Ghoulies 4 (1994)

So we come to the end of another horror series, one which (due to its chequered ownership history) appears unlikely to come back in the form of a remake, soft reboot, part 5, anything like that. Thank you, complicated entertainment law!

I have complained, often, about horror movies which don’t really feature the titular creature or villain, which just use the name to sell a few extra copies. The later “Hellraiser” and “Witchcraft” entries are the best examples of this, but there are dozens of others, and to that long long list we must add “Ghoulies 4”. The ghoulies are 100% entirely irrelevant to the plot, show up maybe three times, and interact with the main cast once.

Kudos for this and other puzzling choices must go to the director, ISCFC’s old friend Jim Wynorski. I once won a $10 voucher at a trivia night for knowing about “Chopping Mall”, so for that and the excellent LP I bought with the voucher, thanks Mr Wynorski, but those of you with long memories may remember my less-than-kind words about him and the other more recent movies he’s made. Since the millennium, he’s given us “Cleavagefield”, “The Witches of Breastwick”, “The Hills Have Thighs”, numerous entries in the “Bare Wench Project” series, and “House On Hooter Hill”, among lots of family movies presumably destined to trick undiscerning grandparents doing Netflix searches for their grandchildren; and sub-SyFy Channel efforts like “Dinocroc vs Supergator”.

I find him, David DeCouteau and Fred Olen Ray to be among the worst that B-movies have to offer, as their sole purpose in life – certainly since the fall of Blockbuster – appears to be to spit out “content” for late-night cable channels that are obliged by some obscure clause in their charter to make X hours of original programming a month. Two hours (with adverts) of a Wynorski movie is cheaper than sending a film crew to show topless women at mardi gras, one presumes – and while I don’t think they’re to blame for the state of low budget cinema, they certainly eagerly participate in its worst excesses.

But that’s a subject for another time. We’re here to talk the last Ghoulies movie, featuring a return from Peter Liapis as “Jonathan Graves”, star of part 1. He’s now a cop, because why not, and is the sort of loose cannon that we bad movie afficionados know and love, with the added wrinkle that his Captain is his ex-partner and ex-girlfriend, Kate (Barbara Alyn Woods). He gets a new partner, who’s a complete imbecile; and he’s also got a girlfriend who’s a prostitute, and he seems happy with her plying her trade while the two of them are an item. This does seem to be a thing in American horror cinema, even though this might be the last example of it (I guess STDs and the massive prevalence of hard drugs in that “community” have changed opinions).

Into this fun and games steps another ex-girlfriend, Alexandra (Stacie Randall), from way back in Jonathan’s life, back when he was still messing with the dark arts. Wait, says the viewer of part 1. His girlfriend back then wasn’t called Alexandra, and his entire life in the dark arts was documented in that movie – he wasn’t into it before, and as all his friends nearly died, one would assume he’d stop messing with it afterwards. So why has he got an ex who he clearly did black magic with? Shhh, dear viewer. Think not on such conundrums. Anyway, Alexandra is trying to find a special jewel with which she can summon a sexy male demonic entity called Faust – she loses the first jewel because she’s an idiot and Faust gives her poor instructions, but our old friend Jonathan has the second one, hung round his neck.

Jonathan investigates the theft of the first jewel, which is how he gets involved in the plot, and the aborted attempt to summon Faust causes an open door, through which come two ghoulies. Well, I call them ghoulies. Unlike the puppets of parts 1-3, Jim Wynorski just decided to hire two midgets and have them run around in largely identical outfits (save for a few shades of colour) that look absolutely nothing like the other ghoulies. They chat, crack “jokes” and seem, in a rather odd 180 from previous instalments, to be good guys.

What else to say? My notes include “anti-Bechdel test”, which is a conversation between two women so intently focused on one man that it was almost a joke. There are boxes in one scene labelled for delivery to Miskatonic University in Arkham, MA, aka the place where lots of HP Lovecraft stories are set. There’s a weirdly light-hearted scene where Kate gets a full condom thrown on her from another car, by accident.

