We’re rapidly inching past the point where great movies of note are making the transition to Blu-ray, and getting more of the dreck — in gorgeous high-def and lossless sound. And thus, this week, we have the Blu-ray release of Congo, the notorious 1995 talking-ape turkey adapted from the Michael Crichton novel. Those who haven’t forgotten it (and most have) hold the movie in fairly low regard; at the time of its release, I can even recall a few tossing it in with the worst movies of all time. But let’s get real: Congo is a masterpiece compared to these true terrors from Hollywood’s hall of …Read More
Twenty-five years ago this Sunday, a little UHF station in Minneapolis called KTMA debuted a bizarre movies-and-puppet show from a well-known local comedian named Joel Hodgson. The show was called Mystery Science Theater 3000, and from those humble beginnings, it blossomed into a cult phenomenon: a year later, it was picked up for national broadcast by the new Comedy Channel (which would later morph into Comedy Central), where it ran for seven seasons before transferring to the Sci-Fi Channel for three more. But even though the show has been off the air for over 14 years, it lives on.
Last night, the Syfy Channel aired a little something called Sharknado, a made-for-TV movie about… well, a shark tornado. “Enough said,” as the ads insisted. The film, which featured such D-list luminaries as Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, was the latest collaboration between the network and Asylum, the studio behind such “mockbusters” (closely titled blockbuster ripoffs viewed, almost entirely, by accident) as Transmorphers, Paranormal Entity, and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. Their previous Syfy originals have included 2-Headed Shark Attack, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Mega Pirahna. They’re making a very good living creating bad movies — but you can’t create bad movies. Asylum and Syfy, at risk of being a buzzkill, are doing it wrong.