Feeling disconnected from her teenage son, a protective mother decides to step outside of her comfort zone and take him camping. But as soon as she arrives, she begins butting heads with her handsome cabin neighbor, a single father and outdoorsman who is also in search of a connection with his teen daughter. Friction soon sparks a flame as these opposites attract.


The adventures of best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader, a dynamic and hilarious duo of resourcefulness that learn that when things don't as expected, asking "what if" can lead to success. Based on the books by Jim and Kate McMullan. 


Set in outer space, the series follows the adventures of the Callisto family – seven-year-old Miles, older sister Loretta and their scientist parents Phoebe and Leo, who work for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority on a mission to connect the universe.


It's Halloween eve on Shelter Island, and the small town is preparing for a killer storm. But the dark clouds gathering over the island are bringing with them a curse one-hundred years in waiting. As the woods give birth to an ungodly and insatiable creature of fire, bones, and earth, three sisters must scramble to stay alive through the long dark night of the Hollow. For it’s not something you can kill. It’s only something you can try and survive. The Hollow stars Deborah Kara Unger (The Game), Stephanie Hunt (Friday Night Lights), Sarah Dugdale (Sugarbabies) and Richard Harmon (The 100).      


With the Scarecrow Festival on the horizon, school teacher Aaron Harris (Robin Dunne of Sanctuary) is doling out punishment for six students serving detention, including the moody Tyler, Goth girl Nikki, wrestling team captain Daevon, and straight-A student Maria (Nicole Munoz of Defiance). Their task: help their friend Kristen Miller's (Lacey Chabert) family farm with some grunt work before it’s sold. But the cornfields circling the farm come with a legend—and Tyler takes macabre delight in recounting the tale: It never sleeps, it never dies, it can’t be stopped, hear their cries. The Scarecrow lives to kill us all. Keep it buried in the fall…    


Four-leaf-it's over! Golden Globe nominated Nicollette Sheridan ("Desperate Housewives") travels solo to the rolling plains and sweeping landscapes of Ireland on a "Honeymoon for One," a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. With co-stars Greg Wise ("Return to Cranford") and Patrick Baladi ("Mistresses"), Sheridan plays an advertising executive who is forced to end her engagement to a philandering fiancé and then steps way outside her comfort zone when she decides to go on the idyllic honeymoon – alone!


An exciting road trip across Ireland's countryside takes a dark turn as a group of friends have a hostile encounter with a pack of mysterious gypsies. Now plagued with a black mark of death, they are doomed to be stalked and terrorized by a mythical bird of prey, whose insatiable appetite for human flesh is more than just urban legend. Eliza Bennett (Inkheart, Nanny McPhee), Kacey Barnfield (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Lake Placid 3), and Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta, Citizen X, and Oscar nominated Best Actor for The Crying Game) star in this creature feature from director Johannes Roberts (When Evil Calls, Forest of the Damned) and writer Rick Suvalle ("V.I.P.").


BOXES is an animated pilot presentation produced for 20th Century Fox's "Inkubation" program. It is an office-place comedy about a quartet of disgruntled cubicle dwellers who work for the Boxdyne Corporation, a company that makes, packs, ships and tracks...boxes.


Based on the legendary Marvel comic book, the series centers on the adventures of Peter Parker, who develops superhuman powers after being bit by a genetically altered spider. Multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Harold & Kumar), singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb and television star Ian Ziering (TV's "Beverly Hills 90210") bring Peter, MJ and Harry to life, along with guest voice talent from rocker Rob Zombie, rap star Eve, Jeremy Piven, Kathy Griffin, Michael Clarke Duncan, Stan Lee and more.


In this campy syndicated action series, Vallery Irons (Pamela Anderson) comes to Hollywood having no idea that her big break will come from a date with a famous action star. While attending a star-studded movie premiere, a crazed fan pulls a gun – but her movie hunk turns into a coward, and it's Val who becomes an accidental hero (thanks to a swing of her purse.) Suddenly Val's thrown into a world of action and danger as the figurehead of a Hollywood protection agency (V.I.P. – Vallery Irons Protection), taking risks to protect others at a price few are willing to pay.


