SyFy has reinvented their brand by making the kind of movies commonly referred to to as “so bad it’s good.” There is apparently a large market for movies that have little purpose other than to ignite Mystery Science Theater 3000-style commentary. The latest and greatest example of that is the natural disaster/aquatic predator mash-up Sharknado.
The film is still going strong after its network television premiere. It has re-aired a few times – reportedly garnering even more views upon each repeat broadcast. SyFy even gave it a limited 200-screen theatrical midnight screening recently, similar to the midnight showings of Rocky Horror that take place in every major city across America.
It seems that each SyFy original film gets more preposterous than its predecessor. The network has brought us virtually every genetic mutation imaginable and done so with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Perhaps what makes this particular title so intriguing to audiences is that it goes to great lengths to let the audience know that the screenwriters, actors, set designers, director, and so forth are all in on the joke.
Audiences seem to think of SyFy original features as a metaphorical train wreck of modern day filmmaking; you don’t really want to look, but then again, you don’t really want to look away. We watch them for the impossibly bad acting, the terrible CGI effects, the genetic modifications, and the preposterous situations the characters find themselves in. We do not watch SyFy original programming for attention to detail, A-list talent, accomplishments in screenwriting, or keen direction. So, to pay…uh tribute to the farcical nature of the wonderful world of made-for-SyFy cinema, we are counting down twelve of the most ridiculous SyFy movie monsters.
Mega Piranha was released in 2010 and stars former pop icon Tiffany. Though she is better known for her musical stylings, Tiffany is actually making a splash in the made-for-television film arena. In fact, she also starred in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (also on this list). Mega Piranha is a joint effort between The Asylum and SyFy – a “Mockbuster” which was designed to capitalize on the release of Piranha 3D. While the feature did garner a large audience for its television debut, it was panned critically – for obvious reasons. The plot is not terribly dissimilar to Piranha 3D: a school of genetically modified piranha escapes captivity and threatens to wreak havoc off the coast of Florida. A team of idiots attempts to stop the havoc. Bedlam ensues. People die. The end. If your sole purpose in watching the film is to laugh at the unintentional humor and Tiffany’s attempt at acting, you may have some degree of fun with it; otherwise there is no reason to go near this silliness of the highest caliber.
This feature has an almost recognizable cast, which is surprising in light of its ultimately farcical premise. It stars Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers) and Vanessa Williams. The plot is laughable: an Olympic ski team takes to the mountains to train. But, oh no, they soon find that the government has engineered a batch of malevolent, genetically modified spiders of giant proportions. Though the storyline is the opposite of good, it does provide ample opportunity to heckle along the way and it feels like we are laughing along with the cast rather than at them.