UNSCRIPTED SERIES "Monster Man"
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday at 11 p.m. on Syfy
REASON TO WATCH How do they create two-headed sharks or conjoined twins for horror flicks? See it happen here.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT You can take the title "Monster Man" two ways. One describes Hollywood-effects maven Cleve Hall leading a crew that fabricates creepy creatures for the movies. The other is Cleve himself, a balding, paunchy, middle-age dude who wears black clothes and yellow contact lenses, colors his facial hair jet-black and his eyelids blue, and drives a black hearse.
Working alongside his ex-wife and their multipierced, magenta-haired daughter, Hall hurries to complete contract jobs for films like, well, "Two-Headed Shark Attack." Sorry if this is a spoiler, but their movie monsters are made out of aluminum foil and masking tape, liquid resin and fiberglass, spray paint and markers.
On field trips for inspiration, Cleve and crew head out of their white-bread warehouse to, say, the ocean for the helpfully on-screen labeled "Two-Headed Shark Inspiration Trip."
MY SAY Job-reality editing can hide a multitude of sins, but not the genre's mortal one -- dull people or lackluster action. All the eyeliner in the world can't make Cleve intriguing. He isn't even creepy. Just desperate to be on TV. Cameras turn to his co-workers, but zzz, same impact.
The cutting gets ever quicker, but you can't just throw the word "cool" around to make bolt-turning or spray-painting seem "cool." Soundtrack music works overtime toward suspense, echoing the fright-flick technique, yet our minds wander to ponder the "reality" behind, say, that boat trip. Geez, dude, go to an aquarium.
BOTTOM LINE The foam fish are livelier than "Monster Man."