When I’m talking to community groups about television, and someone says “there’s nothing good to watch,” I remind them of all of the educational and cultural programs available.
But I guess it’s time for a true confession: There’s something to be said for creature features.
I’m not talking here about the Japanese giant monster films or the classic Universal Studio movies like “Frankenstein” and “Dracula.”
No, I’m thinking about the modern creature films that show up late at night on cable television.
If you haven’t seen the movies about giant piranha, hybrid octopus-sharks, over-grown alligators or tornadoes filled with sharks, well, you need to watch at least one.
In fact, my wife and I often make a game of it. First, you have to figure out if the monster is the result of nuclear testing, environmental mismanagement or simply nature gone wrong.
Then, how many people are going to die in the first five minutes?
And will the deaths include the good looking high school student, the drifter or the blue collar worker.
Now comes the tricky part.
There is always a broken family or a dysfunctional social group or a dissatisfied worker.
So, how long will it be before the separated family members get into a fight, but then get back together?
In the social group, will the two nerdy characters get together at the end, or will one get devoured and the other get the class president?
And in every case, you’ll see that some characters have a big “V” on their foreheads.
That stands for “victim.”
But, here’s something that’s really strange: when SyFy’s creature feature “Sharknado” first aired last month, it got some of the lowest ratings in network history.
Then, when it was shown for the third time, it somehow managed to get some of the highest ratings.
In fact, there is talk the movie will be given limited theatrical release.
So as bad as creature features may be, you can’t argue with success.