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Mega-Marathon Blogfest! Mega Live!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and other children of all ages, the time is at last upon us, the day we faithfully Committed have been anticipating like a month of Christmases:

Go ahead and get your TV nice and warmed up, because over the next six hours it's nothing but Asylum mega-flicks on SyFy - Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Mega Piranha and the world television premiere of Mega Python vs. Gatoroid - and I'm gonna be prattling off live, right here, for the whole freakin' thing. I'm joined today by my lovely wife who has patiently agreed to sit near me while I geek out in such a mega fashion, and she even let me get her a t-shirt for the festivities.

So welcome! We got food, drinks, commentary, photo updates and live observation notes of the main event. I'll update this same post with a time stamp every time I leave a new comment, so just refresh your browser and scroll down for the latest shenanigans. And don't let me do all the talking! I'll be checking the comment boards live as well, so if you guys wanna chime in, add your own commentary or tear me a new one, go for it! We're all in this together! 

First up, the movie that started the mega craze, the movie with a top-ten most Googled trailer of 2009 (arguably the biggest spectacle year in Hollywood's history between District 9, Avatar, Star Trek, Up, 2012 and installments of the Transformers, Terminator, Harry Potter and Twilight franchises), the movie that turned an unknown megalodon into a household name:

  Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

5:01PM Ah, MSvGO. This will be the fifth time I've seen the film, and I swear each time it gets better. Gotta love the lengthy, elegiac opening. Beautiful shots, though. Lots of Asylum flicks open with these sweeping topographical montages. 100 Million BC, Dragon,  to name two.

Debbie's right..."there is poetry here." 

5:06PM Shout out to Jonathan Nation, the guy behind Debbie playing Vince. This guy is one of the most versatile supporting actors The Asylum has. He can play anybody, really. Check out his filmography

5:13PM I will never ever ever tire of watching Debbie Gibson swill liquor from a brown paper bag. It's like most other pop stars of her era these days. 

5:15PM First commercial, time for appetizers...

We got chips (shaped like shark teeth) and salsa con queso (cuz cheese rocks), a mega tub of cheese balls that I swear was a gift (which might say worse things about me than if I had purchased them myself) and jumbo shrimp. Yup. Jumbo shrimp. One could almost call them, by shrimp standards...mega. Oh yeah, I'm gonna be going there all night.

BTW...neat commercial about SyFy and IGN promoting the contest to help develop a SyFy original movie. If there's anyone actually following right now, tell me what you'd pitch.

5:22PM Still the BEST SHARK SCENE EVER!!! Shout out to Michael Parisi (if I have the right actor) for the one-scene performance in Asylum history!

5:29PM I've just decided, after seeing a couple commercials, I'll be doing a "bitch" count during MPvG, updating the stats at every commercial. Live blogging! Who knows what'll happen! 

5:34PM Check out the "do-me" eyes Debbie gives Vic upon their characters' first meeting. Steamy...

I often give some flack to these sorts of movies for over-explaining the scientific angle, but, and this just might be because I'm legitimately interested in sharks, but in this film these explanations, though copious, feel well-integrated and not at all forced or contrived.

5:38PM "What's that, a squid?"  (in disgruntled unison) "Octopus."  Ah, taxonomical humor, gets me every time. 

5:41PM Mega Shark, you sank my battleship! (couldn't resist) 

5:42PM Enter the Lamas...with a detainment camp joke...classy, Renegade. 

5:46PM Shout out to sonar tech (and Looney-nominee for Meteor Apocalypse) Cooper Harris.

5:52PM I am very stoked to learn Tiff and DG will be hosting premiere. My wife is excited to see Tiffany is wearing the same shirt as she.
5:56PM Still the MOST AWKWARD SEX SCENE EVER!!! And the quickest. And in the bluest broom closet. 

5:58PM DG to Vic: "I feel like we're just getting to know each other." After, you know, the broom closet sex. 

6:00PM Jet plane REJECTION by Giant Octopus. We need that guy on the Blazers. 

6:12PM Cocktail time! First up, a cocktail of my own creation, never-before tried, including by me, a little drink I'm calling The Electric Youth, in honor of the song by Ms. Gibson. Pour a couple fingers of vodka over ice, twice as much Mike's Hard Lemonade for that electric glow, then fill with soda. I'll give you the verdict in the minute. 

6:13PM Not bad. A refreshing citrusy libation to carry us warmly into act three.

6:16PM For me, the shark biting the Golden Gate Bridge will always be the quintessential Asylum image. There's a savage artistry to it that makes me smile every time. Nice work, Tiny Juggernaut. 

