I have a not-so-secret addiction to massive monster movies.
Throw anything my way with an animal cast that is mega (shark, piranha, snake, python) or extinct/fictional (T-Rex, sabretooth tiger, yeti, minotaur) and I’m sold. Especially if a B-list actor is involved (I’m looking at you Eric Roberts).
Favourites over the years have ranged from Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus to Mammoth and Copperhead. And I just about exploded with happiness when my friend Danny pointed me towards the intimate exploration of the human psyche that is Mansquito.
That said, I do have some standards when it comes to creature features. And the chief one is they must be fully aware of their own B-gradeness and embrace it with purposefully bad dialogue and terrible CGI.
Take themselves too seriously (cough *Ice Spiders* cough) and they’re going straight back to the DVD store.
One film that did measure up was Mega Python vs Gatoroid. Now, I’m going to take it for granted people can guess at the plot, but what really caught my attention were the names of the female leads – Deborah Gibson and Tiffany.
For those readers of my vintage, this pair ruled the airwaves in the late 1980s with hits such as Lost In Your Eyes and I Think We’re Alone Now. So to see them engaged in the world’s most poorly choreographed cat fight was somewhat of a surprise, especially given most artists do low budget horror at the start of their careers, not the end.
Just look at Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, who co-starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation years before Bridget Jones and naked bongo drumming.
So with this in mind I set myself a knowledge task for the day – to find 10 celebs with B-grade slicing and dicing on their resumes. Here’s what I came up with (plots courtesy of the IMDB) . . .
* Naomi Watts, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
All the kids in a town become feverish and have convulsions overnight. The next day they start to become evil…
* Ryan Reynolds, Big Monster on Campus aka Boltneck
A student receives a serial killer’s brain in a transplant after being thrown into a pool with no water in it.
* Ben Stiller, Highway to Hell
An eloping bride is taken into Hell and her fiancee must rescue her.
* Billy Bob Thornton, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown
A gang of tough women bikers are the only thing that stands between a crowd of zombies and the residents of a small town.
* Jennifer Aniston, Leprechaun
A sadistic leprechaun goes on a killing rampage in search of his pot of gold
* George Clooney, Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Crazy old Professor Gangreen has developed a way to make tomatoes look human for a second invasion.
* Isla Fisher, The Pool
When a group of friends throw an illegal pool party, a masked killer sets out to hunt them down, one by one.
* Eva Mendes, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror
Six college students take a wrong turn and find themselves lost in a strangely deserted rural town.
* Demi Moore, Parasite
Paul Dean has created a deadly parasite – now he must find a way to destroy it.
* Ellen Page, Ghost Cat
A father and daughter move into a house that is apparently haunted by the ghost of a cat that once lived there.
So there you have it. A bit removed from the Golden Globes, where many of these actors strutted the red carpet less than 48 hours ago. But none of them is a match for Kristy Swanson, who’s efforts include the below gem …
PS: If you enjoy looking at monster movie trailers as much as I do, head to the syfy channel and check out favourite titles (requisite B listers included) such as Harpies with Stephen Baldwin, Goblin with Gil Bellows and Puppet Master Vs Demonic Toys with Corey Feldman.
PS: I have always said if got the chance to do a monster movie, my creature of carnage would be the bed bug. After all, the tag line writes itself: ‘Don’t let the bed bugs bite.’ But in turns out Katherine Heigl got there first, with a film called Bug Buster. Seems there really are no new ideas…