Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SyFy vs. the Mynd: Trycentennyal

Alien Tornado aka Tornado Warning (2012): Aliens decide to start an invasion attempt with (rather beautiful looking) special tornadoes slowly working their way from the boons to the big cities. Some decidedly incompetent men in black attempt to suppress the tornado attacks, and public knowledge of them. Farmer and worst dad ever Judd Walker (Jeff Fahey with frightening hobo facial hair and hair and a baseball cap glued to his head), his future scientist teenage daughter (Stacey Asaro), storm-chasing blogger Gail Curtis (Kari Wuhrer), and a sheriff who couldn't cut in Chicago (Willard E. Pugh) try to get the word out and solve their family crises. Alas, the script by John A. Burkett who also signed responsible for the equally meh Haunted High and Arachnoquake lets them and the audience down rather painfully. Alien Tornado is more boring than it is dumb (not usually a SyFy Channel movie problem - say what you will against the Channel's output, but "boring" is never what these films try to be), and generally lacks in the kind of entertaining cheesiness you'd hope for from something with such a title.

Monsterwolf (2010): Speaking of things that aren't usually SyFy Channel problems, Todor Chapkanov's Monsterwolf suffers from a case of excessive blandness. All the elements for an entertaining SyFy-style monster movie are there and accounted for - the family problems, the salt-of-the-Earth working class people, an evil oil magnate played by Robert Picardo, Louisiana, and a monster(wolf) - but not a single one of them is developed enough to actually become entertaining to watch.

There is a sense of bored professionalism surrounding everything about this that makes it impossible to care, so I won't.

Seeds of Destruction aka The Terror Below (2011): At its core, this is a typical Paul Ziller SyFy movie - much better made than its silly basic idea (giant roots from the Garden of Eden run amok)  suggests, with a real hand for distracting the audience from the fact that its view on a global apocalypse can't be anything other than locally limited, tight pacing, and some fun conspiracy thriller elements. Unfortunately, I couldn't enjoy any of it this time around, for the film's "converting the unbeliever" aspect is just pretty darn offensive to me once it gets as Christian as here, particularly in a film where the whole "Garden of Eden" bit is perfectly unnecessary. If you have the stomach for that sort of thing, this will probably the best film about roots threating the world you'll ever see.

No comments: