Category Archives: scifi channel

SyFy

Soon, very soon, the SciFi Channel will become SyFy. Not only the logo, the taglines and paychecks, but the URL for the website as well. They mean business.

The folks at the network want to make more money, and apparently you can’t copyright or trademark the generic word ‘scifi,’ a term coincidentally originally coined by the late great Forrest J. Ackerman. So they have gone with the sound-a-like SyFy, and now they can make full and sole profits on SyFy t-shirts, thermoses and anything else they can think of. Here‘s the official press release.

Thanks be to marketing. If only Forrey had thought of that one all those years ago. Hmmm, maybe the new slogan should be “Imagine Greater… Profit…”

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Quickies 8-31-2008


This Filthy World ~ This one-man show with cult movie writer and director John Waters was directed by Jeff Garlin. Basically Waters is just let loose on a stage and he talks, and talks, and talks. That’s not to disparage him at all, he’s absolutely mesmerizing, and his knowledge of film, both pop and obscure is unparalleled.

Among the subjects he touches on in this 86-minute extravaganza are film, books, teaching, Jackie O, his early movies, drugs, Michael Jackson, bears, capital punishment, Liz Renee, Divine, kids, juvenile delinquency, homophobes, fans, the mainstream, Baltimore and movies he’d like to make. He also talks a bit about Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol and for those of us in the Philadelphia area, the infamous Uncle Ed.

My favorite quote from the show: ”Even Divine had his limits. The first time he met Richard Simmons he felt homophobic.” This is a must-see.

I Love Your Work ~ Does Giovanni Ribasi ever not put in an Oscar caliber performance? And does Jason Lee almost always shine in roles with just a touch of creepy in them? These two are just a couple from the superior cast that make this very slick piece on stalking, paparazzi, and the dark side of Hollywood such a great film. What it lacks in story and character it more than makes up for in brilliant direction and cinematography. I Love Your Work was co-written and directed by Adam Goldberg, of Hebrew Hammer fame, and is recommended.

The Other Side of the New Bionic Woman

I promised more on the new Bionic Woman, or more specifically on the crap going on behind the scenes. Here we go.

It’s not just a matter of a show that worked before but the new innovators choosing to ignore what made the original successful. Not that that helps. No matter how you slice it, the original series was very successful, some say better than “The Six Million Dollar Man” from which it spun off from. Not only did it outlast it but in my opinion had more memorable episodes. Remember the fembots? How about the Alex 7000? The show even won an Emmy, where her male counterpart never did. And of course it never had the controversy this new version has had.

Let’s start easy. There have been at least three pilots. One is good. Two is not bad, if the network has decided that changes in cast or plot should be made. But three? That’s a bit odd, especially considering rumor stated that this series which was developed for the SciFi Channel was so good it should be kicked upstairs to NBC. If it was sooo good, why change it?

Now let’s get deeper. The character of the Bionic Woman is iconic, especially in the gay community. It would seem, that along with fans of the original series this makes for a large starting fanbase, something needed if the series is indeed as different as it is. Why then, would you try to alienate that community?

Enter Isiah Washington:

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=621886

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090700719.html

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2007/09/will_the_gays_love_bionic_woma.html

And that’s just the tip of that iceberg. Suffice it to say that all of these elements plus what I consider to be a crappy pilot that I saw add up to a big zero for this one. I might be proved wrong, but I won’t be watching.

Feedback Vs. MegaSnake

The SciFi Channel has a rather dubious reputation for their made-for-TV Saturday night movies. They are just not that good, sometimes even laughingly bad. But then again, compared to the average episode of the now-canceled “Painkiller Jane” or the new (and in name only) “Flash Gordon,” they’re pretty good, and they also keep folks like Casper van Dien and Colin Ferguson employed.

Now normally I avoid these movies just as I would avoid the aforementioned “Jane” and “Flash,” but this past weekend’s offering, MegaSnake, advertised something of interest – Feedback. The wife and I are huge fans of the SciFi series “Who Wants to be a Superhero,” so much so that the Bride even tried out for the show. Naturally, seeing a movie that reputedly featured Feedback, Matthew Atherton, the winner of that series’ first season held interest, so we taped it for viewing last night.

To quote Joseph Conrad, “The horror… the horror…”

Not only was this the same old giant snake crap one could see almost any other Saturday night on SciFi but Feedback was only in this thing maybe three minutes tops. I think honestly he was in the commercials advertising this dog during any hour the previous week than he was in the whole movie. He had five lines. He showed the kids about electricity, said his tagline, poked the giant snake with a stick and then helped the kids get away. And then he ran away, never to be seen again.

In MegaSnake, Feedback is a superhero the same way Sir Robin is a knight.

Wow. I’m not getting these two hours back. And I’m never going to trust advertising on the SciFi Channel ever again.

Speaking of trust, I certainly hope this wasn’t the movie Feedback was promised as part of his prize for “Who Wants to be a Superhero.” On “Survivor” the winner gets a million bucks, on “Big Brother” it’s half a million, but the prize for winning “Superhero” is the winner’s own comic book from Dark Horse Comics and a movie on SciFi. Man, I hope MegaSnake‘s not it. If it is, Matthew, Comic Widows has a great attorney who’d love to talk with you.