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Fins in Funnels: The Sharknado Franchise, part 2

March 10, 2018 was one of the craziest days of my life. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results? Not so. True insanity is watching all five Sharknado films in one day.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Director: Anthony C. Ferrante

Number of Beers Consumed: 2

It was when I began my viewing of the second Sharknado movie that I reached for a beer. I was gonna need it.

The first movie, although flawed, was a lot of fun. If you haven’t read my review last week, go ahead. I’ll wait. I didn’t need a beer then. I had nachos.

The second one, cleverly named “The Second One”, was an inferior sequel at best but held true to the campy goodness displayed in the first film. This no doubt was encouraged by the cult following the original Sharknado had created. More celebrity cameos abounded. More outlandish premises explored. More cringe worthy dialogue expressed. Good. That’s clearly what the people want.

This one starts right off with a homage to the Twilight Zone’s Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. Sharkastrophe strikes as an airplane headed toward the Big Apple is caught in a toothy storm. Our heroine, April Wexler (Tara Reid) is attacked in mid-air by a wind-swept shark with an insanely great sense of direction, and she loses her arm. ‘It’s like he knew who I was,” says she. This time it’s personal.

The film follows the sister of Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and her family as they sightsee their way into terror. In peril, they contact our hero, Fin (oh wait…Fin! I totally just got that), and as predicted he becomes entangled in a mess of turbo leviathans. There are some fun moments as New York City icons become destroyed. The head of the Statue of Liberty takes some shit out. A sewer alligator gets eaten by a shark. B through Z-list celebrities show up in damn near every scene. I won’t really dive into the plot because there is nothing to say that you wouldn’t already guess. It ain’t that deep.

This movie goes a little into the “science” of the sharknado, and by that I mean Matt Lauer and Al Roker are seen discussing it several times on television. A southerly shark wind is heading north causing record heat in New York City. Record heat turns to July snowfall as an arctic air front converges over Manhattan. Sharks are coming down at a rate of 2” per hour! The winds are picking up whale sharks now, folks. Hey, those are big! Two nados are combining to form an EF5 finny twister over the upper east side. And god no…a third is threatening to join turning this phenomenon into a “storm of biblical proportions!” Oh the humanity!

I can say I was impressed by the variety of sea life involved in this movie’s weather. In addition to the whale shark, we get to see some airborne hammerheads, makos, and even a wacky wall-walker octopus. This pleased me for some reason. I smiled inwardly as I cracked open my second beer.

I want to take a moment now to appreciate the only player in this movie who had any acting skills whatsoever…Vivica A. Fox. A former flame of Ian Ziering’s character, she teams up with him to slay the winds with the help of a lightning rod and some feisty gumption. Vivica A. Fox is not a good actress. I am just saying she was the best one in this movie.

At some point, or maybe I was just starting to get buzzed, Fin “surfs” the sharknado. There are a variety of useful weapons flying about him amidst the ferocious maelstrom and conveniently within arms reach. Definitely a cartoony moment. I snort laughed, then realized I didn’t know who I was anymore.

The real kicker to this film is the ending. Remember April and her lost arm? Yah, that comes back into play in the most ridiculously Evil Dead kind of way. I just don’t have the heart to spoil this one for you, folks, but it involves a circular saw, the shark that ate her arm and a wedding ring.

The true testament to the brutal staying power of this franchise is that when I finished the movie and went to pee out the Lone Star, I found myself deep in thought about where they could possibly go from here. The first tendrils of dread entered my psyche. Wherever they go with the next one, I best be prepared. And possibly drunk.

With anxiety, a fresh beer and a bit of acid reflux, I popped in the third installment appropriately titled Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

See ya next time!

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