August 21, 2012
‘Jersey Shore Shark Attack’ (2012) and SyFy as Troma
When we got back from the Al Quds rally, I vegged out by watching Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012).
I thought it would be fun to watch the ginos I grew up with getting their legs bitten off, but annoyingly, the wops save the day.
Still, it had its moments. (They lure the sharks into a cove by throwing sportsbars in the water.)
And I thought, “This has got to be by the same people who made that Danny Bonaduce Bigfoot movie.”
I was right, and it looks like I’m really late to this party:
UPDATE: thanks to the reader who sent this in (NSFW)…
SyFy was behind both, along with the also-similar-looking/feeling Dinocroc vs Supergator, Megapython vs Gateroid -- but not, I was amazed to learn, MegaShark vs Giant Octopus OR Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, which are from a totally different bunch of people. Could’ve fooled me.
I’m too lazy to do all the cross referencing using IMDB but surely lots of the same people are involved in all these latter day B-movies, even though the production companies and distributors are different.
Anyway, that got me thinking about Troma and how much I hate them.
People used to say to me, “Kathy, if you like bad movies, you need to rent Surf Nazis Must Die” or some other Troma movie. I did, and these people are wrong.
From what I can make out Lloyd Kaufman and company intentionally set out to make bad movies.
They think this is what people like Ed Wood or Roger Corman or Russ Meyer did.
Those far superior set out to make really cheap movies really fast, but they did not try to make them horrible.
Ed Wood was trying to say something. Probably something stupid, but still. Frankly, I don’t see the difference between this:
And this allegedly deep and profound art film all the cool kids were raving about in 1982, except the Philip Glass score makes it hip:
You don’t hire talents like Jack Nicholson, Peter Bogdonovich and Martin Scorsese if you intentionally want to make a bad movie.
They think they can make the equivalent of Little Shop of Horrors by coming up with a funny, gimmicky title, skipping over the actual creativity, hard work and business smarts of your Corman or Meyer, then somehow still magically produce stuff on a par with their B-films.
The results speak for themselves.
Troma hasn’t made an OK film since Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town. Most of their stuff is unwatchable drek and, frankly, Kaufman seems like a creep.
SyFy (and its imitators) are pulling off what Troma’s being trying and failing to do for decades, and SyFy’s budgets are not big.
But it isn’t all about money, its about attitude.
When you begin with a cynical approach and try to cut corners on any recipe, the results speak for themselves.
This applies to anything you’re trying to pull off, especially things like “viral” videos and other publicity campaigns.
Simply mimicking the superficial aspects of successful models while skipping over the foundations that made them successful will always backfire.