If it's a movie about pissed-off animals eating dumb people, I've got 87 minutes to spare.
So a few months back I noticed a strange little label on a few of the more recent "nature sprinting amok" flicks: It was a little black and red skull logo with the phrase "Maneater Series" stuck on there. Oooh, a mystery! What's this "maneater series" of which this DVD case speaks? Where do they come from? Are there other films in the series? Does anyone besides me actually care?
OK, so as far as a very small amount of IMDb / Google research indicates, it looks like there are to be six Maneater Series titles in total. (Or maybe seven.) The suspects? Production company RHI Entertainment, cable network The Sci-Fi Channel, and DVD distributor Genius Products. Let's examine the flicks...
Blood Monkey -- Director: Robert Young (Fierce Creatures, Splitting Heirs) / Writer: Gary Dauberman (In the Spider's Web) / Lead: F. Murray Abraham as a loony professor. / Plot: Idiots get by monkeys eaten in a jungle. / Shot in: Thailand / Antagonist: Oversized, angry, prehistoric gorillas. / So Bad It's Good score: 4 out of 10 prehistoric bananas.
In the Spider's Web -- Director: Terry Winsor (Morgan Stewart's Coming Home) / Writer: Gary Dauberman (Blood Monkey) / Lead: Lance Henriksen as a loony witch doctor. / Plot: Idiots get eaten by spiders in a jungle./ Shot in: Thailand / Antagonist: Tons and tons and tons of rubber spiders. / So Bad It's Good score: 8 out of 10 amazingly fake-looking arachnids.
Maneater -- Director: Gary Yates (Eye of the Beast) / Writer: Philip Morton (Fire Down Below) / Lead: Gary Busey as a loony sheriff. / Plot: Idiots get eaten by a tiger in a forest. / Shot in: Winnipeg / Antagonist: A plain, simple, bored-looking tiger. / So Bad It's Good score: 4 out of 10 mangled remains.
Croc -- Director: Stewart Raffill (Mac and Me, Mannequin 2: On the Move) / Writer: Ken Solarz (Supercross) / Lead: Michael Madsen as a loony hunter. / Plot: Idiots get eaten by crocodiles in Thailand. / Shot in: Thailand / Antagonist: A very sketchy CGI croc, lots of stock croc footage, and some rubber croc parts scattered around. / So Bad It's Good score: 7 out of 10 orders of raw Thai food.
Eye of the Beast -- Director: Gary Yates (Maneater) / Writer: Mark Mullin (Extreme Ops) / Lead: James Van Der Beek as a scientist with a loony beard. / Plot: Idiots get eaten by a giant prehistoric squid in a small fishing town. / Shot in: Manitoba / Antagonist: A giant prehistoric squid. Duh. / So Bad It's Good score:
So I'm pretty sure that these are the next ones on the Maneater slate. I haven't seen 'em yet, but rest assured I will.
Grizzly Rage -- Director: David DeCoteau (too much schlock too list, seriously) / Writer: Arne Olsen (Cop and a Half, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie) / Lead: One of those kids from 7th Heaven. / Plot: Four idiot teens get eaten by a grizzly in Manitoba. / Shot in: Thailand (just kidding) / Antagonist: A mother grizzly whose baby just got killed by four teenage idiot Canadians. / So Bad It's Good score: With that director and that writer ... gotta be at least 7 ursine massacres out of 10.
Black Swarm -- Director: David Winning (Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Dinotopia) / Writer: Todd Samovitz (Wonderland) & Ethlie Ann Vare (Something Beneath) / Lead: Robert Englund! / Plot: Killer wasps, thanks to a government experiment gone wrong. / Shot in: Montreal / Antagonist: Genetically monkeyed-with wasps! / So Bad It's Good score: Haven't heard any buzz yet. (Sorry.)