Film buffs are living in a golden age of awesome and awful science fiction monster movies such as Sharknado, Sharktopus and Frankenfish. Regularly aired on the Syfy network, these films are entertaining for their retro schlock appeal, terrible plot lines and ridiculous special effects. Many of the films also feature D-list celebrities and outrageous death scenes. And while critics roll their eyes, audiences can’t seem to get enough of mega pythons and killer piranhas. Interestingly, many of these horribly great movies are produced by Roger Corman, who has created a career out of making quick release B movies and drive-in films in the 1960s and 1970s. He also launched the careers of actors such as Jack Nicholson and directors such as James Cameron, whose first directing credit was on the Roger Corman produced Piranha Two: The Spawning in 1981. With more of these gruesome films coming out all the time, Goliath takes a look at 10 hilarious movies in this genre that you will find hard to believe actually exist.
10. Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010)
Why have one genetically created underwater monster when you could have two? Hey, it worked for Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. In this Roger Corman-produced film, a giant, genetically engineered super alligator breaks free from a research lab in Hawaii. At the very same time, the giant prehistoric Dinocroc that had been captured by scientists breaks free from the laboratory where it was being held. Of course the two gargantuan monsters meet and carnage ensues. Sadly, this was actor David Carradine (TV’s Kung Fu and Kill Bill) last movie before his untimely death. Still, I suppose starring in a movie this bad beats getting eaten by a real Supergator.
9. Dinoshark (2010)
Of course, if you’re going to have a Dinocroc, you have to also have a Dinoshark. Not only does Roger Corman produce this gem of a movie, he also makes an appearance in it as an evil doctor. The plot focuses on global warming, which causes a glacier to melt that contains a baby prehistoric shark. Over time, the Dinoshark grows up and heads to the waters off of a Mexican coastal resort where it proceeds to eat the tourists like they are appetizers on a buffet table. In one of the movies more hilarious moments, Dinoshark eats a group of surfers as they hang 10 on a super wave. Full points for cheesiness and truly grotesque special effects.
8. Piranhaconda (2012)
As long as we’re mixing terrifying predators, why not a piranha and an anaconda? In this quasi-sequel to the hugely popular film Sharktopus (2010), two genetically engineered piranha-anaconda hybrids go on a killing spree at a Hawaiian island after a scientist steals their egg. Starring actor Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs), this film is so ridiculous its downright silly. At one point, one of the Piranhacondas leaps into the air and destroys a helicopter mid-flight. There’s also a weird movie within a movie thing happening where a movie is being filmed on the Hawaiian island as the Piranhacondas are attacking, and, for some unexplained reason, a group of criminals kidnaps the cast and crew and holds them hostage. Fortunately, the Piranhacondas kill everyone in the movie at the end. Whew!
7. Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)
They don’t get much better than this instant classic that follows the premise of MTV’s Jersey Shore, about hard partying youngsters who have their good times interrupted by a bloody shark attack. The slimy Jersey Shore crew try to fight back against the sharks but characters such as Gino “The Complication” Moretti and Nicolina “Nooki” Santamaria end up as shark bait. Featuring an appearance by actor Tony Sirico, who played Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos, and Paul Sorvino, who played Don Paul Cicero in the movie Goodfellas, this movie is awesome bloody carnage and includes sharks being attacked with M-16 assault rifles. The best moment in the film comes when singer Joey Fatone, from the boy band N’Sync, gets eaten by a shark. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
6. Dragon Wasps (2012)
Scientists, U.S. soldiers and guerilla fighters all come together in the jungle of Belize and have to work together to survive the deadly Dragon Wasps, which are huge, deadly fire-breathing creatures that can also sting you to death. Throw in a mystical warlord as the leader of the guerilla fighters and you have a recipe for awesomeness. Particularly bloody and violent, this made-for-TV movie scores extra points for being one of the top rated such films when it first aired on the Syfy network. Pure schlock from start to finish, this film also features bad acting, terrible special effects and gallons of fake blood. A great time to be had with friends and a few drinks. And believe it or not, this movie actually got some good reviews when released.
5. Scorpius Gigantus (2006)
A blatant and bad rip off of the film Starship Troopers (1997), this splatter flick is about enlarged six-legged alien creatures who escape from a scientific lab where their eggs are being harvested. Pissed off and hungry, they go on an eating binge featuring innocent humans. Starring respected character actor Jeff Fahey, this film is hilarious for all the wrong reasons. The special effects are particularly bad and the creatures in it literally look like rubber and plastic. Viewers can literally tell that the filmmakers used tiny models and then blew them up in size. The acting is also pretty wooden and the ending is typically destructive. But hey, what can you expect from a movie with the title Scorpius Gigantus?
4. Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (2011)
This movie makes the list simply for pairing 1980s pop stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany together in a cheesy monster flick. In this nasty creature feature, experimental chickens are fed to alligators in the Florida everglades to fight back against a growing population of giant pythons. Of course it isn’t long before an all-out war is taking place between the giant pythons and mutant alligators. Also starring pop star Mickey Dolenz from the 1960s band The Monkeys as himself (why?), this movie is over-the-top insanity. At one point a hunter is swallowed by Mega Python, only to set off a grenade in the snake’s belly—killing himself and the beast in the process. The grenade wielding hunter’s friend, covered in blood, salutes his dead friend by cracking open a beer. Perfect.
3. Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)
Can you really beat the title? The poster features a family making a snowman while a giant shark rushes up towards them a la Jaws. The plot focuses on the legend of the snow shark, which turns out not to be a legend after all once animal biologists stumble upon the ancient monster and accidentally awaken a shark that can swim through snow. Starring a complete cast of no-name actors and a ton of fake snow, this movie has some of the worst special effects one will ever see in a creature feature. That people in the movie resort to throwing snow balls at the Snow Shark only adds to the outrageous idiocy and fun. For people who like snowmen and sharks, this is your movie.
2. Reptisaurus (2009)
Starring Gil Gerard from the amazing 1970s TV show Buck Rogers, this gold star monster movie is about a group of teenagers stranded on a deserted island who accidentally awaken a prehistoric flying reptile. As an army general, it is up to Gil Gerard to save the day and destroy the evil Reptisaurus. A classic scene features model airplanes that look like they were stolen from your little brother’s bedroom, fighting the Reptisaurus in the sky. This movie has it all—teenagers frolicking on a beach, a prehistoric winged creature, an unhinged military commander and appalling performances from the actors right across the board. In fact, most characters in the films don’t even have names. They’re simply known as ‘Lab Aide #1’ and ‘Commando #2.’
1. Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf (2015)
It’s not out yet, but Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf is coming to your television set on July 19, and we’re down with anything that features a “Whalewolf.” Heck, we can’t wait to see what the Whalewolf looks like. The plot is about a mad scientist who misguidedly mixes the genes of a killer whale and a wolf to create the terrifying Whalewolf. And, of course, it is up to the Sharktopus to stop the gruesome monster. Starring actor Casper Van Dien of Starship Troopers fame, this bad boy looks destined to be a classic. After all, who doesn’t want to see a Sharktopus battle a Whalewolf? We can only hope that this movie is as terribly great as the other entries in the Sharktopus oeuvre. And in case you’re counting, there have now been three Sharktopus films, including the 2010 original.