Where would science fiction fans be without the wonder that is the Syfy Channel? Don't answer that. I'll tell you: The Land of Boring. As someone young enough to have partially grown up the network (back in the good 'ol days when it was actually called the Sci-Fi Channel), I vividly recall many a dull afternoon rescued by switching to that channel and finding a Twilight Zone marathon, an old Star Wars rip-off, some awesomely lousy made-for-TV bigfoot adventure, a Twilight Zone Marathon or a Twilight Zone marathon.
Yep, those were the days. Even though Syfy continues to struggle for legitimacy (and did a pretty damn fine job of it with the stunning Battlestar Galactica), it tickles my soul to see that someone at the network has respect for the company's roots. Case in point: between the various scripted and non-scripted series returning this fall, there remain a handful of original movies...and what glorious movies they appear to be!
Of course you've already heard of the Roger Corman produced Sharktopus, which features the one and only Eric Roberts who "develop(s) a secret military weapon - a hybrid shark/octopus that can be controlled by electrical implants. But when the controls break down, the monster goes on a killing rampage at the resort beaches of Mexico." You know you want it. That one will pop out of ocean and gut your belly on September 25th.
There's also Mandrake, where Betsy Russell (veteran of four Saw films!) leads "group of researchers in search of a mystical Spanish dagger" who "are attacked by a cursed and sentient tree root - the Mandrake. The Mandrake dispatches the researchers one by one and will not be stopped until the dagger is returned to its rightful resting place." That sounds awful. And I can't wait to watch it when it premieres on September 11th.
The best title of the bunch has to be Robert Picardo vehicle, Monsterwolf. I'll let the synopsis speak for itself: " On the outskirts of a small Louisiana town, a drilling crew sets blast charges to tap an oil deposit - releasing the Kachinawaya, a Native American animal spirit meant to protect Indian lands from invaders." Watch Picardo earn that Emmy on October 9th.
How about Fossils? "When a novelty store owner accidentally brings life to three dinosaur fossils, the giant dinos wreak havoc on the small town and local university. With the help of some townspeople, the Sheriff fights off the giant beasts." There's no premiere date yet, but I will not rest until I have learned when I can witness this motion picture.
And finally, there's The Lost Future, starring the great-and-not-in-an-ironic-way Sean Bean. The film "is set in an exotic and dangerous world in which an isolated tribe battles for survival in a landscape overrun by terrible beasts carrying a mysterious and deadly illness." How much do you want to bet that Sean Bean plays a village elder in an 11-minute cameo and the rest of the film is carried by some waiter making his acting debut?
Blastr has the full schedule, including the return dates for Eureka, Stargate Universe, Warehouse 13 and the rest of the Syfy line-up. Seriously though...why should I concern myself with Scare Tactics when Monsterwolf is just around the corner?