Saturday night we returned to a simpler time, the time of Snakehead Terror. We enjoyed this gem when it debuted on SyFy (nee SciFi) in 2004. Would we enjoy it the second time around, nearly 10 years later?

Yes.

This classic made-for-TV craptacular featured Bruce Boxleitner’s carefree feathered mane as the sheriff and supermodel-turned-actress Carol Alt as the wildlife biologist determined to save us all from the Terror Of Snakeheads.

Bonus: it was set in our neck of the woods.

Downside: we really have snakehead terror. That’s why it’s set in our neck of the woods.

Snakehead fish“Snakehead Fish” photo of SFU biology grad student Michael Beakesis copyright (c) 2012 by Simon Fraser University Public Affairs and made available under a Creative Commons license.

Simon Fraser University, being in Canada, isn’t in our neck of the woods, but that photo is both awesome and available on flickr. Since this movie was clearly shot in Canada and not the Mid-Atlantic, and both it and this blog are low-budget enterprises, that seems appropriate. (Unlike syfy, this blog is not a profit-seeking entity and use of that photo doesn’t mean SFU condones anything in this post).

Trivia: 12 of the 15 actors credited on the Snakehead Terror IMDB page have appeared in an episode of Supernatural (even William B. Davis, the cigarette smoking man from the X-Files).

An interesting thing about this movie (no, really, this is interesting) is how much more strictly the old Saturday Night Craptaculars adhered to a (slightly) more sophisticated B movie aesthetic. The filmmakers could display a small bit of flare that suggested they do in fact possess a basic level of competence even if the budget doesn’t allow them the time or financing to truly display it. Decent editing. No extended day-for-night scenes. A few extra minutes clearly used to set the key and fill lights properly (and/or to actually use a 3 point lighting set up). Actors mostly hitting their marks. A modicum of wardrobe continuity.

B-movies have never been slick or glitzy (if they were they wouldn’t be B-movies), but Bruce Boxleitner’s hair doesn’t style itself and someone had to teach Carol Alt how to convincingly pronounce all those biologist words.

No, really, she’s convincing. As a biologist, maybe not as an action-movie actress.

Trivia: I’m fairly certain there is a jar of pickled snakehead in our refrigerator. I’m quite certain Husband should think carefully before he considers feeding it to me.

We still haven’t visited the Calvert Marine Museum’s invasive species exhibit, Eco Invaders.

I was going to post more about the movie, but I’ve gotten distracted by the fact that Bad Company is back together and touring and they’re playing at the Calvert Marine Museum, which just seems weird on all kinds of levels. Maybe it’s a really nice venue. I understand the museum is nice, but it’s a small museum far outside any metropolitan area, so the announcement immediately brought this to mind:

But hey, since Bad Company has figured prominently on Supernatural a few times, it seems only appropriate to mention it here. I’m on my first cup of coffee so it makes perfect sense to me.

I’ve been thinking I was overdue for a snakehead post, and surprised to see it’s been over a year since they last made an appearance here. Too bad that isn’t the case the Potomac river and it’s tributaries haven’t been so lucky, as evidenced by the recent discover of two adult snakeheads and 165 babies. In a puddle.

Damn.

I’ve been thinking about snakeheads lately, though, having recently caught the tail-end of the SciFi opus, Snakehead Terror. I love the part where they break into the house and march up the stairs. Or is it down the stairs? I’m always laughing too hard and never remember exactly. The real snakehead situation? No laughing matter.

DelRaySteve brought the Return of Snakehead to my attention last night.

A Creepy Catch of The Day

The snakehead fish, a voracious Asian invader that’s been known to breathe out of water and scoot short distances over land, has reappeared in Maryland, state authorities announced yesterday.

A 19-inch northern snakehead was caught Monday at a lake in Wheaton Regional Park — the first appearance of the toothy green fish in the area since 2002, when the state of Maryland had to poison a pond in Crofton to prevent snakeheads there from wiggling away.

[read the rest of the article]

So is this technically the Return of Snakehead or is it Snakehead: the sequel? We don’t know the sex of the fish yet so we can’t properly call it Son of Snakehead. Plus the article says this particular snakehead is 4 years old and the last snakehead hooha in Maryland was in 2002, and this is a different body of water, so the odds of it being the spawn on one of the last snakeheads to terrorize us are pretty slim. Really it’s a copycat snakehead or maybe it’s…Maybe I need to stop thinking about this and go back to bed.

I think the final answer is: I need to stop watching B-horror movies for a while.

The Washington Post has some utterly hysterical pictures of the snakehead, and this little featurette in the Style section:

Panic Alert: Snakehead Spotted!

A northern snakehead, the fearsome fish-beast that can breathe air and walk on land, has turned up in Wheaton. It was last seen two years ago in a backwoods pond in Anne Arundel County, and authorities could not say yesterday whether traffic on Route 50 was responsible for the delay in the creature’s reaching its current location. But we’re confident the following will soon occur:

ï Montgomery County schools will close.

ï The start of the intercounty connector will be delayed another two years.

ï Trash cans will be removed from all playgrounds within a five-mile radius to encourage better table manners in the voracious species.

ï County Democrats will blame Gov. Bob Ehrlich for insufficient attention to the environment.

ï Ehrlich will blame the Democrats for not approving slots.

ï Snakeheads will manage to board the Red Line but will be unable to find a seat.

ï Bumper stickers reading “Snakeheads Have Rights Too” will be spotted in Takoma Park.

ï Fifty people — most of them with graduate degrees — will write letters to The Post’s ombudsman denouncing Style for making light of this grave threat to our health and well-being.

— Steve Reiss

That’s really the most astute reporting I’ve seen in the Post in a while, come to think of it.

I copied and pasted the whole thing because it wasn’t very long and the registration requirements on the Post site are pretty annoying. It is worth visiting the site to see all the funny pictures, however, especially the one on the front page.

You notice the snakehead chose to reveal himself at exactly the right moment to deflect our attention from the 9/11 commission and the increasing mess in Iraq. Coincidence? Or is the snakehead playing partisan politics? Maybe this thing is even more dangerous than we thought….

I’m confused. Is CSI: Miami supposed to be a parody of CSI? Not that CSI isn’t already a bit of a parody of itself. Maybe I’m the only one not in on this little joke.

There are definately times when I don’t regret having much time to watch TV.

On an unrelated note, why is anyone surprised that someone is selling t-shirts that say “Virginia is for snipers” – did we not see this coming? T-shirt’s message: one strong opinion (from the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

A sign on the rack reads:

“Our sniper T-shirt will show the world what you think. Don’t be a hostage to fear; pump gas, shop, and do what you want – the odds are on your side. (And, if you do happen to be the unlucky person in his scope, our shirt will encourage a less dangerous body hit – instead of his preferred head shot.)”

It’s not a very long article, but worth reading in it’s entirety if only to reassure you that the human race is every bit as stupid as you’ve always suspected.

I believe that this is my favorite part:

“That little play on ‘Virginia is for Lovers,’ that’s what catches people’s eye,” Lindberg said. “It sounds a little more positive toward the sniper than I had intended, but it was so catchy I just went with it.”

I’m not sure what this guy was thinking, but even more so I’m not sure what the people who bought the shirts were thinking.

Jesusmaryandjoseph how I miss the snakefish. Remember way back when, when all we had to worry about was being flayed and devoured alive by mutant snakehead fish?

Those were happier times, weren’t they?

Incidentally, I heard on the news the other day that thanks to the sniper we’ve all lost our innocence.