A few words about Jonathan, who’s now sort of an alcoholic. Imagine you have to go through the stuff he’s gone through, and being an alcoholic would be about the best case scenario – but I do wish he’d taken better care of that jewel round his neck. He fights an Asian dude near the end for absolutely no reason, and the reveal of who Faust actually is is pointlessly undercut by a few lines of dialogue about ten minutes before. Same old, same old.

It’s just not very good, even if it’s not particularly obvious that Wynorski was going cheap on the making of it. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happens, with no consistency in tone and no good jokes. Best that this series is now retired.

Rating: thumbs down


Invasion Of The Scream Queens (1992)


Firstly – much love for Wild Eye Releasing. Those folks are doing some sterling work bringing ultra-low budget and completely forgotten works of horror cinema to a wider audience, and if you have any spare money I heartily recommend buying some of their stuff and having a good time. Well, a good time is not guaranteed, but you know. Get this film from here.


This also continues our Donald Farmer season. The great Farmer, after dropping the insane classic “Vampire Cop” on the world, decided to do a documentary featuring the women of the new world of low-budget and shot-on-video (SOV) horror. Well, “decided” might be too strong a word – it looks like he was offered interviews with a bunch of women in their homes, or waiting in the reception room of some movie company, and saw a buck to be made.


There’s absolutely nothing interesting visually about this documentary at all, unless you count the sound drops and weird tracking problems that came from Farmer’s original VHS tape and Wild Eye’s transfer of said VHS. So I’d normally try and say something about the movie itself, but in this case I’m stumped. Pro wrestling fans will recognise a lot of the “shoot interview” trend in this, where a wrestler was filmed telling stories in a hotel room on the road somewhere for a couple of hours. No-one has ever said “this shoot interview was really well filmed”.


A substantial number of women are interviewed, and what’s interesting I think is the mix of extreme honesty and typical Hollywood back-covering from them. Sadly, a lot of them had to rely on, for want of a better word, bottom-feeding scum like Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray for work, and those guys were far more interested in whether a woman would take her clothes off on camera than telling an interesting story (with one or two minor exceptions for both guys). So you get young women like Melissa Moore, Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens, and veterans like Mary Woronov and Martine Beswick, all trying to be as polite as possible about men who I’m sure they’d have crossed the street to avoid had they been in any other line of work. Stevens even manages, from the vantage of 2015, to be a little heartbreaking, as she talks about writing movies and getting into A-pictures…when we can see her IMDB page and the last 20 years is full of cheap horror garbage I’d never even heard of.


I think the politeness spoils it, slightly. For instance, making a movie in four days must have been a bizarre experience, and it’s brushed over as “well, I was new, and I’d do anything”. Tell us more! Give us dirt!

Invasion of the scream queens documentary Mary Woronov_thumb[2]

There are no new ideas in the world, and so it is with this movie. Farmer must have seen “Scream Queen Hot Tub Party”, released the previous year, which was a Fred Olen Ray / Jim Wynorski joint effort and basically an hour of mostly naked women talking about the shitty movies they’d been in…although Farmer changes it up and also interviews people like David DeCoteau, who artfully skates round why he doesn’t use certain actresses any more (real answer: they had the temerity to join a Union, and his cheap garbage is most definitely non-Union).  DeCoteau, “interestingly” enough, is still trading on the “Scream Queen” name, casting Linnea Quigley, Bauer and Stevens together in 2014’s “3 Scream Queens”.


It’s an fascinating artefact from a fascinating time, and thanks to Wild Eye for putting it out there. But, all told, I’m glad Farmer went back to doing what he did best – making spectacularly cheap horror movies. While I have my soapbox, though, I’ll add a little bit about Wynorski and Olen Ray, as their shadows loom large over this sort of cinema. A lot of sites and magazines will call them “legends”, or make reference to their “gleefully un-PC” cinema, or will even pretend to like their movies. This is 100% bullshit, though. Not only did they make cheap crap with very few redeeming features, they exploited women, and if you think “well, the women could have refused to work for them” then I’m sorry that you don’t understand how the world and power relationships work. Anyway, after the era covered by this movie, Wynorski went on to basically make soft-core pornography (including “Witches of Breastwick” and “Cleavagefield”, and those movies are not as much fun as the titles suggest) and Olen Ray, along with also making soft-core horror, just with less entertaining titles, made super-cheap family movies (“Abner The Invisible Dog” is one), because his entire business model relies on fooling old people and children in video shops and Netflix queues.

