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Saturn Awards and Razzie Awards To Merge
© Edgar Harris

Los Angeles -- Mergers between corporations handling similar lines of business are commonplace, but industry awards usually remain separate entities. This changed on December 3, 2000, with the announcement of the merger between the Saturn Awards, the annual award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films for achievement in genre films and television, and the Golden Raspberry Awards, which celebrate the very worst of Hollywood.

John Simon Ritchie, a spokesman for the ASFFHF, said in a prepared statement:

"We give up. This is a year where, for the life of us, we can't find a single science fiction, fantasy, or horror film worth seeing at discount matinees, and we can't continue to pretend that Red Planet, Dungeons & Dragons, Hollow Man, and Lost Souls are worthy of awards. As it is, we're certain that we're going to spend eternity in a lake of burning Tasmanian devil dung in the deepest pits of Hell for nominating Empire of the Ants for a Saturn in 1978 and Creature in 1985, and we can't stand the thought of Brian DePalma actually expecting to win a Saturn for Mission to Mars.

"It was bad enough last year that you couldn't tell the difference between the Saturn and Golden Raspberry nominees, to the point where we thought we had a mole from the Razzies in the organization. I mean, George Lucas nominated for Best Director and Jake Lloyd for Best New Actor? What the f[il]k were we thinking? Were we all on crack? And then when someone from SCI FI magazine pointed out that we gave the Best Home Video Release to Free Enterprise instead of Trekkies or The Iron Giant, well, it just made more sense to admit that science fiction film sucks these days and pack it in. Either that, or admit that we were willing to endorse anything so long as it had lots of flashy special effects or dopey fannish in-jokes."

Raoul Duke, representative for the Golden Raspberry Awards, concurred. "It's been a great year for us, and our only problem is trying to decide which of this year's genre films is worthy of being considered 'the worst', so we can hand out two awards and run the same film clip and save money. Normally, nobody shows up to the Razzies ceremony to pick up their awards, but can you imagine John Travolta showing up to pick up not one but two awards for Battlefield Earth in each category?"

Because of the merger, the revamped Golden Raspberry now has enough money to schedule a live telecast to be shown on the SCI FI Channel in March opposite the Academy Awards. In a concession to Saturn history, the emcee is Golden Raspberry winner of "Worst Actor of the Century" William Shatner, who plans to join Priceline.com associate and eyewear poster child Lisa Loeb in a interpretive dance adaptation of "Pac-Man Fever" to open the show. This is to be followed by a retrospective of previous Shatner musical numbers at previous Saturn ceremonies, including his unique renditions of "Rocket Man", "Blitzkrieg Bop", "Stairway to Heaven," "Cause I'm A Blonde", and the "Love Theme from Apocalypse Now".

Duke explained the rationale. "William Shatner pretty much sums up what both the Razzies and the Saturns are all about, and the fact that he works cheap doesn't hurt. We wanted to get Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica to host next year, but he's still bitching about the guy on Survivor taking his name."

Plans for hosts in future broadcasts include Jason Carter (Babylon 5), Butch Patrick (The Munsters), director Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin), "and anyone else who now makes a significant portion of their annual income autographing glossies at science fiction and comics conventions."

Genre film industry press representatives were enthusiastic about the merger. Mark A. Altman, columnist for Cinescape magazine, said, "As you know, I used to edit Sci-Fi Universe, back when it was good, so I think this is a great move for the science fiction industry. By the way, did I mention that the Los Angeles Times called me 'the world's leading Trekspert'?" Paul T. Riddell, columnist for the competing SCI FI, concurred with, "Let me freebase some Preparation H and I'll have a comment for you that I'll think is clever." And Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News said, "I haven't eaten in ten minutes. Could you hand me that tub of Crisco and a spoon?"

The announcement of the Saturn/ Golden Raspberry merger set off the awards community and set off a round of awards speculation; the announcement of the merger between the Grammy Awards and the Britney Spears Fan Club is scheduled for next week, and the merger between the Academy Awards and the Darwin Awards is set to be finalized in late 2001.

Edgar Harris is the former Sports Editor for Science Fiction Age. More examples of his dangerous hubris and crippling lack of self-esteem can be found at www.hpoo.com.

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