steele and Sloane Coe were totally believable as sisters and brought so much commitment to their roles that the film’s ending was unexpectedly poignant.

    (Cassie Steele, of course, might be best known for playing Manny Santos during the best seasons of Degrassi.)

    With the exception of Sharknado 3 (which will be premiering tonight), Zombie Shark was the final original shark film to premiere as a part of SyFy shark week.

    It was also one of the best.

    zs

     


  • Let’s talk about 3-Headed Shark Attack!

    3-headed-shark-underwater-shot

    One thing that I love about Asylum films is that, as opposed to big studio productions, they always deliver exactly what they promise.  As a part of the lead up to the third Sharknadofilm, 3-Headed Shark Attack premiered on the SyFY network on Monday night.  The title promised a three-headed shark and that is exactly what the film delivered.  The title also promised that the three-headed shark would attack and, again, that’s exactly what happened.  This giant 3-headed shark devoured a record number of fisherman, scientists, and college students.

    3-Headed Shark Attack is also the story of three boats and the people on those boats.

    One boat is a booze cruise that’s full of rich kids and their bikini-clad girlfriends.  You really only have to take one look at these people to know that almost all of them are doomed.  However, they certainly are not helping matters by tossing all of their empty beer cans into the ocean.  Little do they know that there’s a giant shark with three heads following the trail of cans.

    On another, much smaller boat, there are the survivors of the 3-headed shark’s previous attack on the Persephone research lab.  They are scientists, environmentalists, and a few student interns.  They may have been dedicated to protecting the environment but the three-headed shark could hardly care less.  While thsee people seem to be a little bit more competent than the drunks on the booze cruise, it’s still hard not to feel that they are all equally doomed.

    And finally, there’s one final boat.  The people on this fishing boat have guns, which in theory should be helpful against a three-headed shark.  Even more importantly, Danny Trejo is on this boat!  If anyone can defeat a three-headed shark, it’s Danny Trejo, right!?  SyFy advertised 3-Headed Shark Attack as “starring Danny Trejo” but, to be honest, Danny’s role is pretty much a cameo.  But that’s okay.  Danny Trejo is always fun, regardless of how much screen time he has.  Plus, the film smartly uses Danny’s badass persona to keep the audience off-balance.

    3-Headed Shark Attack was director Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray (who also directed the much different but equally entertaining Mega Shark vs. Kolossus) and it’s also a sequel to 2-Headed Shark Attack.  3 Headed Shark Attack is a surprisingly somber film, one in which likable characters are just as likely to killed as unlikable ones and where the ocean frequently turns red with innocent blood.  For those who, as a result of the Sharknado films, have gotten it into their heads that all Asylum films are actually comedies, 3-Headed Shark Attack will prove otherwise.

    3-Headed Shark Attack is an entertaining work of underwater mayhem.  If, like all good people, you love the Asylum style of filmmaking, you’ll find a lot to enjoy about 3-Headed Shark Attack.  This is a film that delivers exactly what it promises.

    Here’s hoping that 4-Headed Shark Attack is close behind!


  • Let’s Talk About Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf

    sharktopus-vs-whalewolf-640x360

    On Saturday night, SyFy premiered Roboshark and Mega Shark vs. Kolossus and viewers like me will be forever thankful.  However, SyFy wasn’t done giving us treats.  On Sunday night, another new film premiered.  It was called Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf and I’m not ashamed to say that it was absolutely brilliant.

    Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf takes place in the Dominican Republic.  A disgraced baseball player, Felix Rosa (played by Mario Arturo Hernandez,) goes to a mysterious German scientist, Dr. Reihnhardt (Catherine Oxenberg), in search of a treatment that will again make him a superstar.  However, as often happens with mad scientists, Dr. Reinhardt has an agenda of her own and soon Felix has been transformed into a hybrid between a whale and wolf.  This means that he looks like a wolf but he swims like a whale and he tends to act like a dog.

    Except, of course, when he’s eating people.

    When he’s eating people, he’s all Whalewolf.

    whale

    Meanwhile, alcoholic boat captain Ray (Casper Van Dien, giving a likable and energetic performance) has discovered that Sharktopus — a creature with the head of shark and the body of an octopus — is swimming in the waters around the Dominican Republic.  At first, Ray and his sidekick, Pablo (Jorge Eduardo De Los Santos), aren’t too concerned about the Sharktopus or anything else.  But then the local voodoo priest (Tony Almont) demands that they bring him the heart of Sharktopus and, when they don’t promptly comply, he starts to stick pins into Ray and Pablo voodoo dolls.

