In the early months of a new year, movie fanatics tend to spend a great deal of time looking back on the year that’s just passed. To a great extend, this is because Hollywood’s award shows occur from January through early March that highlight some of the best mainstream performances and movies from the previous 12 months. But what about the B-movies? Naturally, none of our favorite “cult classics” and B-movie material will be making an appearance on Oscar night As a way to honor the most enjoyable movies of the past year, here are our top five B-movies of 2013.

5. Attack From Beneath

If you think back to the late spring movie season in 2013, you probably remember endless coverage of “Pacific Rim,” a $190 million Hollywood blockbuster featuring ridiculous battles between monsters rising out of the ocean and man-made machines fresh out of the god-awful “Transformers” series. Well, “Attack From Beneath” was Asylum’s response to “Pacific Rim,” featuring essentially the same plot line, but done with a great deal more self-awareness. Here’s the thing: no amount of money or special effects capability can make this sort of movie realistic. It’s always going to be cheesy, and by embracing that side of things, “Attack From Beneath” becomes the more entertaining of the two movies.

4. Europa Report

Included on the B-Movie Shelf‘s top-10 B-movies of 2013 list, “Europa Report” is a somewhat unorthodox selection, as it really doesn’t deal in typical themes like horror, gore, shock value, etc. Actually, it doesn’t even really mock itself! What it does do is provide the best example of the effectiveness of found-footage approach to filming since “Cloverfield” (which, while far from perfect, used the technique to enjoyable effect). Basically, it’s a film about a deep space mission to the Jupiter moon Europa along with all the complications and issues that can ensue on such a mission. And really, it’s done very well.

3. Frankenstein’s Army

Let’s face it: zombie and undead themes remain red-hot, and it’s not just “World War Z.” Actually, gaming may be the best example of just how popular these themes are. It starts with the “zombie mode” in the Call Of Duty games attributing for a great deal of the series’ popularity, but it extends into different corners of the industry as well. Upon looking through the web-based Bet Fair casino, you can see that they feature a host of arcade and slot games offering real money gambling. Included in there are “Monster Cash” (featuring Frankenstein art) and the cartoonish “Day Of The Dead” slot machine. These are examples of the seemingly ever-lasting popularity of zombie themes, and “Frankenstein’s Army” taps into this market wonderfully. It provides what is essentially a World War II monster movie for the ages. It’s another found-footage experience, but what stands out is the classic elements of monsters, gore, and classic creepiness. An
d it’s all in the horrifically imagined backdrop of a Frankenstein/WWII combination setting. Yes, please.

2. Age Of Dinosaurs

While everything from literature and popular film to arcade gaming options displays the popularity of zombie fiction, dinosaurs have faded slightly from public imagination. However, they appear to be making a return soon. On the big screen, the comeback will arrive in the form of “Jurassic World” in 2015. But for B-movie lovers, it came with 2013’s “Age Of Dinosaurs.” There really isn’t much to say about the plot, for those who haven’t seen it. Just know that if you decide to check this movie out, you’re setting yourself up for what comes across as a delightful, endless blend of dinosaur attacks done with just the right blend of gore and levity.

1. Sharknado

It’s been some time since a B-movie captured widespread public attention quite like Sharknado did in 2013. Now available on Netflix, Sharknado is the hilariously over-the-top account of, well… a shark tornado. Technically, it’s the story of a hurricane ravaging Los Angeles by way of whirling sharks into the air and onto the land. All the ridiculous horror you can possibly imagine—and then some—comes about as a result. This is another gem from Asylum.