2015 in Review: The Best of SyFy

Well, here we are!  It’s the first week of January, 2016 and that means that it is time for me to start listing my favorite movies, books, songs, and TV shows of the previous year!  Let’s start things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer in 2015!

Below, you will find my nominees for the best SyFy films and performances of the previous year.  The winners are starred and in bold.  As you’ll quickly notice, it was a good year for films about sharks.  Especially films about zombie sharks!


Best Picture
Lavalantula, produced by Anthony Frankhauser
Night of the Wild, produced by David Michael Latt
Ominous, produced by Peter Sullivan
Sharknado 3produced by David Michael Latt.
They Found Hellproduced by Anthony Frankhauser
*Zombie Sharkproduced by Sam Claitor and Eric Davies.*

Best Director
Nick Lyon for They Found Hell
Mike Mendez for Lavalantula
Eric Red for Night of the Wild
*Misty Talley for Zombie Shark*


Best Actor
*Steve Guttenberg in Lavalantula*
Jason London in Zombie Shark
Barry Watson in Ominous
Ian Ziering in Sharknado 3


Best Actress
Illeana Douglas in Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
Sarah Dugdale in The Hollow
Alexis Peterman in Roboshark
*Cassie Steele in Zombie Shark*


Best Supporting Actor
Tony Almont in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf
*Robert Englund in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda*
David Hasselhoff in Sharknado 3
Roger J. Timber in Zombie Shark

catherine oxenberg rubber glove

Best Supporting Actress
Becky Andrews in Zombie Shark
Laura Cayouette in Zombie Shark
*Catherine Oxenberg in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf*
Annabel Wright in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda

Best Screenplay
*Lavalantula, written by Mike Mendez, Neil Elman and Ashley O’Neil*
Robosharkwritten by Jeffrey Lando and Phillip Roth
Sharknado 3written by Thunder Levin
Zombie Shark, written by Greg Mitchell

Best Cinematography
Lavalantula, Richard J. Vialet.
OminousStuart Brereton.
They Found HellRichard J. Vialet.
*Zombie SharkMatt S. Bell.*


Best Costume Design
Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
OminousDarragh Marmorstein.
*They Found Hell, Irina Kotcheva*
Zombie Shark, Kellye Bond

Best Editing
Lavalantula, Robert Dias and Mike Mendez.
Sharknado 3, Christopher Roth.
They Found HellDon Money.
*Zombie SharkMisty Talley.*

Best Makeup
The HollowJoanne Kinchella
*Lake Placid vs. AnacondaDesislava AlexievaRalitsa Roth, Atanas Temnilov*
They Found Hell


Best Score
LavalantulaChris Ridenhour.
Mega Shark vs. KolossusChris Cano and Chris Ridenhour.
*Roboshark, Claude Foisy*
Sharknado 3, Chris Ridenhour and Chris Cano.

Best Production Design
Lake Placid vs. AnacondaBorislav Michailovski
*Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Fernando Valdes*
OminousStephen Hass.
They Found Hell

sharknado 3 sharks in space

Best Sound
The Hollow
Night of the Wild
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Best Visual Effects
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Congratulations to all the winners!  Thank you for keeping us entertained in 2015!

Check out last year’s winners by clicking here!  And 2013’s winners by clicking here!

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the best from Lifetime!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015

Adventures in Cleaning Out the DVR: Lavalantula (dir by Mike Mendez)


The SyFy film Lavalantula opens in Los Angeles and we immediately know what that means.  If it’s a day of the week ending with a y, it means that Los Angeles is about to attacked by some sort of giant monster.  In this case, it’s due to a series of volcanic eruptions that lead to a swarm of gigantic, fire-breathing tarantulas being released into California.

Now, if Schwarzenegger was still governor of California, these spiders probably wouldn’t have been much of a problem.  But have you seen the current governor of California?  Seriously, I take one look at Jerry Brown and my first thought is that he’s not someone I would call if I needed someone to come over and kill a giant spider for me.  I just wouldn’t.  Sorry, Jerry.

(Incidentally, y’all love to make fun of people in Texas for loving guns but when was the last time we had a giant spider invasion get out of hand like the one in Lavalantula?)

When the spiders do show up and promptly start burning Los Angelenos alive, the police, the military, and the fire department all prove to be pretty much useless.  Fortunately, L.A. is also the home of the film industry and, as has always happened whenever America has faced a monster-related crisis, the unsung heroes of the movie industry are willing to step up and save the day.  Actor Colton West (Steve Guttenberg) may not know much about spiders.  And, as we’re told at the start of the film, it’s been a while since he had a hit movie.  But none of that matters.  All that matters is that, back in the day, Colton starred in enough action movies that he now has a unique set of skills that can be used to defeat giant, fire-breathing tarantulas.

Of course, while saving California, Colton also has to save his wife, Olivia (Nia Peeples) but fortunately, Olivia is totally capable of kicking ass on her own.  In fact, the entire film industry is shown to be capable of kicking ass, as Colton recruits the crew from his latest movie to help him save Los Angeles.

(Ian Ziering also pops up for a funny cameo.  He can’t help Colton save Los Angeles becase he’s too busy trying to save the rest of the country from flying sharks.  It’s a cute scene that works a lot better than you might think.)

Now, I have to admit that when I went to the DVR to track down and rewatch Lavalantula, I was shocked to discover that I didn’t record Lavalantula when it originally aired on July 25th!  Usually, I both watch and record but, in the case of Lavalantula, I just watched.  This review has been written from memory but that’s okay because Lavalantula‘s an extremely memorable film.  Much like director Mike Mendez’s previous giant monster film — the beloved Big Ass SpiderLavalantula is an enjoyably over-the-top B-movie that succeeds because, while it never takes itself too seriously, it does take itself just seriously enough to remain interesting.  It expertly walks the fine line between tribute and parody.  Regardless of how silly the film may get, the entire cast brings a lot of commitment to their roles and the end result is a genuinely fun movie.

One final sidenote: Apparently, this film was full of inside jokes about the Police Academy franchise.  Having never seen any of the Police Academy films, I have to admit that the majority of the references probably went right over my head.  I did, however, recognize Michael Winslow, the guy who does all the sound effects.  He was one of the heroic crew people and he did a damn good job protecting California.

In fact, they all did.

Thank you, Hollywood.