Direced By: Anthony C. Ferrante (other SyFy Channel movies)
Starring: Ian Ziering, Cassie Scerbo, and Tara Reid
Plot Summary: "I would like to see the screenplay for this. Because it seems like their goal was, 'What can we do to make 'sharks in a tornado' last 90 minutes?'"
There is nothing we can give you for set-up on this one. The poster ("ENOUGH SAID!") and the trailer tell you everything you need to know. So, because SyFy Channel life is an a surreal, nonsensical state of being that punches the "science" half of science-fiction in the crotch, here are the facts:
--There are no hurricanes or tornadoes in Los Angeles, California. That's not a thing. That's why "TORNADOES IN LA?!" was such a big deal in The Day After Tomorrow.
--Wild animals have a tendency to say "DEUCES" to the rest of us in the event of a major storm, and even if they didn't, sharks don't swim far enough inland for any of this to happen.
--Sharks don't travel in packs, so there's no way in hell there'd be this many of them together, at any point, anywhere.
Observations Made As We Watched:
--"On a scale from 1 to 'we should've known because Tara Reid's in it,' how intense do you think this is gonna be?"
--"HOW IS THIS STARTING IMMEDIATELY?" / "OMG THAT WAS MY THOUGHT TOO! NO CONTEXT, JUST SHARKS IN THE MOTHERF***ING SKY?"
--"Samuel L. Jackson needs to be here screaming about how he doesn't have time for this s***."
--"This guy looks like the gay porn version of a fisherman. Like, is that a Burberry trench coat?"
--"THEY CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!"
--"I have stuffed-animal sharks that look more realistic than this."
--"Jasmyn. JASMYN!" / "I... I don't... I can't even..."
--"DUDE, WHY ARE YOU STILL IN THE WATER?!" / "Y'ALL DUMB AS F***, MOVE YOUR ASSES!"
--"Whoever's still in the water at this point deserves a shark attack."
--"I'm mad this dude's name is Finn; number one, because that's corny, and number two, because all the other Finns I've seen are either cool or cute."
--"We are really going to need to address the graphics at some point." / "That last shark looked like it was made of Play-Doh."
--"I'm mad about Global Warming because of all the bad movies it has inspired."
--"That dude looked like a Sim getting attacked, f*** these graphics."
--"I'll always remember that Cory Monteith's final two tweets were about Sharknado."
--"They had to do this in LA because East Coast people won't take this s***."
--"I like that no one is asking how this is possible." / "Because they know WE'RE asking how this is possible."
--"That shark just apparated." / "Seriously, where the f*** are they coming from?"
--"Aww, Tara, they let you act!"
--"Was a car explosion really necessary? I mean, you have sharks falling out of the sky."
--"Oh, here we go! Here we go, there it is! SHARKNADO!"
--"Why does this car have a nitro button? This is not Crash Bandicoot Racing."
--"I would sacrifice a child to star in a SyFy Channel movie."
"I know this is a strange comment, but not enough people are dying. For a movie called Sharknado, very few people are actually being eaten by sharks."
Someone exercised an unexpected level of restraint here. We thought we'd see someone randomly get chomped every ten minutes, for all the crazy "SHAAAARKNAAAADOOOOOOO" hype of the trailer and the poster, but after the initial descent of flying sharks, things calmed down a bit. There even came a point where they acknowledged the improbability -- *cough* IMPOSSIBILITY *cough* -- of the weather situation, when the news anchor stated it was the first hurricane to hit LA. Nobody said anything about the shark part of it, but whatever.
Here's the crew we followed through the movie: bar-owner Finn (Ziering), his employee Nova (Scerbo), their Aussie surfer friend Baz (because that was apparently the first Australian the writers thought of), and Finn's ex-wife and family (Reid, a teenage daughter, and eventually a son). Nova -- my (Jasmyn's) favorite -- was a trigger-happy bartender with a shotgun and a vendetta against sharks because of an attack she survived (with survivor's guilt, after everyone she was with died) some years back. Sarah's favorite was George, an old drunkard who pretty much lived at Finn's bar, but George, unfortunately, didn't make it.
Now, we need to briefly address the real flaw of the movie: the distractingly awful special effects.
Sarah: "GUYS, THAT'S NOT HOW SCARS LOOK! AT LEAST NOT OLD SCARS! I've got old scars, they're not pretty, but they sure as hell don't look like that!"
Jasmyn: "That scar looks like he was supposed to have gangrene ten years ago. That scar looks like it formed an air bubble and, somehow, he got cum stuck in it and it solidified."
This is the scar in question:
You can see the CGI fail in the trailer, but as Sarah said, the movie could have been properly gory if the sharks looked like sharks.
The Best Part: The side characters who ended up dying were hilarious. We loved drunk old George, as well as a funny schoolbus driver and a conspiracy-theorist gas station attendant. We were also really glad that Baz didn't make it out either, because he was annoying.
The Worst Part: For all the money SyFy saved on advertising (all they had to do was say "Sharknado" and Twitter did the rest), we hope that in the rumored sequel, they spend whatever they can on the graphics. Seriously, human-hungry sea creatures falling out of the sky would be a terrifying scenario if we weren't laughing at the animated fish-tank toys they were passing off as sharks.
Regarding the greatest absurdity here, the solution that Nova and Finn's son, Matt, come up with, which is to fly a helicopter around the sharknado and drop explosives in it to blow it up... Why the hell not? The way we see it, if you're living in a reality where a sharknado is possible, you're also living in a reality where throwing dynamite into a tornado to disperse it is possible. So, if we accept the circumstances in which this movie is happening, of course that solution makes sense.
You cannot watch Sharknado with a logical eye. So, once we put the insanity aside, once we embraced the sharknado and all that it was, we weren't too bothered by the fact that Nova gets eaten whole by a shark that later, BY COMPLETE COINCIDENCE, ends up being the shark Finn throws himself into with a chainsaw and then saws his and Nova's way out of. In fact, Sarah's only question at that point was, "How did he do that without cutting Nova?"
Sharknado is fun. Sharknado is the kind of movie that's at the core of why we started Camp or Crap? in the first place. It succeeded in what it set out to do, and it's so hilariously bad it's good, so we give it a B.
Now, for bonus fun, listen to the Sharknado theme song that plays over the end credits, "The Ballad of Sharknado." Yes. This happened.
(Poster and trailer © The Asylum and Southward Films)