Look at this asshole

Look at this asshole

B-movies, cheap SOV horror or whatever you want to call it, can be sleazy fun without being so exploitative, but if you only had their work to go on, you’d never realise that. I’m far from a prude, but if being called a prude means I don’t have to pretend to like the person who made “Girl With The Sex-Ray Eyes” then I accept the title. Hell, I’ll be an equal opportunities prude, just look at the front cover of any David DeCoteau movie made in the last decade and tell me you don’t feel a little bad for the guys on the posters.


I realise I’ve spent over half this review talking about people who aren’t in it. Sorry ISCFC readers, but “Invasion Of The Scream Queens” comes recommended – just don’t expect much of the documentarian’s art.


Rating: thumbs up

Endless Bummer: Screwballs (1983)


Our “Endless Bummer” season of more obscure or unusual teen movies continues with something that reminds us of nothing more than “Porky’s” with no morals. That seems pretty horrific, doesn’t it? When you start thinking that “Porky’s” was kinda sex-positive, and had that whole storyline about fighting anti-Semitism…and that’s when you think “oh my god this movie is so repellent it’s made me wax lyrical about bloody Porky’s” and pour yourself a stiff drink.

“Screwballs” has one slightly unusual feature, and that’s the makeup of its main cast. The intro shows the various ways our five heroes end up in detention, and luckily they’re all sleazy ways. Rick dressed as a doctor and gave breast exams to the new students (called “freshmen”, which means if my wife is correct, they were supposed to be 14 years old. Yuck). Brent sexually teased the movie’s villain “Purity Busch” (what a name) in French class. The even better named Melvin Jerkovski was caught masturbating in the meat locker. Howie, the nerd, rearranged every mirror in the school in order to see up the skirts of cheerleaders after practice. And poor new kid Tim was tricked into entering the girls washroom. Anyway, the weird thing is, these five would be enemies in a normal high school movie – the cool guy, the rich guy, the pervert, the nerd and the new guy. But here they’re all united in their hatred of Ms Busch and decide that, before Homecoming, one of them will have sex with her (or they’ll see her naked).


A simple and beautiful concept. I mean, breast exams! Let’s talk about the ladies of the movie a little, too. Purity is played by Linda Speciale, whose career sadly went nowhere after this (although, fun fact, she was in the first episode of “Breaking Bad” and is the only person to be naked on screen in that show). She plays the part with a sense of knowing just what effect her beauty has on her horny teen classmates, despite being the allegedly uptight Christian virgin, which is odd-ish. The somewhat looser-moralled Bootsie Goodhead is a different kettle of fish, though. Played by Linda Shayne, who also co-wrote the movie and is now better known as a writer and director, has to do all the work in her romance with new kid Tim, delivers the hopefully-wrote-it-herself line “wanna play hide the salami?”, entices an erection from Howie to help him get a bowling ball stuck to his crotch to pop off, and never lets a dirty smile stray from her lips. She’s great, even if the film is thoroughly rotten.

There’s a Spanish Fly scene, where a bottle of the stuff in the punch at a boring party (for the opening of the school’s airplane repair garage? Were they offered an aircraft hangar to film in for the day and wrote a scene around it?) turns everyone into blackout-drunk sex maniacs. There’s a strip bowling scene, where everyone seems delighted to take their clothes off. There’s a way too long scene set in a strip club (just in case there weren’t enough boobs for you already). There’s a cheerleader practice scene where the girls chant “we must, we must, we must develop our bust” – hurray for feminism!


