Why are most Sci-fi Chanel movies crap?

Anyone who has the Sci-fi channel and has watched it for a short amount of time is no doubt aware of their “Sci-fi orginal movies”, which usually premiere on Saturday night and with few exceptions, are complete crap.

There are good “originals” but they’re all commercial sci-fi movies that Sci-fi purchased the rights to. The non-commerical ones are low-budget b-movies…and while I can excuse that, they’re usally pretty bad. Most of them seem to fall into “Bad Vampire movies”. “Giant <insert animal/insect here> movies” “Killer Alien/Demon movies”.

If they really want to buy and show the cheap sci-fi movies, why not get some of those old movies from the 1950’s? “5 million years to earth” “Them!” “The day the earth stood still” “Invasion of the body snatchers” Hell, start showing MST3K at a decent hour if you can’t do that. After all, they bankrolled the last coupel seasons.

Crap, mispelled channel.

I can only guess that they think people are more interested in new crap than old quality. They might be right. I know I’ll pass over a good movie I’ve seen before, to watch something I realize has about a 90 percent chance of being awful.

But not those godawful Sc-iFi Channel movies. Sweet lord, it’s hard to imagine how they managed to make stuff so bad. Simple incompetence is not adequate to explain it; they must have people rarely skilled at purposely making things shitty on the payroll.

A while back I read an article about Scifi Network’s movie strategy. (I thought it was on Slate butI can’t find it) They have found that the top ratings getters are schlocky z-grade movies quickly churned out to capitalize on current issues. So right after the tsunami, there was probably a quicky killer tsunami movie out. Even tho’ it seems like reems of schlocky movies would drive away viewers, from a financial point of view, it works for them.

Sturgeon’s Law in action. 90% of Sci-Fi Original Movies are crap, because 90% of everything is crap.

Possibly this article from Wired magazine. Great read, I thought.

Yeah, basically it boils down to: more people watch the cheap, shlocky stuff than the more artistic, intelligent stuff from ‘serious’ SF talents.

This isn’t really a surprise. More people see summer-time action flicks than late-fall Oscar contenders, too. (Big generalization, I know, but there’s some truth in it.)


It’s always baffled me too, 'cause the Sci-fi channel’s been able to put together decent mini-series and series when they want to. And even the “schlocky stuff is popular” argument surprises me, though you guys have come up with cites. The bad Saturday night movies aren’t just bad they’re really bad. I can’t see anyone, no matter how low their expectations are, watching this crap. I’ve seen and enjoyed the Resident Evil movies, Underworld,and other schlock, so it’s not like I’m averse to cheesy entertainment, but the stuff Sci-fi puts out is so utterly unforgivably boring. How anyone can watch more than ten minutes of these movies without clicking on something far more exciting–Like C-SPAN–is beyond me.

But I LIKE Bruce Campbell! :smiley:

So do I, but I couldn’t sit through Alien Apocolypse.

Never even tried to watch any other of their original movies.

A quote from me:

The only thing keeping the Sci-Fi channel from having the worst original movies on Television is the fact that TBN insists on making movies.
I constantly let myself be fooled into watching these – oh, hey, I like Lou Diamond Phillips. Hey, I like Bruce Campbell. Oh, cool, John Ryes Davies.
Invariably awful–except awful isn’t nearly strong enough. They make that recent Poseidon Adventure look like high art.

ah, well, live and DON’T learn.

It’s the Sci-Fi channel. You want good stuff, you should avoid scifi, and get some real science fiction or fantasy. People who call it scifi either don’t know the field, or don’t care about it, or are not professionals in it. Possibly all three. I’ve watch some Sci-Fi Original Movies, and I haven’t yet recovered. I still want to cry when I think about what they did to LeGuin’s Earthsea.

I liked Return of the living dead 4&5.

Hated The Man with two Brains.

So imho, some are good, some aren’t.

Just the same with mainstream movies.

Who runs the Sci-Fi Channel, anyway? Are there any reputable SF writers in their creative divisions?

If you could direct me to the 10% that are not crap, I’d be most grateful.

Sci-Fi Channel movies are crap because the Sci-Fi Channel is crap.

Are you sure you don’t mean The Man With The Screaming Brain?

Personally, I liked The Man With Two Brains.

And I liked both Dune miniseries, although they totally screwed up Children of Dune in the last two episodes.

You are correct sir or ma’am. My bad.

You liked it??

What was to like about it?

Other than Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi? Nothing. Actually I couldn’t stand it. It was The Man With Two Brains which I liked. C’mon, Steve Martin as a brain surgeon? A cameo by Jeffery Combs? That shit was better than Ghandi . . . and not nearly as long.

I’ve found that the type of people who get bent out of shape over the use of sci-fi versus science fiction generally have a stick up their ass. It’s nice to know that we geeks can divide ourselves with inane distinctions just like everyone else though.


I liked Raptor Island and King Cobra. OK, I was laughing at King Cobra as much as watching it, but it was a fine 'b-movie adventure. What I can’t stand is all the faux disaster movies. An earthquake or a storm, no matter how big, is not SF.

Sooner or later, they’ll do a knockoff of Gor, and it’ll suck so bad God will wipe out millions of kittens. And then I won’t liked SciFi Channel moveis so much.