• SciFi Schlockfest: Round 1


    SciFi Channel LogoI didn’t get nearly as many movies watched as I intended to while Kyle and Laura were in the Orange Juice and Metamucil State, but here’s the first batch from the SciFi Schlockfest (with a couple of bonus movies thrown in for good measure):

    1. Anaconda 3 (2008). David Hasselhoff can’t need work this badly, can he? I mean, the guy’s got Baywatch money! And don’t get me started on how John Rhys-Davies continues to parlay the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy into movies like Chupacabra: Dark Seas and…this. Why is it that any time scientists are seeking cures for Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer they inadvertently create monsters of unimaginable horror? In this case, it’s a pair of 60-foot-long snakes with machetes for tails. Now instead of just squeezing and biting, the snakes impale! They also live on a steady diet consisting almost entirely of human heads, which makes their two-hour growth spurt to 100 feet long all the more amazing. In fact, the only thing more amazing than machete-tailed snakes that nearly double in size eating only noggins is Hasselhoff’s mustache. (2/10)
    2. Aztec Rex (2007)
      Aztec Rex (2007). lied to me. The official page for Aztec Rex (AKA Tyrannosaurus Azteca) says “The Aztecs summoned a Tyrannosaurus Rex to keep Cortés and his army out of Mexico. Now they need the Conquistadors’ help to stop the T-Rex from killing them all.” Except that the T-Rex in question has been roaming the valley for thousands of years and the Aztecs have been feeding it human sacrifices every month. The Conquistadors show up and accidentally annoy the beastie, then all hell breaks loose. The computer-generated T. Rex is terrible, Cortés is from New Jersey (he’s got blue eyes for cryin’ out loud!) and…well, Ayacoatl (Dichen Lachman) isn’t hard to look at, and at least the hero (Rios, played by Mario Sanchez) is actually Hispanic.  But really, Jurassic Park was made fifteen years ago, I would think that even the SciFi Channel could afford CGi dinosaurs that don’t stick out like puffy stickers on a Trapper Keeper. (3/10)
    3. Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)
      Rise: Blood Hunter (2007). Sadie Blake (Lucy Liu) is a reporter who has a run-in with the undead and wakes up a vampire. Instead of dressing in black and listening to The Cure, Sadie decides she’s going to kill every vampire she can find until she finds the one who turned her. This is literally a vampire movie without fangs, as the vampires simply don’t have ’em; when the blood suckers want to dine, they use fancy little knives to open the nearest artery. Not a bad flick, but Robert Forster is absolutely wasted as a businessman who almost solicits a prostitute in the first two minutes of the movie and then is never seen again. (5/10)
    4. The Descent (2005) wasn’t technically on the Schlockfest list, but it was on the DVR. A group of spelunking women encounter carnivorous mutants while exploring an uncharted cave. It’s kind of like Deliverance in the dark without the banjoes. As flashlight horror goes, The Descent was really quite good. (7/10)
    5. Croc (2007) is another movie that wasn’t on the list, but I stumbled across it on The SciFi Channel yesterday and, given my well-known love for giant crocodile movies, had to watch. The cast is entirely composed of no-name (and even less talent) actors, with the exception of Michael Madsen as Croc Hawkins, that rarest of beasties: the hunter who’s out for revenge but isn’t so obsessed with the critter that he’s lost his perspective; in other words, he ain’t crazy. All the other tropes are present, though, including the mayor who doesn’t want to shut down the beaches because it’ll hurt the tourist trade. (3/10)
    6. A Sound of Thunder (2005)
      A Sound of Thunder (2005), yet another movie that wasn’t on the list, was adapted from a Ray Bradbury tale. I heard an old radio production of the story a couple of months ago and the movie adaptation (starring Ben Kingsley and Edward Burns) piqued my curiosity. The story concerns a group of time travelers who muck things up while hunting dinosaurs in the past, thus thoroughly discombobulating evolution. Most of the movie is filler, introducing new and more dangerous beasties in our heroes’ futuristic “present” (which apparently attended the same “How Things Will Look in the Future (Really)” school as Total Recall) with each “time wave”. Edward Burns must fight and dodge the beasties during his desperate search for who mucked up what in the Cretaceous Period. Interesting, but mostly just cheesy filler. (5/10)

    For those keeping track at home, here are the remaining movies on the SciFi Schlockfest list:

    • Alien Lockdown
    • Beyond/Beneath Loch Ness
    • BloodMonkey
    • Ghouls
    • Heatstroke
    • Living Hell
    • Odysseus: Voyage to the Underworld

    Thankfully, SciFi showed Dragon Wars this past Saturday, and I’ve already rendered my opinion of that gem in an episode of The Secret Lair, so the list hasn’t gotten any longer. A few human heads should rectify that.