It’s just scene after scene of the guys trying ever more elaborate ways of either getting into Purity’s pants, or just getting them off her. The weird thing is, at least three of the guys are getting regular sex with other girls, so I’m not sure what their motivation was, other than cold-hearted revenge. Yes, ladies and gentlemen (although mostly gentlemen, I presume), the closing scene of “Screwballs” is celebration as the famous five sew metal into Purity’s prom dress then get a super-powerful magnet to pull it off, leaving her topless in front of the whole school. Just drink in the sexual politics on display there. And yet…it’s horrifically entertaining. It’s so single minded!

I’d be genuinely interested to find out what Linda Shayne thinks of this now, but I wonder if the lion’s share of disappointment must be heaped on the head of ISCFC regular…Jim Wynorski! As well as giving us one good movie (“Deathstalker 2”) and about a hundred pieces of garbage (everything else he’s ever done), he worked a variety of movie jobs, including writing stuff like this. He was probably the person who thought that five guys pursuing a view of one girl’s breasts would be funny and charming, not a horrific series of ugly meaningless sketches with no continuity. Director Rafal Zielinski appears to have found his level early in his career, and would go on to basically nothing (although he did do “National Lampoon’s Last Resort”, which I quite liked). Well, he tried his hand at arthouse movies for a while too, so let’s hope they were slightly better than this.


Watch this to be reminded that although we still have a long way to go to get true gender equality, we’ve still come a long way in 30 years. Can you imagine the ungodly furore if this movie was made today?

Rating: thumbs up

PS – while this was watched / enjoyed on Youtube, the blu-ray from Severin Films looks amazing, packed full of special features, including an interview with Shayne and Wynorski. Worth picking up, I’d say, even if the film is bizarrely terrible. Actually, Severin look great, and their site will be getting some of my £££ soon.

Mind Storm (1996)


Ian Ziering has managed to resurrect his career, and will no doubt be starring in a network sitcom or a few big-budget films as soon as the Sharknado series is done. But he never really stopped working, and even when he was in the middle of his decade on “Beverly Hills 90210” he appeared in films during summer hiatus. Fortunately for us, one of them had the same name as the last film I reviewed, and was available for free on Youtube!

Eh, perhaps he should have just gone fishing, or read a few good books, because this really wasn’t worth his time. He’s Darrin, a computer game designer who takes a job with CTC, who might as well have a board outside their offices reading “A Completely Evil Corporation”. They’ve got some business going on where they do subliminal badness with their games, although the subliminal messages just look like what happened to a new computer when it boots up. Just flashing up “ANGIE” and “SEX” is enough to make you want to have sex with Angie, apparently.

So, there’s evil corporate drones, and someone’s offing people by using the computer program to send them individual messages. But here’s the thing – if you know that you make evil subliminal message programs, and you get a mysterious CD in the mail, would you touch it? These people are pretty dumb.


“MInd Storm” is known under a great variety of names, possibly because its original title, “Subliminal Seduction”, is rubbish. So you’ve got “The Corporation,” and “Roger Corman Presents Flash Frame”, as well as “Mind Storm”.

What you also get is boobs. Ziering is involved in quite a few steamy scenes, involving his wife (Katherine Kelly Lang) and a few of the other corporate ladies. There’s little more erotic than brainwashed sex! Anyway, with this, the Stepford Wives vibe that comes across, and the slow reveal of just what CTC are up to, you’re not left too bored at any moment.

I’m sort of stumped as to what to think of this film. It’s surprisingly tense and decent for what it is, but the computer tech is laughably awful, and although they do a lot of clever shooting to make it look like they’ve got some great sets, that cheap TV movie stank is all over it (this one was made for US channel Showtime).


Corman is a master of doing a lot with a little, so enjoy the surprisingly clever moments, and wonder if even by picking films virtually at random I’ll ever get away from him and Jim Wynorski (listed here as a production executive). Damn you!

Rating: thumbs down

Youtube Film Club – Sorceress (1982)

Weirdly, all this stuff is in the film

Weirdly, all this stuff is in the film

Misleading title alert! While “Sorceress” is a cool enough title for a film, there are no sorceresses in it. There’s a bloke who does magic, and two barbarian heroines, but that’s your lot.