6:23PM I've decided that next Halloween I'm going as the guy in sunglasses holding the machine gun behind Vic Chao during the teleconference from Tokyo. Something about him just oozes badass. I think the actor is Conrad Lihilihi, whose only other credit is an episode of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Awesome. 

6:32PM "I still think about that night a lot." "Me too." "Every time I sweep up."   Ewwwwwwww. 

6:42PM Matt Lagan bellows a good order. 

6:49PM You're with us in spirit, Mr. Gable!  

6:55PM The shaking submarine scenes, as explained in the making-of featurette, worked off the old Star Trek method of shaking the camera while the performers sway to make it extra discombobulating. 

6:59PM Oh, man, sweet climax. This was the real Clash of the Titans. Farewell valiant Giant Octopus, and as for you Mega Shark, well, perhaps the next mega-marathon will feature your further exploits. And you, Ms. Gibson, we're two short hours away from catching up with you. But for now, we'll happily content ourselves with your "nemesis" and the next mega-marathon feature... 

Mega Piranha

7:01PM I've never actually seen this on TV...I wonder if it'll make sense without the boobs.
Mega Piranha was written and directed, of course, by Eric Forsberg, whose next Asylum project is the screenplay for  Almighty Thor.

7:04PM That's Mr. Forsberg there as the ambassador. 

7:06PM Enter the Brady. And the muscles that comprise Paul Logan

7:08PM And there's a pair of Looney-nominees, the lovely Tiffany and the impassioned Jude Gerard-Prest. Love the vests on both of them.

7:17PM Pizza's here! Naturally, I went with the biggest pie I could find, which at the moment is Pizza Hut's Big Dipper, basically just a doormat of cheesy bread with toppings and copious amounts of sweetened marinara for dipping. Only in America.

7:24PM I'm a big fan of the piranha effects here. To me, they have more personality than the ones in Piranha 3D. But, by and large, didn't care for Piranha 3D. Felt like the schmoes who made Epic, Date, Disaster, Superhero Movie etc. decided to do a send up of killer fish movies.

7:37PM When I say Barry Williams phoned this one in, it isn't the insult it usually is: so far every time he's been on screen he's been in a dimly lit environment talking into his phone. Nice work if you can get it.

7:48PM Another favorite moment of mine in this one is when Jude G-P has to be held back from rushing into the water to save the enemy soldier. The things he does with his hands are truly amazing.

7:51PM And for a scientist, G-P's character holds up remarkably well under torture.

7:54PM I loooooove the scenes of the kamikaze piranha launching themselves into buildings! This is one of the greatest action sequences in The Asylum's repertoire: between the great aerial footage, the CGI explosions and smoke, the shocking death of G-P, the screaming fit by Tiffany that ends with, "I just want to kill them all," and, of course, the piranha kick-assault by Paul Logan. Kudos, Mr. Forsberg.

8:00PM Thanks for following Jeff! We'll keep you apprised of all the good stuff, without giving too much away! 

8:07PM The next cocktail on the menu I'm calling a cherry bomb, for no reason. Remember, I'm a blogger, not a mixologist. Vodka to your liking, topped with cranberry juice and a splash of soda for carbonation, then a drizzle of grenadine for that extra flavor. Its a drink as sweet as Tiffany's voice.

8:15PM I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but Paul Logan has the best run in The Asylum: so confident, so determined, so angry. I saw that coming at me, I'd give up on the spot.

8:23PM Some men, when attempting to ambush armed soldiers, will rely on stealth, secrecy, and silence. Paul Logan's not some men; he wants to take some dudes out, he's gonna run right up and punch 'em.  

8:30PM Lauren - of course we still have the cheese balls, there are thousands of them!

8:31PM Cooper Harris, back on sonar.

8:43PM Some badass prop weapons they got in this. Wonder if Barry Bostwick made them.

8:45PM Reporter bites it! (or rather, get bitten)

8:47PM Damn I love the FX in this. They may not be the most realistic, but when dealing with piranha the size of minivans, realism isn't so important to me. The FX are, however, convincing enough, vicious enough, and a helluva lot of fun.

8:51PM "You're fish food" cracks me up every time, and then...BOOM! Chopper grab! What a one-two punch of screenwriting!

8:59PM Whew, another doozy. Mega Piranha gets it all right, from story to acting to FX and direction, this is just a perfect example of an Asylum film. No wonder it's so beloved. My only cringe came with the awkward, almost-inexplicable kiss between Tiffany and Paul Logan. Even upon multiple viewings, the love story in this I still don't see. But as exciting as seeing that again was, as exciting as the whole evening's been, it's all only been but a precursor to the moment we now find ourselves on the threshold of, the world television (west cast) premiere of easily the most anticipated film of the year...

Mega Python vs Gatoroid (!!!!!)

