Tonight is the event of the summer — or at least that’s what the Syfy network would have you believe. At 9 pm EST, Syfy will premiere the highly anticipated (read: heavily promoted) sequel to last summer’s surprise success: Sharknado. Though movie buffs (and generally everyone) thought Sharknado would be just another silly, campy, b-movie from the science fiction-themed network, it ended up taking social media by storm. On the night it premiered, Sharknado quickly became a trending topic on Twitter and users were generating 5,000 tweets per minute. Additionally, although Sharknado showed to a very modest viewership on its first night (1.4 million audience members), each time Syfy re-aired the b-movie, the number of people watching increased.
With the sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, premiering tonight, the question on everyone’s — or, at least, my — mind is whether it will live up to its predecessor. From the trailers, it appears The Second One will offer more campy moments, more ridiculous science, and more hilarious lines of dialogue that are a common theme among sci-fi b-movies — they’re also a huge reason why I love this type of movie.
Although Sharknado and it’s followup arguably may be the most infamous science fiction b-movies of our time, they’re certainly not the only ones out there. If you scroll down to the bottom of the sci-fi/fantasy section on Netflix, you’re sure to find plenty of interesting titles — Metal Tornado, Arctic Blast, and Super Cyclone, just to name a few. These movies offer a fun experience for fans (both casual and diehard) of science fiction. Not convinced? I’ve got a few more reasons to love sci-fi b-movies.
Good for Background Noise
Sure, opinions on second screen usage during movies can be quite contentious. But, the great thing about b-movies is that you won’t miss huge plot points, symbolic film shots, or important character development by getting lost in an IMDB black hole trying to figure out what else you’ve seen that background character in. If you miss a huge chunk of the movie, you don’t have to rewind it — or, if it’s on TV, you won’t be too confused. Additionally, if you like having some background noise while you work and prefer the TV to music, b-movies are perfect.
No where else in any other genre will you find a movie titled Nazis at the Center of the Earth or Zombeavers (okay, not technically sci-fi) or Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Of course, the creativity in these stories generally only extends to combining two things (zombies and beavers, for example) no one else had thought to fuse. While that might not be exciting — unless you really always wanted to watch Santa fight aliens — it’s certainly different from watching yet another Katherine Heigl romcom or another action movie in which well-known stars team up. The b-movie may not have the same quality special effects, but at least it’s something new.
Fewer Expectations, More Fun
Everyone has had at least one movie ruined in their life because they had read too many good reviews or too many people had hyped it up too much. (For me, this happened with Napoleon Dynamite and Juno.) But, with sci-fi b-movies, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in to. It’s going to be roughly 90 minutes of ridiculous dialogue, questionable-at-best science, and some cheap CGI effects. With lower expectations going in, you open yourself up to having more fun during the movie.
Perfect for Movie Nights & Drinking Games
If your friends love sci-fi b-movies (or even if they don’t), this type of film is perfect for a big group movie night. For all the reasons listed above, b-movies are a good pick to please a group since those who are interested will be entertained and those who don’t want to watch can keep up a conversation without distracting everyone else.
Plus, there are so many recurring tropes within sci-fi b-movies that creating a drinking game isn’t too difficult. Here’s one I wrote up for myself and my friends:
Whether you love or hate the Sharknado movies, it has to be said, there’s just something about sci-fi b-movies that you can’t find anywhere else. Whether that’s groan-worthy dialogue, headache-inducing special effects, or the basis of a fun movie night is up to each individual. But, personally, I can’t get enough of them.