2013 In Review: The Best of SyFy


It’s been quite a year for the SyFy network, even if the network’s most widely-seen original film, Sharknado, was actually one of their weaker offerings.  As a proud member of the Snarkalecs and a Snarkies voter, I’ve certainly enjoyed watching, reviewing, and live tweeting all of the films that SyFy and the Asylum have had to offer us this year.

Below, you’ll find my personal nominees for the best SyFy films and performances of 2013.  (Winners are listed in bold.)

End of the World

Best Film

Battledogs

Blast Vegas

*End of the World

Flying Monkeys

Ghost Shark

Zombie Night

Best Actor

Neil Grayston in End of the World

*Greg Grunberg in End of the World

Anthony Michael Hall in Zombie Night

Frankie Muniz in Blast Vegas

Corin Nemec in Robocroc

Tom Everett Scott in Independence Daysaster

Best Actress

Maggie Castle in Blast Vegas

Lacey Chabert in Scarecrow

Kaitlyn Leeb in Grave Halloween

*Maika Monroe in Flying Monkeys

Ariana Richards in Battledogs

Mackenzie Rosman in Ghost Shark

Best Supporting Actor

Barry Bostwick in Blast Vegas

William B. Davis in Stonados

Brad Dourif in End of the World

Dennis Haysbert in Battledogs

John Heard in Sharknado

*Richard Moll in Ghost Shark

Best Supporting Actress

*Shirley Jones in Zombie Night

Nicole Munoz in Scarecrow

Jill Teed in Independence Daysaster

Jackie Tuttle in Flying Monkeys

Dee Wallace in Robocroc

Kate Vernon in Battledogs

Best Director

Griff Furst for Ghost Shark

Robert Grasmere for Flying Monkeys

John Gulager for Zombie Night

W.D. Hogan for Independence Daysaster

*Steven R. Monroe for End of the World

Jack Perez for Blast Vegas

Best Screenplay

Shane Van Dyke for Battledogs

Joe D’Ambrosia for Blast Vegas

*Jason C. Bourque and David Ray for End of The World

Silvero Gouris for Flying Monkeys

Paul A. Birkett for Ghost Shark

Rick Suvalle for Scarecrow

Flying Monkeys

Best Monster

*Skippy from Flying Monkeys

The Shark from Ghost Shark

Robocroc from Robocroc

The Scarecrow from Scarecrow

The Tasmanian Devils from Tasmanian Devils

The Zombies from Zombie Night

Battledogs

Tomorrow, I will continue my look back at 2013 with my picks for the 16 worst films of 2013!

What Lisa Marie and the Snarkalecs Watched Last Night #71: End of the World (dir by Steven R. Monroe)


Last night, the Snarkalecs and I watched the SyFy original movie, End of the World.  For the next two hours, we literally dominated twitter as we shared our mutual, nearly obsessive love for this film.  Soon, #EndOfTheWorld was a trending topic and, I’m happy to say, that ended up freaking out a lot of paranoid people who weren’t watching SyFy.

All in all, it was a pretty good night.

End of the WorldWhy Were We Watching It?

Because that’s what the Snarkalecs do.  We watch movies on SyFy and we usually get all snarky about them.  However, it was difficult to be snarky about End of the World because the people who made End of The World were obviously very snarky themselves.

What Was It About?

The world’s being bombarded by chunks of electromagnetic space debris.  Or something like that.  Really, the important thing to know is that the world’s about to end and it’s up to two video store clerks (played by two titans of nerdy adorability, Greg Grunberg and Neil Grayston) to save it.  Their solution involves breaking a sci-fi writer named Doc Brown (Brad Dourif) out of a mental asylum and Greg Grunberg working on a nuclear missile with a power drill.

However, to be honest, the plot is just a distraction.  The storyline is mostly used as an excuse to make clever references to nearly ever science fiction movie ever made.  Some of the references are obvious and some of them are a bit more subtle but, ultimately, they are what this movie is truly about.

What Worked?

It all worked.

Seriously, End of the World is the best film that I’ve ever seen on SyFy.  It was a film that was obviously made by genre fans for genre fans and, as a result, it felt like a belated Valentine’s Day present from the SyFy network to its viewers.

As I previously mentioned, the entire film is basically a collection of references and homages to other science fiction films.  While this is a technique that I’ve found cloying when used by other films, End of the World struck exactly the right tone.  The references were appreciative without over going overboard and, even more importantly, they were cleverly deployed throughout the film.   They moved the film forward and seemed to grow organically out of the action onscreen.  As a result, even with all the references, the film itself never felt heavy-handed.

Greg Grunberg is one of those great actors who can perfectly sell both comedy and drama.  His talents were on perfect display last night.  Perhaps the best Grunberg line of the night was, “It’s a monologue!  MONO!”

Brad Dourif didn’t have a lot of screentime but seriously, he  was just adorable.

Really, the whole film was just adorable.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just Like me!” Moments

Much like the character of Selena (Caroline Cave), I think Greg Grunberg’s pretty awesome.

Lessons Learned

The geeks shall inherit the Earth (but only after the Redheads are finished with it).