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LATEST SCI-FI OFFERINGS

Steven Davies Posted: 12 July, 2003 at 02:15 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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LATEST SCI-FI OFFERINGS

The Sci-Fi Channel is prepping next year?s offerings as we speak. The network is increasing their production schedule to 22 original movies with the plan to be premiering about 2 new movies to each month.

So here they are. The next crop of Sci-Fi Channel original movies coming to your TV screen in 2004-2005. Heck, I don?t think any of them have even finished casting yet let alone begun production so bare in mind details are very limited past the press release?s one sentence synopsis. Also keep in mind that these are just the first 8 already announced. There?s still 14 more we don?t know about yet.

DEAD RAIL ? If you think this has to do with a ghost on a train then you?re in for a shock. ?A detective on board a bullet train on its inaugural run to Las Vegas must overcome his haunted past to destroy hostile aliens.? A detective?on a train?dealing with his ?haunted? past?who must stop an alien attack? Umm?okay. If they cast Steven Seagal and change the title to UNDER SIEGE 2: DEAD RAIL then I might develop the slightest bit of interest in this premise. The film is written by Brian Smith, founder of SCIFI.COM's Seeing Ear Theatre, and produced by Glow Worm, who deserve props just for being a film production company called Glow Worm.

RAPTOR ISLAND ? ?Raptors are discovered on a remote island when an elite team journeys deep into the jungle to rescue a kidnapped scientist.? So basically it?s JURASSIC PARK with a touch of ALIENS tossed in. Now I hope everyone is sitting down when I tell you this next part. Are you sitting? Roger Corman has nothing to do with this movie. Yes, I?m as shocked as you are! This one is produced by 100% Entertainment, who also gave us RAVAGER, WITHIN THE ROCK, and the yet-to-be-released MEGALODON, because Lord knows there can never be enough Megalodon shark movies on video store shelves. And let me just say, when your production company is called 100% Entertainment, you better damn well deliver or else!

CHUPACABRA ? ?The mythical beast is captured and smuggled aboard a cruise ship en route to America, but escapes, and Navy SEALs are brought in to destroy the monster.? First of all, what do they mean by ?mythical?? The goatsucker is real, dammit! I must confess right now that I will tune in for this one assuming they actually don?t do something stupid like make the chupacabra six or seven feet tall. The prospect of a bunch of heavily armed marines getting slaughtered by a hopping, midget, reptile monster amuses me. Regent Films is producing this one so I guess this isn?t the same movie as York?s EL CHUPACABRA, which pits rapper Treach against bloodsucking beastie. That means there are two goatsucker movies in the works. Yippee!

DARKLIGHT ? From UFO Films, and I can pretty much assure you that isn?t a good thing, comes this movie that definitely gets some points for at least not sounding like a totally generic premise. ?Lilith, a superhuman warrior cursed with immortality, must battle an escaped genetically engineered creature carrying a deadly virus.? I wonder if ?superhuman warrior cursed with immortality? is actually code language for ?vampire? but they don?t want to come right out and say ?vampire? because they know that a lot of people are fed up with the endless glut of mediocre, uninspired, low budget vampire flicks that keep getting cranked out? Also, this one is directed by the former development executive for the Sci-Fi Channel series Exposure, Bill Platt. Not sure if that?s supposed to mean something positive or negative.

ALIEN BLOOD ? This one is also from UFO Films. ?An alien army invades Earth, demanding the sacrifice of 1 million humans, and a small band of human prisoners rebels.? Yawn. Seriously, could that premise be any more generic? I?m taking back those points I just gave UFO Films for DARKLIGHT?s premise. Also, both of these movies are to be filmed in Bulgaria, which seems to have become some sort of b-movie mecca in the past few years. And would it kill UFO Films to update their website? For a company that keeps cranking out movies at the rate they do you would think they could have updated their website in the last 6 months.

LARVA ? ?A dirty meat-packing company sells meat contaminated with larvae, and the larvae begin to growing inside the customers.? Never a good sign when the one sentence synopsis features a major grammatical error. ?Begins to growing?? Still, this could be a really fun gross-out movie. One problem ? all the gross-out stuff will be edited out when it airs on the Sci-Fi Channel. Still, I have to give Nu Image some credit because I think that?s about the most original premise they?ve come up with for a movie. It may be worth a look when its released unedited on video/dvd.

HAMMERHEAD ? Back at the Cannes Film Festival, Nu Image, in addition to their upcoming line of generically titled disaster flicks, were trying to shop around a series of monster movies called SHARKMAN, SNAKEMAN, MOSQUITOMAN, and MORPHMAN. Well, it looks as if at least two of those movies are about to come to pass. ?While working on stem-cell research, a scientist transforms his subject into a mutant shark-beast.? Something tells me this is SHARKMAN with a new title and a slightly altered premise. Hey, just making SHARKMAN and you?re basically copying Peter Benchley?s WHITE SHARK, which was itself made into a TV mini-series called Peter Benchley?s CREATURE. But pattern the man-shark after a Hammerhead shark and you might have yourself a whole new movie. If nothing else, it will be worth tuning in just to see what a half-man/half-Hammerhead shark looks like.

MANSQUITO ? I?m guess this is the retitled MOSQUITOMAN? ?A scientist trying to find a cure for the West Nile Virus accidentally transforms herself and a junkie into mutant mosquito creatures.? So there?s a Mosquito Man and a Mosquito Woman in this one? I?m not ashamed to admit that done right this could quite possibly be the greatest movie ever made. One thing does especially worry me. Nu Image honcho Avi Lerner said the following about these movies back at Cannes. ?They?re more suspenseful, less gory than recent horror films. They are horror films but geared more toward family audiences? First of all, Nu Image horror movies aren?t exactly known for their ability to generate suspense. Secondly, what exactly does he mean by ?geared more towards family audiences?? I?m hoping it just means that the films have been toned things down to a PG-13 level and not that they?re going to be kiddie films outright. I mean, does anyone remember Full Moon?s Filmmonsters! Series? Nope? Didn?t think so.

So there you have it. A little taste of things to come thanks to the Sci-Fi Channel. We'?ll keep you posted as more info arises.

Courtesy of Creature Corner

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Steven Davies Posted: 12 July, 2003 at 02:15 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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