    While all of that is going on, Ray’s almost girlfriend, police officer Nita (Akari Endo),  is trying to keep the peace but that’s a little bit difficult when you not only have to deal with a voodoo cult, an alcoholic boat captain, and a German mad scientist but also with Sharktopus and Whalewolf as well!

    But that’s not all!  A Dominican version of The Bachelor is being filmed nearby.  It would be a lot easier for the bachelor to find love if not for the fact that Sharktopus keeps eating all of his potential wives.

    And finally, there’s a tourist who is vacationing in the Dominican Republic and is convinced that she’s starting a new chapter of her life.  Needless to say, things don’t exactly end well…

    Okay, you may have read all that and may now be under the impression that there’s a lot of going on in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf and you are absolutely correct.  This is a very busy film but, then again, that’s exactly why it works.  The pace is relentless and the action is nonstop.  No time is wasted when it comes to introducing both Sharktopus and Whalewolf.  It’s nonstop Sharktopus and Whalewolf action, without a single slow moment.

    The tone is pretty much set from the moment that Catherine Oxenberg first appears and starts to speak in the most over-the-top, deliberately exaggerated German accent ever heard.  Then Casper Van Dien shows up, pulling flasks out of his pockets and, at one point, getting into a literal slap fight with Sharktopus.  (Casper Van Dien gives a performance that can positively compared to the best work of Bruce Campbell.)

    Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf works as both an entertaining monster film and a glorious send up of the entire genre.  If you missed it for the first time, keep an eye out for another showing.

    And hopefully, Sharktopus will soon return!

    SW


  • Why “Jurassic World” Is Better Than “Jurassic Park”

    People love the newest addition to the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World.  But what is the real draw of the reboot-sequel 14 years in the making?  XVP Comedy believe they know the answer.

     

     

    Now, I’m not gonna lie.  When I first saw Chris Pratt scold Bryce Dallas Howard for wanting to search for her nephews without knowing the first thing about tracking or even surviving in the wild, my mind flashed back to the scene in Romancing the Stone when Michael Douglas cut the heels off Kathleen Turner’s shoes for their trek through the jungle.  “Those were Italian!” “Well, now they’re sensible”, was the bit of dialogue that played in my head.  Still, after watching this trailer, I admit I’d probably see a JP movie where everyone, including the dinosaurs, wore heels.

     

    Stephen Monteith once tried to walk in heels.  He never tried it again.  You can read his original fiction at Lulu.com.


  • Let’s Talk About Mega Shark vs. Kolossus

    It was while watching Mega Shark vs. Kolossus that I discovered that, apparently, I have the power to kill fictional characters with my tweets.  As soon Dr. Sergie Abramov (Patrick Bauchau) first appeared on screen, I tweeted out my prediction that he was “doomed,” largely because he was “eccentric and old.”  15 minutes later, a group of gun-toting mercenaries showed up and gunned Dr. Abramov down.

    AGCK!, I thought, I didn’t really mean to kill him…

    Now, normally, I would have to admit that discovering that I possessed that much power would lead to a lot of thought and reflection on my part.  But you know what?  I was enjoying myself way too much to really feel that bad about getting Dr. Abramov killed.  That’s the type of film that Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is.  It’s a lot of fun and, if the cost of that fun is that Dr. Abramov had to die … well, so be it.

    MEGASHARK-VS-KOLOSSUS-1-600x338

    Produced by the Asylum and directed by Christoper Douglas-Olen Ray (who also directed A House Is Not A Home and Shark Week), Mega Shark vs. Kolossus premiered on SyFy right after Roboshark.  I have to admit that, when the film began, I wasn’t sure that anything could successfully follow the brilliance that was Roboshark.

    But, Mega Shark vs. Kolossus proved my doubts wrong.

    Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is not only a good SyFy film and a worthy entry in the Mega Sharkfranchise but it’s also a lot of fun.  If I could only pick a handful of movies to justify my love of SyFy and Asylum films, Mega Shark vs. Kolossus would definitely be right there with End of the World and Jersey Shore Shark Attack.  Mega Shark vs. Kolossus has everything — from the knowing humor to the over-the-top action to the flamboyant monsters — that you could possibly want from a SyFy film.

    At heart, Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is a delirious homage to the old school Godzilla films where Godzilla would have to reluctantly save humanity from yet another giant monster.  (Kolossus is even reminiscent of the robotic Godzilla from Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla.)

    As the film starts, the world has been thrown into chaos as the result of all of the previous Mega Shark attacks.  Admiral Jackson (Ernest Thomas) is determined to track down and destroy Mega Shark but Dr. Alison Gray (Illeana Douglas) argues that if we would just leave Mega Shark alone then Mega Shark would leave us alone.  Billionaire Joshua Dane (Brody Hutzler) claims to agree with her but is it possible that he has ulterior motives of his own?  Well, consider this: has there even been a truly benevolent billionaire in an Asylum film?

    Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, Kolossus — a giant robot that was created during the Cold War — has accidentally be activated.  Can secret agent Moria King (Amy Rider, who totally kicked ass and who deserves to appear in every subsequent Mega Shark film) and CIA analyst Spencer (Edward DeRuiter, who also wrote the film’s script) figure out how to control Kolossus?

    And, finally, will Kolossus and Mega Shark meet and fight?  Well, the answer to that one is right in the title of the film.

    Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is delirious fun, a surprisingly well-acted and entertaining homage to the great monster movies of the past.  Obviously, Mega Shark is the top-billed star here but, for me, the film is really stolen by Kolossus.  This behemoth of robotic mayhem dominates almost every scene in which he appears and hopefully, he’ll return for a future movie.  Could Sharktopus vs. Kolossus or Roboshark Meets Kolossus be in the future?  I certainly hope so!

    Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is terrific and entertaining.  If you missed it the first time, keep an eye out for a future showing.  You will not be disappointed!

    Kolossus


  • Let’s Talk About Roboshark!

    In case you missed it, it is currently Shark Week on the SyFy network.   Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No will be premiering this Wednesday and, in honor of that historic event, SyFy has devoted this week to broadcasting some of their trademark original movies.  Along with showing such classics asJersey Shore Shark Attack, Shark Week, Two-Headed Shark Attack, and Ghost Shark,SyFy is also premiering 6 new shark films.

    Roboshark, the first of these premieres, was aired on Saturday night.  Now, obviously, there was no way that I would be able to resist watching a film with a title like Roboshark.

     Roboshark, like many great SyFy films, opens with something falling out of the sky and landing in the ocean.  A chunk of UFO plunges into the water and is promptly eaten by a normal, every day shark.  Soon, that shark is transformed into … ROBOSHARK!  With its fins glowing red and a twitter account of his very own, Roboshark attacks Seattle.

    That’s right!  Roboshark destroys a Starbucks, eats hipsters, and eventually takes out an eccentric billionaire named Bill Glates (Steve Sires) and it’s all a lot of fun to watch.  And before everyone decides to leave a snarky comment pointing out my typo, allow me to assure you that the character was indeed named Bill Glates.  However, he looked and sounded just like Bill Gates and, seeing as how Windows 8.1 has had 40 updates this month alone, there was something undeniably satisfying about seeing him get eaten by a roboshark.

    Roboshark-SyFy

     

    As often happens in SyFy film, Roboshark isn’t really bad.  He’s just misunderstood.  He uses his twitter account to communicate with Melody (Vanessa Grasse), the daughter of Trish (Alexis Peterman), the local “wacky weathergirl” who is looking to prove herself as a serious journalist by covering the roboshark attack.  Unfortunately, Trish continually finds herself overshadowed by her rival reporter, Veronica (Laura Dale, giving a nicely comedic performance).

    Meanwhile, Trish’s husband, Rick (Matt Rippy), has been half-recruited and half-kidnapped by Admiral Black (brilliant Nigel Barber), who is determined to save the world from Roboshark, even if he has to destroy the Seattle Space Needle to do it.  (“But the Space Needle is the symbol of Seattle!” Rick protests.)  Admiral Black is addicted to energy drinks and seems to be having a lot of fun being the craziest guy in the room.  His character was a lot of fun.

