Sci-Fi Series Helps People Escape Into Silly Fiction

Giant ants, swamp creatures and mutant dinosaurs, oh my!

The Skaneateles Library’s Attack of the B Movie series is bringing four science fiction flicks to its upstairs room each Tuesday in August. Each movie starts at 7 p.m.

The series’ first film is the most recently made, “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” which will spoof “Silent Earth.” Then, watchers will explore what is beneath the surface of the calm waters with “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” “Them!” will show that nuclear weapons and ants don’t mix. The series will end with an epic battle in “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”

Librarian Assistant Barb Ozminkowski had the idea for the Attack of the B Movie series. Since Director Nickie Marquis came to Skaneateles, the library has shown a lot of films, including a family movie on Saturdays, and a film on Fridays. The Friday Film movies typically are a little heavier, with many being Oscar-nominated movies. Often, the library sees people in their 40s and older at those features, and of course, the family films attracts many children.

Ozminkowski wanted to find something to draw a wider audience.

These sci-fi films from the 1950s and 1960s are ridiculous, outdated, fun and fairly tame — “and that’s part of the spin,” she said.

Parents can come with their teens to watch these movies without having to worry about gratuitous violence or sexual content, unlike much of today’s science fiction selections.

“They’re just ridiculous. You’re not going to burn any braincells with these movies,” Ozminkowski said with a smile.

Many of the titles came from suggestions from staff, fun movies they remember seeing years ago. Though not on the lineup, Ozminkowski remembers seeing “The Blob” decades ago, and said it looked like a “bowl full of jelly rolling down the street.” Meanwhile, Marquis wanted to show the film version of a favorite television show “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

So far, the flyers and posters have gotten some attention at the library, with people laughing at the iconic titles from the past.

These movies may not be the kind that people want to watch by themselves, so they are perfect for group showings, as people can laugh together at outdated references or bad special effects.

“You reach a saturation point, and you want a break from reality,” Ozminkowski said. Something like, oh, giant ants taking over small American towns.