The original animé superhero is back! Blast off with the all-new ASTRO BOY, a state-of-the-art update of Tezuka Osamu's classic series that started the animé explosion. Filled with exciting action, humor, and drama, ASTRO BOY tells the story of a young robot boy modeled after the son of a research scientist. This atomic-powered robot becomes a reluctant superhero who fights for justice and peace – for humans and robots alike! For the first time on DVD, this Collector's Edition contains the entire 50-episode series on 5 discs, with 29 episodes never before aired in the United States.

roadkEven the most casual genre viewer knows anytime a group of young people hit the byways for a road trip, it's going to end badly. And if the trip happens to be on the rural roads of a foreign land, you might as well pack body bags along with the beer, condoms and pot.

While the premise of the road trip gone horribly wrong is indeed an overused genre trope, fans shouldn't let that stop them from checking out the Syfy Original Movie Roadkill, which airs this Saturday, April 23, 2011.

Directed by Johannes Roberts and written by Rick Suvalle, this incarnation of the road trip to hell introduces us to five young Americans who decide to hit the back roads of Ireland for a scenic weekend. They haven't seen one another in a while, one of their clan has relocated to Dublin for career purposes, and the group sees it as a chance to reconnect before the grind of adult life begins in earnest. It may also provide an opportunity for estranged lovers to reunite.

They hit the road in a rented RV and take in the picturesque Irish countryside as planned, but it's not long before things take a dark turn when they cross paths with a community of backwoods gypsies. Cultures clash as they always do in these paradigms, and during a hasty getaway the group runs over an old woman with their RV. When they try to help, she uses her last dying breath to place a curse on the shell-shocked clan, telling them the "Simuroc" will avenge her and kill them one by one.

Rather than suffer the wrath of the locals who will descend upon them long before authorities can arrive, the group opts to flee the scene, having no clue as to the cycle of events which has now been set in motion.

They soon find out the Simuroc is a giant bird of prey which will stop at nothing to complete its contracted mission of revenge, and it's at this point the pic kicks into high gear as the RV speeds through the countryside with the Roc in hot pursuit.

True to formula, a series of events impedes the group's escape, and just when the script appears to be entering all too familiar territory with a predetermined kill order, writer Rick Suvalle does a nice job of shifting character focus so we're never entirely sure who's going to be the next victim and, more importantly, who's going to survive, if anyone.

Another nice change-up is, too often, the filmmakers of these Syfy Originals rely heavily on the monster of the week, which makes them one-note; thankfully that's not the case here as Suvalle and Roberts take the pressure off their monster by wisely keeping the gypsies a part of the story dynamic. Rather than merely serving as a vehicle by which events are set into motion, the clan gives chase throughout the flick and, at times, is far more frightening than the Simuroc. This is due entirely to the stand-out performance of Ned (Sherlock Holmes) Dennehy as the leader of the gypsy clan. He's genuinely menacing and almost single-handedly raises the level of the film. Stephen (Stuck) Rea is solid in the small role of a local policeman who knows all too well about the Simuroc and its exploits, and Kacey (Resident Evil: Afterlife) Barnfield shows strong acting muscle as "Kate", one half of the estranged lovers. The rest of the cast is actually pretty good for a Syfy Original, but Dennehy is sure to leave the biggest impression.

Johannes Roberts handles directing duties effectively and does a lot to cover budget shortcomings. It's hard to make a story which primarily takes place inside an RV visually interesting, and he compensates quite well by making the most of the optics when the plot ventures outside the vehicle. He and Suvalle also steer the pic much darker than the average Syfy feature, which is unusual for a cable network that tends to keep its genre fare campy and "horror lite". It's an appreciated shift in tone that sets Roadkill apart from other Syfy entries.

The creature effects are a mixed bag as they tend to be with these things. In this case, the effects bounce between bad CGI and looking like something created by Ray Harryhausen, which almost makes them endearing at times.

All in all Roadkill is a solid entry in the Syfy Original genre. While it suffers from some of the shortcomings we're used to seeing with these films, there are enough pleasant surprises to keep it interesting. The filmmaking is strong overall, and it's clear everyone involved was actually trying to make a good movie here. You never get the sense anyone involved simply showed up for a paycheck, and their dedication shows.

Roadkill is definitely a ride worth taking.

Originally posted on Dread Central 4/18/11

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