March 1, 2012

There’s a definite ex-wife-is-a-money-grubbing-trollop joke in that title somewhere too, but I’m not sure I should flesh it out due to the possibility of lawsuits and whatnot.  Wait, can I get sued for libel even if it’s true?  Hmmm…just in case, probably best to not take that chance at this juncture in my career. 

    Maybe some of you know this, maybe you don’t, maybe you don’t really care.  In which case I have to ask, “Mom, why are you reading my blog anyway?”  Speaking of my Mom, I have her to thank for this particular blog.  Sure, we all know by now that HALLOWEEN was my first true theatrical horror flick followed by PHANTASM a few months later, and they’re the ones that hooked me on horror for life.  But long before those two, even long before Hitchcock, she got me hooked on the creatures.


    On my quest to climb to the top of the screenwriter heap (or at least sleep my way to the middle), and being part of Team Frights right here, I also review horror movies for Horrornews.net – mainly low-budget indie horror and especially SyFy Channel Saturday night premieres.  It is that particular job – the SyFy Saturday reviews – that sometimes gain very positive attention for myself and the site, such as part of my review for SHARKTOPUS being used on the back of that flick’s DVD cover.  Aaaaand then there’s the majority of the time…

    Many of my reviews of SyFy movies – especially, but not limited to creature features with tongues planted firmly in cheek such as MEGA PIRANHA, SHARKTOPUS, MEGA PYTHON vs. GATOROID, and CAMEL SPIDERS – are the ones that I give the most positive reviews to the majority of the time.  They’re the ones I wind up loving the most.  They’re also the ones that I inevitably catch the most shit for.  I don’t even have to be near my computer when I will get the inevitable text or Facebook message from someone or someones consistently saying something along the lines of, “Sooo, I know you watched it.  I caught two minutes of it and it f**king sucked.  But I know you’ll give it a glowing review although I can’t see how.”  Wow…thanks guys!


    One person’s trash though, is usually my treasure.  I said I have my Mom to thank for this blog and that’s true.  But I have her to thank for my love of beasties run amuck too.  Friday nights at my house, the Plenty Scary movie on Channel 8 out of Tulsa was mandatory viewing.  Through the years of my childhood in the 70s, from the age of four years old and on, thanks to her and that weekly show, there wasn’t a giant creature flick that I didn’t see.  From THEM! to EMPIRE OF THE ANTS to FOOD OF THE GODS, I was there and I was loving every second of it.  There is no doubt in my mind why TREMORS and all its sequels and the short-lived TV series are all held very near & dear to me and always will be.  TREMORS was a total package flick though, one of my favorite movies ever, and more than a few bits of it have inspired me so much in my own writing, but that’s a story for another time.


    I haven’t loved them all though, not by a long shot.  Some I downright hated passionately for their insipid writing and ripping off of much better cheese that came before them. You doubt me?  Check my less than favorable reviews for SAND SERPENTS or WARBIRDS.  Holy shit on a shingle, Batman, did those ever suck. 

So see…many of my reviews may look to the untrained eye that I’m just doing it for attention since so many others bash the SyFy creature features, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’m still every bit the tough but fair geek reviewer you’ve come to know and love through the years.  But thanks to my upbringing, specifically my Mom’s own unspoken horror geekness, I just have a huge soft spot when it comes to genetically altered, havoc wreaking freaks of nature and I’m not one tiny bit ashamed of that.  So thank you, Mom.  I’m sure the Sharktopus will thank you too, once he’s done chomping on naïve tourists.  The rest of you – Hail to The King, babies…the King of Schlock, that is!

– Craig McGee


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