In the 2000s and 2010s, that purveyor of quality entertainment, the SyFy channel, released over 200 original made-for-TV movies, which, given the network’s name, could only peripherally be called science fiction. Most were what was once called B-movies, variations on disasters, monsters both mythic and human-created, and horror… and often all three, with the addition of Wild West, post-apocalyptic, and sword-and-sandal settings. In other words, what might once have been broadcast on a UHF channel on some Saturday afternoon in ages past.
The prize jewel of this particular crown is, of course, Sharknado, which spawned four sequels and slew of imitators (Tsharknami and Sharkalanche, to name two.) But this post isn’t about weather/monster disasters. It’s about the monsters.
These creatures were all giant, super-charged, and malevolent toward mankind, badass beasts often combined with other badass beasts. Most were variations on sharks, dinosaurs, giant pythons, more sharks, piranhas, and crocodilians: Dinoshark, Piranhaconda, Megapython, Gatoroid. Added elements were ice and fire, as in Ice Spiders and Fire Serpent. Mythical creatures also made appearances, like chupacabras, hydras, dragons, kraken.
When you think about it, though, there were plenty of other creatures the producers might have chosen, yet they stuck to a limited few. Bulls are certainly big, mean, and destructive, yet no one made a Bullgator or Octobull. There’s also a lack of Megascorpions and Centitanopedes, so I wonder what exactly the criteria was.
The most popular of these movies pitted one creature against another: Dinocroc vs. Supergator, Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf. I myself haven’t seen any of these films, though many viewer, at their most generous, call them mindless cheesy fun, and those less generous, atrocious. So I can’t attest to their quality. But I can attest to how easily they can spawn fresh, imaginary hybrids to stalk our nightmares.
Battle of the Gargantuas: Who will win?
The Iron Amoeba