    Actually, the whole film is a lot of fun.  Roboshark is a great example of everything that we love about SyFY films.  It was a deliberately over-the-top film full of inside jokes and a really cool monster.  And I’m not just saying that because Roboshark retweeted me several times on Saturday night.

    (Though he totally did!  Love you, Roboshark!)

    Roboshark is the type of film that must be watched with a large group of people looking to have a good (and silly) time.  It’s the type of film that literally begged to be live tweeted and, needless to say, that’s exactly what a lot of us did.

    If you missed Roboshark the first time, keep an eye out for it!  It’s everything we love about SyFy shark movies!

    CJWUjB1UMAA1Nyy


  • Self/less

    While everyone else was out catching the Minions movie or finally getting to Terminator Genisys, or perhaps seeing Jurassic World again, I went to check out the latest Ryan Reynolds flick “Self/less”. I’ll be honest that I hadn’t even heard of the movie but came across it while searching for upcoming releases.

    selflessposter-Copy-1000x600

    The basic premise of the film is pretty standard sci-fi. Some crazy smart scientist found a way to take the minds from one person and put them into a different body. The ideal purpose for this is that the great minds that contribute to society can continue onward, despite any physical complications that come their way.

    Continue reading  Post ID 5704


  • My Top Ten SyFy Shark Films That Are Not Sharknado

    JERSEY-SHORE-SHARK-ATTACK_320

    When Stephen announced that July was going to be SciFi Shark Week here at Fourth Day Universe, I knew what that meant.

    That’s right, it was time to put on a bikini, go to the beach, work on my tan, and build the world’s greatest and most elaborate sand castle!  However, just as I was about to jump into the car and drive off for the weekend, I got a message from Stephen reminding me that I owed him an article.

    So, being the professional that I am, I decided to stay home and write about my ten favorite SyFy Shark movies.  These are movies about sharks that have appeared on the SyFy network.  I personally think that you should track down and watch each one of them.

    Now, as you look at this list, you’ll probably notice that one big SyFy shark film is missing.  I decided to not include either Sharknado or Sharknado 2.  Why?  Because everyone has already seen them!  By this point, if you wanted to watch Sharknado then you have watched it.  Instead, this list below highlights SyFy shark films that I think deserve just as much attention as Sharknado.

    Shark-Week-poster

    10) Shark Week (2012) — Crazy billionaire Tiburon (Patrick Bergin) kidnaps a group of people and strands them on an island.  The group will have to work together to survive, escape, and discover why they’ve been kidnapped in the first place.  Making all of this a bit more difficult is the fact that the island is full of thousands of shark-related traps.

    Shark Week is a film that I have a lot of affection for, largely because it was the first SyFy shark film that I ever actually watched.  Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler are a lot of fun as the shark-obsessed villains.  Of the various victims, my favorite was played by Frankie Cullen, who is apparently better known for appearing soft-core porn films.  Anyway, imagine Saw with sharks and you’ll get the appeal of Shark Week.

    224AITHpodcast2

    9) Sand Sharks (2011) — “Just when you thought you were safe out of the water…” Sand Sharks examines what happens when sharks start swimming in sand.  Essentially, a lot of drunk teenagers end up getting eaten on the beach and it’s up to Corin Nemec and Brooke Hogan to save the day.  It makes no sense but just go with it and you’ll have a good time.  There’s no way you can’t enjoy the sight of shark fins ominously rising out of the sand.  Plus, the role of the greedy mayor (every shark film since Jaws has to have a greedy mayor) is played by an actor named Edgar Allan Poe IV.

    sharktopus2d

    8) Sharktopus (2010) — I was recently mentioned the film Sharktopus on twitter and I got back a reply from some guy going, “That’s supposed to be a joke, right?”

    No, idiot, it’s a totally serious movie about a creature that’s half-shark and half-octopus!  Of course, it’s meant to be a joke!  But if you can’t see why it’s hilarious than I worry for you.  The appeal of a film like Sharktopus is that it delivers exactly what it promises.  The title says we are going to get a shark that is also an octopus and that’s exactly what we get!

    Good job, movie!