Jim Wynorski is both a hero and a villain for us at the ISCFC. Hero because he made a heck of a lot of entertaining low-budget monster movies; and villain because those entertaining movies stopped around the turn of the millennium and turned into dreck, plus his attitude to women might reasonably be said to be somewhat behind the times – watch “Popatopolis” if you’d like any further evidence. He got his start thanks to the great Roger Corman, this is his first credit of any sort and although he only wrote it, the template for his later career is there.

There’s a whole heap of fantasy names at the beginning, so I’ll put them all up here, and you can refer back to this paragraph if you get lost. A guy called Krona is a sort of good wizard; someone called Kalgara is an evil deity; a fellow called Tragon, who looks awfully similar to serial killer Peter “The Yorkshire Ripper” Sutcliffe, is a bad wizard; and there’s a couple of twin babies called Mara and Mira. Tragon wants to sacrifice one of the babies, who he fathered, in order to…definitely something to do with Kalgara.


After being sure to let everyone know that girl babies are literally the most pointless thing in the world, Tragon gets killed (but he has three lives, because of course) and Krona rescues the children. But not for long! Because he’s got important stuff to go and do, he just gives the babies power to be the most awesome warriors ever – the power of “The Two Who Are One” – and packs them off to his old friend Dorgon to be their foster-dad. The film really kicks off 20 years later, when they’ve grown up into Playboy Playmates Leigh and Lynette Harris, and when their village is raided by the troops of the freshly resurrected Tragon.

I don’t just want to recap the film for you all, but this scene has a lot of oddness about it, so allow me to linger. The troops slaughter all the villagers, but Mara and Mira are saved thanks to their bad-ass fighting powers, plus a very late assist from barbarian Valdar and his satyr sidekick, who had previously been ogling the ladies as they swam naked. Even later is Krona, who turns up after everyone is dead. Thanks for that lifetime of protection you promised them! Tragon is all hot and bothered about “The Two Who Are One” as well, despite all that stuff happening after he died the first time. Unless it just means they’re twins?

Anyway, they swing by the nearest town to pick up Valdar’s friend Erlick, who’s the main romantic lead in the movie – despite being of normal height, Valdar is the spitting image of every fantasy dwarf you’ve ever seen – and then set off for Tragon’s castle. They make half an effort to pretend the twins are boys, but the wardrobe department puts them in skirts and makes sure we can all see their huge breasts, which may have given the game away.

There’s twists and turns aplenty on their way to the castle. The two girls have been brought up totally innocently, so don’t know about the difference between men and women; there’s the jolliest group of sacrificial virgins you’ve ever seen; and…well, another scene I need to describe in a little more detail. One of the twins and Erlick are captured and brainwashed, and there’s a whole thing about how he needs to impregnate her for some sacrifice or other. But the twins are linked, so what one feels the other feels, and while we don’t get the love scene, we see the other twin writhing round on the floor in orgasmic bliss while a dwarf and a satyr look on. Valdar realises what’s going on, and seems incredibly proud of his friend’s sexual prowess – weirdly so, in fact.


Add on to all this one of the strangest climactic battles I’ve seen in a long time and the battle of the two gods in mid-air, and you’ve got a recipe for huh? It’s a feast of terrible acting (half the cast are dubbed, and the extras seem like they’re working at gunpoint), crappy special effects and exactly the sort of film you’d expect to have two Playboy models starring in it. Oh, and topped off with a wonderfully sexist coda!

The director, Jack Hill, had his name taken off this film after feeling Corman treated him like garbage – refusing his one casting request and drastically cutting the special effects budget- and this was his last ever film. Still, Quentin Tarantino has helped bring his name out of purgatory in recent years and he’s still fondly remembered for his 70s blaxploitation films.

Despite all this, the film was a big hit, although watching it now I’ve got no idea why. It’s a right load of old rubbish, is what I’m saying. If you want a sword-and-sorcery film, heck, even if you want one with Jim Wynorski involvement, then Deathstalker 2 is the way to go. I’d only recommend this if you were some weird completist for every film starring a Playboy playmate.

Rating: thumbs down

Project Viper (2002)


Our Jim Wynorski season is winding down – there might be a few others coming, but seeing any of his really recent films fills me with dread. This site will close before we touch “The Witches Of Breastwick” with a ten-foot pole.

