Wherefore Art Thou, ‘Sharknado’? A SyFy Executive Muses On Quality Movie Names.

As part of our extensive Sharknado coverage and our fascination with SyFy movie titles, we couldn’t ignore this interview with SyFy’s Thomas Vitale. He’s their executive vice-president for programming and original movies, which is a fancy title for the guy who greenlights Sharknado. He tells Vulture, “If we don’t have a good title, we’re not going to make the movie.” He then goes on to explain why he thinks Sharktopus is one of their best titles.

Sharktopus kind of says it all, right? It tells you it’s going to be a fun romp. It tells you that it’s a mash-up of two creatures. It tells you that there’s something fantastical there — because take a shark and an octopus and put them together and obviously there has to be a fantastical part to the story. It says that we have a sense of humor. It says action. I mean, it says a lot. It’s what you would call a high-concept title.”

High concept. Sharktopus. High concept.

But is there anything not good enough to be one of their quality-with-a-capital-K movie titles? Vitale explains:

“Here’s one premise we’ve had pitched to us from at least a half-dozen different producers: Killer Koalas. You laugh, but there’s alliteration there. It’s just that the idea of killer koalas — there’s nothing scary about koalas. There’s nothing that stirs anything on an emotional level. There’s nothing that stirs any kind of primordial fear. […] So Killer Koalas, even though it makes you laugh, it doesn’t make a movie. A funny title doesn’t necessarily make a movie.”

Au contraire! Koalas are nicknamed “drop bears” for a reason. Because they’ll straight up murder you. Just look at these harrowing documentary screencaps:

Clearly, koalas are not to be trusted. But if SyFy doesn’t want Killer Koalas, they can always refer to the SyFy Movie Names Generator instead:

Get ready for Chupasquito, in no theaters whatsoever next month.

(Banner image by Nathan Rupert via Creative Commons. Inset pictures via The Frogman and this T-shirt at Blind Ferret.)