Man, this is some awesome stuff. Now, these are observation notes, my review of the film, but don't worry, I won't spoil it, promise. 

There are the ladies - both looking fabulous - and here comes the flick. Hold on! 

9:02PM Oh jeez. I think I've mentioned a time or two how scared I am of snakes, like really, really scared. Fake ones I can handle, but those there, those are very, very real.

On the plus side, DG's character is already proving herself to be a badass. Debbie fits that personality well; she's quite believable as a over-confident bitch. And I swear, that's a compliment.

Oh jeez, so many real snakes. Not cool.

9:05PM MPvG was written by Naomi Selfman, the same brilliant pen behind MSvC, so you know she knows her mega movies. 

Ooh, ooh, there's TIffany! And wow, one scene in and you can already sense how she's grown as an actress. She's less stiff, more even with her delivery, just generally more at ease.

9:09PM Hillbillies, apparently, despite being largely racist, have a penchant for mail order brides. I'm learning already.

So the basic gist is this: Debbie's a fanatic animal rights activist who frees a bunch of snakes from a lab and lets them go in the Everglades. Not an indigenous species, the naturally F-up the ecosystem, specifically the endangered alligator population. Tiffany is a gator-lovin' local sheriff. That's about as far as we've gotten.

9:14PM That's Carey Van Dyke playing Tiffany's fiance Justin. He's Barry's son and Shane's brother, and here exudes a casual confidence, a typical small town tough guy with a heart of gold. And Kathryn Johnson as Tiff's sister-in-law-enforcement is always a welcome addition to any cast.

Shh...first scene with Tiff and DG face to face; it's like Heat, but not a letdown. 

9:18PM First commercial. Bitch count: 3

So far this is pretty fun, it's light-hearted but not in a self-aware sense, rather just adopting not a lighter, but a less serious tone. When films like this feature military or political characters at their center, they tend to be heavier, more stern; but in instances like this, where it's regular people at the heart of the story - that is, people not trained to handle extreme situations - there's a more coloquial feel to things that I personally enjoy. I mean, I expect people with access to nuclear weapons to be able to handle most anything. It's when extreme stuff happens to normal people that I find the most to enjoy, and so far this film seems to be of that frame of mind.

9:26PM Kevin M. Horton as the younger deputy is turning out to be a notable member of the ensemble. I wouldn't call him comic relief, necessarily, but he is a light spot, and fun to watch.

9:29PM Man, like I said above, usually fake snakes don't mess with me, but these - are there are a lot of them - are pretty good, FX-wise, which is to say, I don't like them one bit. They are not skimping on the "mega" part of "mega python." I am not going to sleep well tonight at all. 

9:31PM Tiffany's rage-acting has gotten much, much better. 

Second commercial. Bitch count: 5

9:37PM Whoever just googled "Debbie Gibson feet pics" and got my blog, gross, and sorry for not having any pics. 

9:40PM "We need a bigger gator!" Uh-oh... 

9:42PM Just a note to say that this film has a unique look to it, that is, unique for Asylum films. It looks crisper, the action is smaller-scale (you know, local destruction instead of global) but sharper. Could be due to a bigger budget, or could be do that I'm seeing it for the first time on TV. Either way, Ms. Lambert's crafting herself a fine film here.

Oh, and it looks like - not a big spoiler here - whatever Gatoroid is, he's going to be steroid-induced.

9:47PM Enter the A. (Martinez) He's a steely herpetologist with a great peppered James-Hetfield-mustache who drops the bomb that the pythons are getting more mega. But they're not the only ones...

And...wait...a minute...Debbie Gibson pop song...metabolic PYTHON vs GATOROID!!!

9:52PM Yo...Gatoroid is well worth the wait. Looks better than Supercroc, more believable than Crocosaurus (sometimes big is too big. that's what she...nevermind). And apparently the term "gatoroid," like "python" here, stays the same whether referring to a singular or plural of the species. Awesome. 

9:57PM Another commercial. Bitch count still at 5. Here at the halfway point, I have to say I'm pretty pleased: the story's lively and moving along at a good pace, the acting is great across the board, both leads have come a long way from their previous mega-roles, and the FX so far have been pretty f'ing rad. And I got a feeling the best stuff is still to come. They keep mentioning a monkey...

10:03PM That bearded hillbilly fella, Kaiwi Lyman, who also appeared in MSvC, has an uncredited role in the Hollywood Thor as a viking. Nice to see a fellow beardo getting work. 

Ooh...cocktail party! Which can only mean there's a catifght looming. And...oh god...not monkey, Monkee. Mickey Dolenz. Hilarious that even though I knew he was in this, the way the story approached it, I was totally suckered off-guard. Nicely done, Ms. Selfman. Mickey looks good, by the way, and still has those acting chops.

