SyFy Channel Original Movies are, hands down, some of the best movies of their genre being made today. It's just that that genre happens to be "comedy"
Tends to consist of young, relatively attractive actors that may as well have "EXPENDABLE" written across their foreheads. All the general stereotypes are present and can include, but are not limited to:
Syfy Survivor Girl - more useless than your typical horror movie survivor, but makes up for it by being 3x as whiny. She generally has some sort of fear or phobia that prevents her from going into situations that might result in her horrific death, but always will have to overcome it to survive at the end. Doesn't put out.
Mega-Slut - her main job is to be a bitch to the Syfy Survivor Girl and hook up with the douchiest guy. Also to die and not be mourned by anyone. She can be spotted by her A) Lack of clothing B) Inability to run away from any threat.
Save me Phillip Seymour Hoffman!
Interchangeable White Males - they'll die in descending order of dickery until only the biggest asshole is left. He will then die an incredibly cathartic death and everyone will be generally pretty okay with it.
Interchangeable White Females - they exist only to die before the other, more important characters. They can be likable, and you might even find yourself wondering why Handsome Sensitive Guy (See Below) doesn't try to save one of them. This is a mistake because they may as well have a target on their backs and we're not talking about their lower back tattoos.
Friendly Black Character - "You guys go ahead, I'll stay behind and attempt to hold off this sabretooth tiger using only my spunky attitude!"
Remember my sacrifice!
Nerds/stoners - They can just as easily turn into the Comic Relief and thus increase their chances of surviving. Or remain cannon fodder. Either way they're supposedly "funny," but mostly only good for explaining the "plot" very slowly to the other characters.
Handsome Sensitive Guy - 50% chance he will die. Because at least one death has to be portrayed as tragic to really drive home the terror presented by the Atomic Iguanas.
Tough Older Hero - Only character over 40 on the cast and definitely the most grizzled. Should be drinking or acting ornery the whole time, due to some past conflict with the monster of the day. Generally, a cross between Indiana Jones, the gamekeeper from Jurassic Park, mixed with a dash of Tom Selleck's casual sleaze. For some reason he's the only person to recognize the value of having a gun when dealing with a giant pterodactyl/space iguana/supergator, but can't seem to hit the 20ft creature despite standing ten yards away from it. Generally dies heroically while blowing up the monster.
Why are you poking me with your rifle...?
Evil Scientist - Evil is such a subjective term. We all have our motives, maybe he's just misunderstood: Maybe he was creating a giant flying crocodile that could've saved thousands of lives, maybe the Ice Spiders are a necessity in cutting edge AIDS research? Regardless of motive, he's going to be killed by his creation anyways towards the end of the movie. The movie will then pause for several seconds on a fade-out, because having Bugs Bunny pop up through a hole on the screen and say "AIN'T THAT IRONIC, FOLKS?" costs too much to clear the copyrights.
This is a good question, one that requires a lot of thought and time on the part of the writers of these movies who have to determine if their monster genesis story is believeable.
Right. Good one.
Like most aspects of Syfy Channel Original Movies the origin of the monster is just as half-assed or drug-induced as the rest of the movie. Most of them came about as the result of a few simple phrases uttered by the fictional scientists in these movies before the opening credits:
"So if we combine a (Blank) with a (Blank) then we get a (Blanktopus/odile/garoo)"
Shortly after this statement is uttered the Crocaroo (Crocodile/kangaroo hybrid) manages to escape from his glass containment cage and kill everyone. Of course in these movies the US Government has billions of dollars to throw away on projects that involve splicing together the genes of two dangerous animals with the vague goal of "revolutionizing warfare" or something like that. Naturally these research facilities are conveniently located near small towns and are guarded by security personnel that are slightly less effective than COBRA troopers. Thankfully the new sheriff in the small town is just the man for the job.
"Let's recreate the plot to Jurassic Park, except with (Insert Prehistoric Creature)"
Again this monster comes about as the result of a misguided science project by people who obviously recieved all A's in school except for Ethics in Science and Movie Appreciation (seriously, who hasn't seen Jurassic Park?). Apparently no one in the research lab ever said to themselves "Should we be doing this?" or "Why exactly are we trying to reintroduce the velociraptor to the world?" or "Maybe I should close the cage door behind me." These are basic questions normal scientists might ask themselves while hypothetically researching crocodile/shark hybrids for Lorenzo Lamas or whichever pony-tailed actor is filling in for him.
"Rampant Military R&D Budget? Fuck It, Let's Make A Huge Muthafuckin' (Blank)"
There is no reason for this one. None at all besides the scientists deciding it was high time he made the leap from Respected Scientist to Crazy Scientist. Big time. And by 'big time' I mean he decides its time to unleash the Apegator onto an unsuspecting world. Oh sure they might hide behind the humanitarian facade of "it could save lives/feed millions/cure cancer/give me control of the world's gold supply" but what they really mean to say is "BOW BEFORE THE AWESOME POWER OF THE SHARKTOPUS"
Ok Syfy Channel you're in on the joke. You're funny. Now we bring back the non-ironic movie monster.
No, really you won't. It pains me to say this, but should you find yourself in monster movie situation there is a good chance you will not come out unscathed or un-dead(ed). But there is hope, however small that you might live to see the sunrise....
Female Survival Index - First off lets look at ourselves in the mirror for a moment. What are you wearing? Is it what might be politely called "scandalous" or less politely as "really slutty?" Now how many times have you had sex this week? Yes, this is a very personal question, but it does pertain to your survival. If you're taking off your shoes to count high enough then you may as well quit. You're fucked. And not in the way you're used to. Sorry, but the best you can hope for is a quick death (not likely).
All right, but if what you're wearing is a t-shirt, jeans or shorts, maybe a nice necklace or a pair of stylish glasses then we're off to a good start even if you can look forward to having the blood of the your friends splattered on that nice outfit, but at least you'll survive. That's because you are the Syfy Survivor Girl and yes, despite what was written about you above, this is a good thing. Of course, the usual horror rules apply in that you should avoid sex at all costs. Duh. Also make sure to voice your sensible, moral ideas to your drunken friends on the car ride to the cabin in the woods. You may be ignored and ridiculed by your friends, but better casual ridicule than the casual dismemberment currently running through the woods towards your group. Another thing you might want to consider is to find the Handsome Sensitive Guy and string him along. This increases his chance of surviving and hey, now you have a convenient body to hide behind once you both get cornered.
Male Survival Index - Jump on the nerdy chick and stick to her like goddamn glue. She may be a buzzkill, she may dress like her mother picked out her clothes and those discussions about the summer classes she took at Agnes Scott are starting to make you question what team she plays for, but just remember she is going to survive. You may also. Play nice, be polite, don't hit on her too much, but most of all, stay calm.
Also, avoid the Mega-Slut, but that's just common sense.