    5bfa714e835f654cb408fb6be59cb8c6

    7) Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (2014) — But as good as Sharktopus was, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda is even better.  In this movie, the half-shark, half-octopus battles a creature that is half barracuda and half-pterodactyl and it’s a battle for the ages!  Plus, Lizzie McGuire‘s dad, Robert Carradine, is in it and he’s playing a character named Rico!

    Also Conan O’Brien makes a cameo appearance and promptly gets eaten.  So, there’s that.

    MegaShark_747_4

    6) Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009) — The California coast is terrorized as Mega Shark battles Giant Octopus over control of the sea.  It’s up to an environmental scientist (Debbie Gibson) and a hard-boiled military man (Lorenzo Lamas) to keep these mighty sea creatures from destroying humanity.  Cheerfully absurd and almost defiantly low-budget, this film is a lot of fun.  It’s also one of the key films in the development of SyFy’s
    “all scientists wear tank tops” aesthetic.

    swamp-shark1

    5) Swamp Shark (2011) — Of the many directors who regularly make films that show up on the SyFY network, Griff Furst is one of the best and he proves it with Swamp Shark, a film about what happens when a shark show up in the Louisiana bayou.  Just the fact that this film is about a bayou shark is enough to get it on this list.  But the film also features genuine Southern atmosphere and good performances.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

    9551_1

    4) Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014) — This is without a doubt the best of the Mega Shark films.  Mega Shark is back and he’s bigger than ever.  Not only is he viscous but he can literally leap out of the ocean and bite airplanes in half!  However, the military has a plan!  They’ve created Mecha Shark, a robot version of Mega Shark.  Now, Mega Shark and Mecha Shark are fighting to the death.  Unfortunately, humanity keeps getting in the way…

    Even by the standards of a SyFy shark film, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark is silly.  But it’s also a lot of fun and that’s all the really matters.  Plus, Mecha Shark is kind of cute.  I’d like to get one for Christmas this year.

    Two-Headed-SHark

    3) 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012) — A semester-at-sea college class goes terribly wrong when the boat is attacked by a giant shark!  The students find themselves stranded on an island where the shark continues to menace them.  Making the shark even more dangerous than your typical giant shark is that this shark has two heads!  Can Brooke Hogan make use of her underwater wielding skills in time to save her classmates?

    I know that some of my fellow SyFy fans might be surprised by how high I’ve ranked 2-Headed Shark Attack but seriously — how can you not love a film that features a shark with 2 heads?  Even better is the fact that it’s never explained or even questioned why this shark has two heads.  Instead, it’s just accepted.

    GhostShark_grass.w529.h352.2x

    2) Ghost Shark (2013) — Director Griff Furst makes his second appearance on this list with Ghost Shark!  When a group of rednecks kill a great white, its ghost comes back to seek revenge on the local town.  All the shark needs to materialize is water!  This, of course, leads to bad news for a local pool party, anyone who gets caught in the rain, and a group of kids playing with a fire hydrant.

    Ghost Shark is one of the most original takes I’ve ever seen on the shark attack genre.  In fact, there’s only one SyFy shark film that’s superior to Ghost Shark and that film is…

    jersey-shore-shark-attack-contest

    1) Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012) — When sharks start to attack the Jersey Shore, it’s up to The Complication and his friends Nookie, Donnie, Balzac, and J-Moni to save the day!  Tony Sirico shows up and tells a story about the last time a shark attacked the Jersey Shore.  Joey Fatone shows up as himself and promptly gets eaten by a shark.  And yes, it’s totally brilliant.

    Joey fatone

    In fact, I would suggest that Jersey Shore Shark Attack is quite possibly one of the best films ever made in the history of cinema.   Surprisingly well-acted and full of genuinely funny moments, this is the film that made me fall in love with the SyFy network.

    11151166-large

    Fortunately, most of the ten films listed above will be airing on SyFy this week as a part of their build-up to Sharknado 3.  Keep an eye out for them!

    —–

    Lisa Marie Bowman is a famous flirt who doesn’t live anywhere close to the beach so it’s probably a good idea she decided to stay home and write this post.  You can read more of her thoughts at Through the Shattered Lens, Horrorcritic, SyFyDesigns, Primetime Preppie, Praxis Magazine, Big Brother Blog, Realty TV Chat, What Lisa Watched Last Night, and Where The Nightbirds Settle.  Or you can follow her on twitter.  Or befriend her on Facebook!