“Half Fish. Half Snake. All Death.” So says the tagline (on the UK DVD) for the movie Piranhaconda (2012), the Syfy Channel‘s stunningly absurd (and unrelated) sequel to the equally ridiculous Sharktopus (2010). “Half Shark. Half Octopus. All Killer.” Clever, huh? Both movies were produced by old school B-movie maestro Roger Corman, whose filmography dates all the way back to the ’50s. However, more recently, he has unleashed, mostly for Syfy, Dinocroc (2004), Supergator (2007), Dinoshark (2010) and Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010). All classics!
Sharktopus was directed by Declan O’Brien and starred Julia’s estranged brother Eric Roberts, while Piranhaconda was directed by modern B-movie maestro Jim Wynorski and starred Mr. Blonde himself Michael Madsen and former supermodel and ex-Mrs. Rod Stewart Rachel Hunter. Declan O’Brien also directed no less than three Wrong Turn sequels: Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009), Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011) and Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (2012). Jim Wynorski directed Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010) as well as creature features such as Curse of the Komodo (2004), Komodo vs. Cobra (2005) and Camel Spiders (2011), among many other B-movie horror classics.
Sharktopus featured a genetically-engineered shark-octopus hybrid designed by the U.S. Navy for combat that escapes and heads to Puerto Vallarta to feast on bikini-clad beach babes. Piranhaconda, on the other hand, featured a freak of nature piranha-anaconda hybrid that just exists, unseen, in the expansive wilderness of the Hawaiian Islands until a scientist steals one of its eggs. Why does it exist? I don’t know. Why does the titular beast in Two-Headed Shark Attack (2012) exist? It just does. Anyway, both movies are bad, but Sharktopus is, well, a little less bad. However, both are intended to be bad and, as such, both are kind of fun to watch. Overacting, bad CGI, preposterous hybrid monsters, scantily-clad girls… What more do you need? Well, what about a cool surf-inspired theme song?
The Sharktopus theme song was written and recorded by New York garage rockers Cheetah Whores (whom I’ve already posted about here). The movie’s director Declan O’Brien is, actually, Cheetah Whores‘ singer Lizzy O’s uncle. “Sharktopus won’t be kept at bay / And you can never ever ever get away!” Lizzy O sings over a garage-rocking surf beat soaked with the sound of her sister Therese O’s distinctive lap steel. Their song “Hot Rod Hell Kitten” is also featured in the movie. Cool songs, awesome band, bad movie!
Now, the Piranhaconda theme song was, at first, mistakenly credited to Cheetah Whores by some websites (including IMDB.com), but, the song was actually written and recorded by 21-year-old guitarist/singer/songwriter Jasmin Poncelet. “I said lookout, lookout / I said lookout, lookout / Piranha-conda-ahh,” she sings over reverb-drenched surf guitar that drips with vintage authenticity. Her song, in fact, is the best part of the whole damn movie and luckily for you, my friends, it plays at the beginning of that celluloid disaster! Poncelet, who was born in Canada but raised in CA, is also in a band called The Universal Tone with Garrett Craig (guitar) and Biz Mckenzie (drums). They just finished recorded their debut EP Nebraska. They describe themselves as “Throwback Rock n Roll with a modern day influence.” Oh, and check out Jasmin’s smoking cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” by clicking here, then watching the embedded video [the song begins at the 2:27 mark]. It’s worth it.
Next up for Syfy is Crocodillo, slated for 2014, in which scientists genetically-engineer crocodile-armadillo hybrids to quell the overpopulation of rabid coyotes in the American Southwest. But, of course, plans go awry when PETA activists free the creatures who ball themselves up and roll into the nearby town, which is hosting a monster truck rally to boost their dying economy. Now, a hotshot monster truck driver (21 Jump Street and Booker‘s Richard Grieco) and a tough-as-nails local deputy (ex-Vixen drummer Roxy Petrucci) are forced to save the town by using the massive monster trucks to make roadkill of the marauding horde.
Until then, watch the Piranhaconda trailer (sans theme song) here: