During the first 97 minutes of Ferretcuda, this Syfy mutant monster movie, you’ve laughed at me as I’ve, mostly metaphorically, soiled my pants every time the wind blew.
You howled in act one when I was hanging out with my friends—star quarterback Brad, his cheerleader girlfriend Candi, and cute-nerdy-girl-I’ve-had-a-crush-on-since-third-grade-though-I’ve-been-too-petrified-for-the-past-eight-years-to-tell-her Nicole—and Brad’s pet ferret jumped in my lap and I shrieked, spit out my joint, spilled Mountain Dew on myself, and ran and locked myself in the bathroom, only to run shrieking right back out when its furry brother chittered up at me from the sink. And why wouldn’t you? I’m the cowardly comic relief. My overwhelming terror is hilarious.
Does being “a scaredy-cat” or “chicken” or “clinically omniphobic” leave me in a constant state of embarrassment? Sure. But you know what else it leaves me in a constant state of? Being alive.
Yet with five minutes left in the movie, I am about to undergo a radical psychological transformation and become brave. Followed by the radical physical transformation of becoming dead. Why? Because the stupid screenwriter is all “ooh, look at me making a deep philosophical statement about friendship and sacrifice and I’m contractually obligated to spill a couple more gallons of blood.”
You’d think I’d be used to it. This jerk recycles me in everything he writes. In Ferretcuda, I’m a white dude, but I was the black guy in Dinner Bell Hell who jumped out of the pantry to attack the serial killer chef, only to get decapitated by a pizza pan. In A.I.-mageddon, he scored another point for diversity by making me the Asian girl who dove behind the evil sentient computer to unplug it, only to be strangled by its power cord, slammed into a couple of walls, and impaled on the giant router antenna.
So here we are at Ferretcuda’s climax, with me preparing to check out. Oh, like an idiot, I dreamed that maybe this was the time I vanquished the monster, but that was before Nicole actually kissed me a minute ago. I know a “the poor sap died right after finding love” kiss by now. (We almost kissed at our classmate’s epic Halloween party, which would not have been so demise-clinching, but you’ll recall that once she had helped me wrestle out of my homemade papier-mâché Hulk mask and our lips were an inch apart, someone in a Freddy Krueger costume tapped me on the shoulder and I wet myself and ran the seven miles home.)
It would be one thing if the writer gave me some skills to justify my sudden bravery. If I’d been secretly studying Krav Maga or at least taken a few Zumba classes. But I have a feeling my most impressive ability—knowing which pages of which Spider-Man issues Doc Ock appears in—will not help me fend off this creature’s eight hundred razor-sharp, poison-tipped teeth.
And now the ferretcuda emerges from the ocean, gnashing those teeth and scuttling across the sand on its giant furry ferret feet, straight toward my friends, who I got separated from when I was startled by a clump of seaweed. I can see there’s a rocket launcher right at Brad’s feet, dropped by a military dude who got ‘cuda-ed, and all I’m armed with is the tiny X-acto knife I dropped in my pocket during art class twelve scenes ago, but screw you, logic—I’m making my move.
Here goes. I rush the ferretcuda, wondering how I will bite it this time. Naturally, the X-acto knife shatters against FC’s four-inch-thick titanium fur-scales. I guess I’ll—
Oof, that stings. I did not foresee getting kebabbed on the monster’s toenail. I did guess my head would be bitten off, and I have not been disappointed. And here comes the rest of me, swallowed whole. This should make the beast pause just long enough for Brad to swoop in and kill it. Probably he’ll eschew the rocket launcher and dispatch the ferretcuda barehanded, spiking its head like he’d just scored one of his five Friday night touchdowns.
At least my death will be acknowledged in a touching nine-second funeral scene, where Nicole will lay my prized Amazing Spider-Man #1 on my casket as it’s lowered into the ground, a single tear running down her cheek. Brad will put his arms around Candi and Nicole’s shoulders and drop a “he would want us to honor him by living our lives to their fullest,” before they smile wanly and go have a three-way or something. Freaking Brad.
Anyhow, be sure to stick around for the post-credits scene where they play a parody of Heart’s Barracuda (I’d rather drown drown drown down in these seas / than face you… ferretcuda) while my parents find out they could have put my kid sister through Harvard by selling that Spider-Man comic.