Syfy Channel has turned crappy, cheesy monster movies into an art form. A crappy, cheesy art form, yes. "Critics" say they are terrible, and they are - but Syfy knows they are terrible, and embraces it. How else do you explain this summer's Jersey Shore Shark Attack? I have culled through nearly a decade of terrible monster amalgamations and come up with the five best (or worst, depending on your take on the sub-genre). And in case you were wondering, yes, I did make my decisions based solely on creature names.
Sharktopus, from Sharktopus
Genesis: The Navy created this half-shark, half-octopus as a genetic superweapon. Just another day at the office. But the control implant fails, and Sharktopus goes down to Mexico for Spring Break. He's no dummy.
Classic Kill: The bungee jumper. She bungees, Sharktopus jumps up and swallows her whole, like a trained seal with a fish.
Tag Line: "Half shark. Half octopus. All killer."
Cool Name Factor: Way higher than its Navy code name S-11.
Flu Bird, from Flu Bird Horror
Genesis: Rather than fall victim to the bird flu that "terrorized" the States in the 2000s, the Flu Birds drew strength from this illness and mutated into giant pterodactyl-like monsters. The virus that made them strong makes others weak, and they spread their germs to weaken victims (though with massive beaks, it seems they would hardly need the advantage).
Classic Kill: A Flu Bird manages to get at a pilot right through the airplane cabin.
Tag Line: "If they fly, you die."
Cool Name Factor: Weak. It is unimaginative and easy to transpose.
Gatoroid, from Mega Python vs. Gatoroid
Genesis: Teen pop star Debbie Gibson starts trouble in this flick when she and a bunch of PETA sympathizers liberate a hundred pythons and set them free in the Florida Everglades. The pythons grow to mega proportions and start eating the local wildlife, including alligators. Park ranger Tiffany is on Team Gator, so to help the gators defend themselves, she shoots chickens up with anabolic steroids and feeds them to the gators (as you do) which, naturally, sends them into ‘roid rage.
Classic Kill: The gatoroids have the best backstory (and the better name) but the pythons have the best kill: one of them swallows Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees) whole while he performs at a benefit event.
Tag Line: "Screaming, scratching, biting... and that's just THE GIRLS!"
Cool Name Factor: Moderate. A little too close to "Gatorade" for me.
Mansquito, from Mansquito
Genesis: What do you get when you cross an escaped convict with a mosquito that carries a deadlier mutation of West Nile virus and has been treated with radiation? Mansquito, of course!
Classic Kill: Mansquito is less concerned with killing and more concerned with mating when the scientist that heads the irradiated mosquito project gets bitten.
Tag Line: None. With a title like Mansquito, what more is there to say?
Cool Name Factor: Beyond awesome.
Frankenfish, from Frankenfish
Genesis: Frankenfish is actually loosely based (and I mean loosely based) on a real incident at a Maryland pond. An actual species of fish, called a snakehead, can actually walk and breathe on land for short spurts of time. It escaped from an Asian market and made a home in a local pond. The six adults and a thousand babies were killed before they could decimate the indigenous species. In the movie, frankenfish were genetically mutated by the Chinese to make them tastier.
Classic Kill: When a local fisherman captures one of the frankenfish, he kills it, and barbecues its heart. While he is enjoying his vengeful feast, a second frankenfish jumps out of the water and kills him.
Tag Line: "Welcome to the bottom of the food chain."
Cool Name Factor: A little obvious, but bonus points for alliteration.
Honorable Mention: Piranaconda
I am not sure if this flick ever made it to air, but it has the greatest name ever. Points for that.