Thursday, September 12, 2013

SyFy vs. The Mynd: Y, Robot

Triassic Attack (2010): I know SyFy Channel movies are an easy mark for getting criticized for being particularly generic, but there's an entertaining, even clever, way to work inside the specs of SyFy moviedom, and then there's Triassic Attack whose only point of interest is its insistence on casting its supposedly corn-belt American leads (including a pre-Game of Thrones Emilia Clark) with people who have to attempt (emphasis on "attempt") fake American accents. There's the usual stuff about divorces, native Americans, wayward teenagers who aren't actually wayward, and silly monsters, but nothing of it is delivered in anything but the most perfunctory manner. Fun clearly lives elsewhere.

Tasmanian Devils (2013): For example in about half of this movie about perfectly stupid base jumpers and perfectly incompetent (well, female lead Danica McKellar's assumed trait is "competent" but that never really happens outside of dialogue) national park rangers and their run in with the the ancestors of the Tasmanian devils. Though really, despite all attempts to pretend for Australia, the poor monsters seem rather more Canadian. It's again a very generic movie even for SyFy standards but when it's not wasting its time on the usual plot contortions (why can't our park ranger heroine call for help? - because the magic ranger radio only connects to her home base, and there's nobody there with her two now dead colleagues and her all romping through the national park) but where Triassic Attack never really gets up to much of anything, Tasmanian Devils is at least well paced and incident-rich enough to entertain, which is all I ask of it. And it's directed by Zach Lipovsky, the director of the coming Leprechaun reboot to boot.

Hybrid (2007): So, turns out getting a wolf eye transplant is the sort of thing that makes a guy pretty wolf-y. Because that's not enough to fill ninety minutes, there are also Tinsel Korey and Gordon Tootoosis doing Dignified Native American Mythical Kitsch stuff while the film's very un-SyFy draggy pacing slowly but surely makes eyelids drop and provokes soft snoring sounds. Sometimes, SyFy movie life ain't pretty.

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