The space shuttle is off on a terraforming mission to Mars, and to help it along it’s brought a mysterious secret weapon, contained in a large tube. Power cut – secret weapon gets out – people in space shuttle die; but we then meet the group of scientists who created the thing in the tube, codenamed “Viper”. It’s a really odd scene, as their banter feels like it’s from a bad corporate video (you know, like the ones you have to watch about sexual harrassment or whatever). They’re waiting for the fourth member of their team, but she’s busy getting killed and replaced by a doppelganger. The main scientist, Nancy Burnham, is played by Theresa Russell, who appears to have aged very well as I would never have guessed it was her.

Our star, though, is Captain Connors, played by Patrick Muldoon (star of “Ice Spiders”, one of my favourite B-movies of recent years). He’s a wisecracking womanising special agent and he’s called in when it’s discovered that persons unknown are after the other “Viper”, held in their secure lab. It turns out that “Viper” is a combination mechanical / organic device, created for terraforming but with military applications that raise its value considerably, and after it’s stolen the thieves make it as far as the small town of Lago Nogales before crashing their plane, allowing Viper to escape and kill them both. Oops!

So, we’re in familiar territory for a SyFy Channel movie (for it is so), a small town with a bad thing terrorising it. But, amazingly, Jim Wynorski still gave a damn back in 2002 so there’s a variety of storylines impacted by the arrival of Viper, Connors, Burnham and her team. The sheriff, suffering from terminal cancer thanks to local radioactive waste, is played by ISCFC legend Tim Thomerson; and Curtis Armstrong is the ambulance chasing lawyer, trying to persuade the town to sue the company that dumped the waste.


Signs of low budget are everywhere – the water jugs with “NASA” stuck on them are a delight, and the fact no cars were damaged in the firefight that takes place in a car park is a good indicator they were all rentals and they couldn’t afford to lose the deposit. Then they blow up an aeroplane! Wynorski 2014 could make ten films for the cost of that one special effect from Wynorski 2002 (unless they bought it from some other film).

It’s not all good news for “Project Viper” though, sadly. People seem to die at the drop of a hat, as characters who are built up to be fairly central just get offed without a by-your-leave. But, the flipside of that is you don’t have time to get bored by any of it, as the plot rips along. It’s got a very strong cast, relatively speaking, decent-ish special effects, and is definitely in the upper echelon of SyFy Channel originals.

Rating: thumbs up

Camel Spiders (2011)


Don’t let the name of the director put you off – for some reason, Jim Wynorski likes to direct some films under the pseudonym Jay Andrews. Perhaps he’s afraid of people thinking the quality of his films might not be up to scratch if he directs so many of them every year? But if Jim directs some, and Jay directs some, problem solved. Well, apart from the film being no good problem, that is.

Brian Krause, boyfriend in later seasons of “Charmed”, is an army guy in charge of some people shooting at some other people, both groups of whom are behind some rocks. The Middle Eastern baddies, even though most of them are very obviously white guys in headscarves, get killed by CAMEL SPIDERS pretty quickly, and the central thrust of the film is when a bunch of them decided to go and shelter inside a corpse, which luckily for them is a US soldier being transported back home.

Even luckier is the way they choose to get it from wherever it lands to wherever it’s ending up. Not in some military truck or plane, but in the back of a fairly ordinary looking pickup truck, not tied down or secured in any way (oh, and the “coffin” is made out the cheapest materials imaginable). So, when a stolen car being chased by Sheriff C Thomas Howell crashes into them and the spiders escape, you know we’re in for a bad time.

All the Wynorski trademarks are apparent – cheapness, crappy special effects, and poor acting. I guess he’s a man who allows his fetishes to bleed over into his work in the same way Russ Meyer did, so the women who we should be thinking are the young, beautiful, desirable plot-drivers are actually former soft-core porn stars, who’ve spent too much time in a tanning booth and too much time under the surgeon’s knife. I’m not criticising the ladies who choose to look like that, and Wynorski is obviously happy with them, but…ah, maybe it’s just me who thought the visual was odd.

Throw in a bunch of cannon-fodder teens and make sure they spent almost no time inside buildings, because buildings means set building and ain’t nobody got time for that, and you’ve got yourself a movie. It’s by no means terrible, because that would at least be entertaining in its own way. It’s just like every other damn movie of this type, and we’ve reviewed enough of them to know every beat, every twist and despite an ending that could have been a surprisingly fun twist…it wasn’t. If you’re seriously reading this and deciding whether or not to watch it, DON’T. Read through these reviews and pick yourself something decent.

Rating: thumbs down


Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2011)


Picture the scene – you are Jim Wynorski. You’ve made “Piranhaconda”, and you’re sat in Hawaii swigging a cold beer when your producer calls you and tells you that you’ve got a week’s rental left on a helicopter, a disused factory, and some land with a road on it; also, actor Rib Hillis is still hanging round the hotel and doesn’t look too busy. Do you:

1. think “ah well, such is life, but I’ve got a home to go to”
2. “hot-diggity, I can make another film in that time!”

Although I might have got the order of the films confused, I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened, and Wynorski picked option 2. The script for one film was tweaked the absolute barest minimum and became the script for the other, and we get this film.

There are a lot of people in this film, and I couldn’t figure out why initially. Then it came to me – I’d lay good odds on these being the people who funded it, like he had some “pay $100 and be in a movie” deal going on. There’s no other way to explain the presence of people who get built up as if they’re actually going to be important to the film and then almost immediately get eaten. So there’s a playboy actor and his two model friends; a loving couple; a tour bus full of retirees; and several private security teams, all of whom are introduced like a normal film would introduce its second and third bananas, only to be meat for the beast.

What this film needed was Shandi Finnessey, who starred in “Piranhaconda”. She was bubbly, beautiful and more importantly funny, so you believed her as both the romantic lead and the comic relief. Watching this dull mess made me realise how lucky that film was to have her in it (and how bizarre it is that her career seems to be going nowhere – she’d be perfect for a show like “Suburgatory”).


There’s a secret science base which is working on genetically-engineered food, then evil boss David Carradine (in one of an extraordinary 8 films released after his death) gets them working on animals. Now, the film goes for confusing right away – as well as never naming the two beasts, their introduction is a bit confusing. They look pretty similar, and when Dinocroc comes out second, straight through a wall, a reasonable viewer might just think “is that Super-Gator on his hind legs?” Well, a reasonable viewer wouldn’t be watching this, but you know what I mean.

After the creatures munch their way through scientists and anyone else wandering about the woods of Hawaii, Carradine calls in his heavy hitter, “The Cajun” (Rib Hillis, the star of “Piranhaconda”). He teams up with a government agent and a local Conservation Officer and they come up with the idea to get the two creatures together so they can kill each other. Oh, spoiler I guess? Ah, who cares.

If you were on the internet or watched “The Soup” around the time of this film’s premier on the SyFy Channel, you’ll have seen Jerry the Pool Boy and his now-famous performance. Here it is, enjoy!

In between laughing at that and the other less-than-stellar performances, I was trying to convince myself I was watching a new film and not just the last one with a few tweaks. They literally use exactly the same sets, in mostly the same order, and I guess the only way they hoped to get away with it was through indifference. So here’s my INDIFFERENCE THEORY – SyFy Channel need material cheap enough to allow them to make a profit from selling advertising. They absolutely don’t care what it is or if it’s any good or not, and nor do the advertisers. Wynorski has a set amount of time and money, and knows that if the film’s good, bad or indifferent, it makes no difference to him. People watching it are either like me (hipster scumbag film reviewers) or people who saw the title and thought it would be marginally better than staring at a wall for 2 hours. And thus the Indifference Theory creates another film enjoyed by no-one (not the people who made it, paid for it or watched it) and which will disappear without a trace, save a footnote in a few academic treatises about how stupid film titles got for a while, back then. I will hopefully have forgotten it in a few days, and this review will drift into the ether, to the delight of no-one.

Rating: thumbs down