Did you know the Saturn Awards were last night? I sure didn't! You'll remember the Saturn Awards as where William Shatner did his famous rendition of "Rocketman" back in 1978. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films has given them out to the best in genre cinema for 34 years now, and this year's picks are ... kind of strange.

The prize for Best Fantasy Film went to Enchanted, which I think is silly in a category that also included Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Stardust, but okay. Then Sweeney Todd took Best Horror Film, which seems to me like a way to avoid giving an award to an actual horror film, like fellow competitors 30 Days of Night, 1408 and The Mist. I guess I can see why Sweeney Todd would be classified as "horror" -- a lot of throats get slit, after all -- but it's a stretch. Then the kicker: Cloverfield wins Best Science-Fiction Film, beating out, among others, Sunshine. The problem is that not only is Cloverfield not a science-fiction film, it's in some ways the opposite of a science-fiction film. Science-fiction entails some sort of larger cosmic context for the fantastic goings-on, which is precisely what Cloverfield refuses to provide. It's a monster movie in its purest form -- horror, not sci-fi.
The full list of winners is here. I'm sure some will flip out at choices like 300 for best action-adventure film -- I'm stunned at how many people hate that movie with a passion -- but that doesn't really bother me. A few awards are neither here nor there -- what's August Rush doing at the Saturn Awards? (Or any awards, for that matter.) Mostly, though, as someone who takes genre cinema seriously, I'm irked at how thoughtless a lot of the picks and designations seem to be. These movies -- and others that didn't make their cut -- deserve better, I think. But I guess the Saturns reward the best genre films of the year in the same way that the Oscars reward the best films of the year.

In other words: usually, not.
categories Awards, Cinematical