10:12PM Oh yeah...I made desert:

That, my friends, is a two-pound rice krispie treat I frosted myself. That's the kind of time and weird devotion I have.

10:15PM Tiffany's sonic contribution, "Serpentine," is getting its air play. That song's actually growing on me. 

10:17PM And it's on now...CATFIGHT!!!

Honestly, the chemistry between these two, as rivals, is great. And I know they're all good for real, but they really seem to bring out the bitch in each other in the best possible way. Whatever camp value people attached to this because of the leads, fine, but from here on out, I don't think - within the genre, at least - these two have to be thought of as singers first. I don't know if TV movies are eligible, but this scene should definitely go up for Best Fight at the MTV Movie Awards. Make an exception; it's worth it. And the music that accompanies said fight? Hilariously appropriate.

10:18PM Everyone in Florida is armed! 

10:26PM Commerical. Bitch count: 7

Getting down to the home stretch here, the last half hour, act three, and I have to say that thus far I've been nothing but impressed. This is just good fun, thrilling and violent, light on its feet and packed with humor, horror, camp and a slight tough of self-awareness that has yet to feel contrived or overdone. It is what it promised to be: a helluva enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night.

10:30PM Now the terror goes metropolitan...nice. All this was missing was explosions.


10:44PM Being extra careful now in this last bit not to give anything away. The FX are still great; the more I see - and there's a lot to see - the more I like. The snakes will be slithering in my nightmares for sure, and the gators are massive terrors. How they stack up to Supercroc and Crocosaurus is a guaranteed creature feature post sometime in the near, near future. 

10:51PM If there's anyone actually watching along with me, I hope you're having as much fun as I am...two words are coming to mind: Cult Classic

11:02PM Wow. That's really all I can say in the moment: wow. I'm pretty spent from all this, emotionally frazzled, you could say, and I want to give the film 24 hours to marinate in my mind before I post my overall thoughts, but for now, in the moment, I'm pleased. Everything I said I liked above was well-supported by an exciting and dynamic climax. In the moment, I liked it better than MSvC, and you guys know how much I liked that one. Check back on Monday for my final thoughts and hopefully some ratings info that puts viewership tonight over 2.5 million, the current record, held by - ick - Sharktopus. I'm predicting 2.8. We'll see. Anywho, thanks for indulging me, if you did, and following this insane whim. Who knows? Maybe we'll get the chance to do this again in March when Battle of Los Angeles gets its SyFy premiere. Okay guys, sweet dreams, thanks for tuning in, and as always, stay committed!

P.S. final bitch count: 8 



  1. I wish I could be with you right now. And I wish I had cable. This night is amazing!

  2. Man, you are one devoted S.O.B. Heh-heh! You're wife is certainly a good sport...although you should've hooked her up with Team Debbie as opposed to Team Tiffany but that's just my opinion! Rock on and enjoy the marathon, bro!

  3. I too don't have cable, so I can't participate, but I am keeping up to date with your live-blooging, so keep it up :)

  4. i can't believe you still have those cheese balls!

  5. I'm on eastern time, so I can't follow along, but this is a fun read. I look forward to your take on MPvG!

  6. After I posted on this post me and my fiance went to a party. As soon as I got there, everyone was watching True Blood and I'm like, "WHY THE HELL AREN'T WE WATCHING MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID??"

    But they don't have cable either. But I forced there hand into watching Evil Dead 2, so the night was not a complete waste.

  7. Wow! Now that I've seen it, I'm blown away. It felt awfully mushy in the middle, where we got scene after scene of Tiffany in her office and Debbie in her office, but the whole third act came together in payoff after payoff in a highly satisfying way. Great fun!

    I'll be releasing my running commentary for it on my site before too long....

  8. Ah man that was freakin funny. (the blogpost)

    What made it perfect were the pics: The (dare I say it after seeing the tub o'cheese balls)Cheesy grin on your face, the look in your wife's eyes that said, "Yes I married him and YES I have to put up with him" (Such a great sport for her to watch with you. Can't say she doesnt love ya).

    Havent watched the film yet, I recorded it to watch later, but considering I'm just now watching things I recorded in July!! It's gonna take me a bit to get to it.

    Anyway. Just wanted to let you know that this was probably your best blog, the running commentary and comments on your visitor's status just put it over the top.

    Hope you do this again sometime

  9. Wow was this ever a fun read!

    Thanks for sharing your minute by minute journey through these classics. ;)

    I recently started a new series of podcasts titled 'Saturday B Movie Reel' over at our "Tuning In To Scifi TV" site. I'll be covering the SyFy channel's Saturday original movies.

    If you're interested you can checkout our 'Mega Python vs Gatoroid' discussion here...