5 Popular Movies and Their Obviously Superior Counterparts

#2. Dawn of the Dead

Laurel Group, Inc/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Many people consider George Romero's Dawn of the Dead to be the ultimate zombie movie, because those people tend to forget that Dawn of the Dead is intensely boring for most of its considerable runtime. Once the four main characters reach the mall, there is about an hour of downtime where absolutely nothing happens. For example, we are treated to an extended sequence in which the heroic Captain Hero serves Kurt Loder and Disdainful News Woman a romantic dinner in a Harry and David stock room for reasons that I have never been able to completely understand.

Laurel Group, Inc/Anchor Bay Entertainment
"Isn't it wonderful? In spite of all this horror, we still managed to make the only black person in the cast wait on us!"

Also, the characters do things that make no sense. Roger gets bitten while being a tragic dumbass because he was apparently seized by the spirit of Ragnarok and decided that his ancestors would not be satisfied unless his blood mixed with that of his rivals in the dirt of the Monroeville Mall. It is because of his inexcusable idiocy that he does not get a fancy nickname; he's just Roger.

Laurel Group, Inc/Anchor Bay Entertainment
Dammit, Roger.

The group of raiders that storm the mall at the end of the film make equally stupid decisions in rapid succession, the most legendary of which is the fatal error belonging to the Man in the Sombrero, who decides, in the middle of blood-jetting, tendon-fiddling bonemeat gore explosions of disturbingly orgiastic proportions, to sit himself down in a sea of pawing hunger ghouls to stick his arm into the cuff of one of those "check your blood pressure" machines that my mom made me sit in while she was collecting prescriptions and store-brand potato chips at Walmart.

Laurel Group, Inc/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Unsurprisingly, the zombies eat him immediately, tearing his arm theatrically from his shoulder as he shrieks out a torrent of hysterical death giggles.

Laurel Group, Inc/Anchor Bay Entertainment
It will forever be known as The Day the Sombrero Was Silenced.

The Objectively Superior Counterpart: Dead Alive

WingNut Films/Trimark Pictures

Dead Alive (or Braindead, as it was originally titled) is quite possibly the only hyperviolent Vaudevillian comedy I have ever seen wherein a zombie baby in a sailor-striped onesie rips his way out of a woman's head like Hulkamania running wild on a banana-yellow muscle shirt.

WingNut Films/Trimark Pictures
This is but one of a dozen times something like this happens.

It's also one of Peter Jackson's first movies. In it, the most terrible old woman to have ever existed gets bitten by an evil rat-headed monkey, whose saliva transforms her into the bloated queen of zombies. Her son Lionel manages to keep her corpseified stench bag trapped in the house with the cunning use of pratfalls and physical comedy, but she steadily turns the entire town into a legion of undead people-eaters, and he is forced to kill all of them with a lawnmower.

WingNut Films/Trimark Pictures
Pictured: Lionel boldly ignoring the warning label advising against this specific activity.

She then transforms into a weird tyrannosaurus with giant, deflated breasts and stuffs Lionel back into her womb. Luckily, he is able to punch himself free with the power of love and casts her down into an exploding mansion, where she also explodes.

WingNut Films/Trimark Pictures
Every single one of those things definitely happens.

I haven't even mentioned Father McGruder, the kickboxing priest, which is another way of saying Dead Alive is the greatest zombie movie in history, and should've replaced Dawn of the Dead on everyone's list the minute it was released.

WingNut Films/Trimark Pictures
Seriously, why the hell aren't you watching this movie right now?

#1. Sharknado

The Asylum/Syfy

Sharknado was another installment in the endless stream of Syfy original monster movies that managed to collect enough ironic Twitter publicity to earn a limited theatrical release. It is about a tornado made of sharks that rips through a settlement of human beings, and poorly rendered CGI hijinks ensue. It is admittedly hard to get down on a movie that so gleefully wears its heart on its sleeve:

The Asylum/Syfy

But the fact is, Sharknado is really, really terrible. It's not even good in a "watch it with a bunch of friends and laugh" way. It's like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the sound off. It's so boring I was more interested in Ian Ziering's character development than the vortex made of sharks, and in a movie called Sharknado, that is an abject failure along the lines of going to a stripper booth and being so disgusted with the decor you can't even masturbate.

The Asylum/Syfy
"I'm trying to watch this movie, but these sonofabitch sharks won't stop landing on people!"

The Objectively Superior Counterpart: Ghost Shark


Ghost Shark is, without hyperbole, the single greatest monument to human imagination that has ever been constructed by mortal hands. A shark is attacked by fishermen and, dying of its wounds, wanders into a mysterious cave, where it is cursed by ancient pirate magic. Now the shark has the power to spring out of any body of water like a phantom jack-in-the-box and kill people, and only Bull from Night Court can stop it. That sentence is a gift to mankind.

He's literally glowing with divine light.

Ghost Shark explodes through reality like a spectral javelin, lopping off arms, legs, heads, and occasionally just carrying its victims off into the heavens. And since Ghost Shark can spring from the tiniest drop of water, its domain is infinite. Guy fixing the plumbing beneath a sink? Ghost Shark eats him. Guy sits down on the toilet? You better believe Ghost Shark eats him. Guy takes a sip of water? Ghost Shark grows inside of him and splits him in half like a hot dog in a microwave.


One of my favorite moments occurs when some metal-fanged 12-year-old smears mud on his dad's Mustang and drives it down to the local bikini car wash (which employs entirely too many women to clean a single vehicle) to get his first erection. Ghost Shark, sensing it's time to shine, erupts from the plastic soap bucket like the shadow of Poseidon's vengeance and kills the entire bikini car wash staff. It doesn't even leave the bucket -- it just drags its victims down through a 20 inch plastic hole like a vegetable juicer.

Ghost Shark may be a ruthless incorporeal assassin, but it understands the value of physical comedy.

And then, of course, there's this, which needs no introduction or context:


Ghost Shark is predictable, to be sure. But it's predictable in the same way as opening a present on your birthday and getting exactly what you wanted. I know Ghost Shark is going to pop out of that soda can like a papier mache snake in an explosion of ectoplasmic massacre, but that doesn't make me want to see it any less.

The popularity of Tom Reimann: Shadow Recruit unjustly overshadows the tense, masterful storytelling of Tom Reimann: Terror Farts in a Silent Room. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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