The SyFy Channel, not content with their disastrous reworking of The Wizard of Oz a few years back, produced an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland late last year. Alice was a little better than Tin Man (it was hard not to be), but fairy-tale fans weren’t exactly clamoring at the gates for more bizarre SyFy adaptations.
Luckily, the network’s plan to churn out unintentional comedy continues unabated, and fans of timeless artistry will rejoice knowing that SyFy will produce a series of fairy-tale adaptations as movies of the week.
Below the cut, we look ahead to what I am pretty sure will be some of the best movies ever released in the history of cinema.
First up on the chopping block, Beauty and the Beast:
Starring Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes), Beauty and the Beast is not the traditional Disney fairy tale. In this gritty celebration of Valentine’s Day, a young Beauty (Warren) with a gift for healing helps a deformed Prince (Rhett Gilles, Wraiths of Roanoke) regain his throne and defeat the ruthless nobleman who wants to be kingand then together they try to destroy a power-hungry witch.
A few things of note:
1) Estella Warren. When you think “leading lady,” you think, “Man, did I ever enjoy that wooden, boring girl from Planet of the Apes.”
2) That is a pound of plot in a six-ounce box.
3) I’ll bet you a dollar the witch turns into a dragon and/or raptor.
In theory, what they’re doing with this series is clever; public-domain stories with well-known plots that have enough of a draw to get people to tune in without worrying about losing anyone in the exposition. Bonus: updating most of them to the modern-day shrinks the budget handily and avoids the pitfalls of having to find an actor who can handle period dialogue (assuming there is any, which, based on past evidence, is optimistic).
Some of the offerings SyFy has lined up have the sort of pulpy promise that viewers have come to expect from the network that brought them Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. An update of The Voyage of Sinbad makes sense (the more CGI minotaurs the merrier!), and turning Aladdin’s tale into a face-off with an evil genie, while it takes some serious liberties with the original, sounds like par for the SyFy course.
And then we hit some of the other loglines:
Red: A young woman who is a descendant of the real Little Red Riding Hood brings her fiancé home, where he meets the family and learns about their businesshunting werewolves. He’s skeptical until bitten by a werewolf. When her family insists he must be killed, Red tries saving him.
Hansel: Twenty years after his encounter with the witch, a grown-up Hansel returns to the haunted forest, seeking revenge. But there’s a surprise waitinghis sister Gretel (who he thought had been killed) is the witch’s protégée.
…I’ll bet you a dollar Gretel turns into a dragon and/or mega shark.
There’s no point in asking how we think these will turn out (I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that). The real question is: Do we need a drinking game for these? *
* I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that.
Genevieve is going to be front and center for all of these masterpieces. She writes about other cinema classics on her blog.