Posted on Leave a comment

Fins in Funnels: The Sharknado Franchise

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.

Part one: Sharknado- Director Anthony C. Ferrante

I don’t think there is a doubt in anyone’s mind when they sit down to watch a Sharknado film as to what the movie is about. I also don’t think anyone is or should be taking these movies seriously. If you are, you need to go smoke a bowl and rejoin us later.

The first film caused quite the kerfuffle just because of the outrageous premise. Now I may spoil this for you but there are tornados full of sharks involved. Is Sharknado entertaining as hell? You betcha. Does it also include almost unwatchable acting and the dialogue of a middle school simpleton? Yeppers.

The first of the Nados opens with a heaping dose of sharky hubris as we witness the interaction of a shark finner and his buyer. It plants the seed in your mind that perhaps the sharks are enacting some type of revenge on mankind. Or could this just be a bizarre meteorological phenomenon? Stay tuned.

I am already using words that are way too big to belong in a Sharknado review.

The film really starts out like a typical shark attack outing complete with tits and tropes. The beautiful people of California are torn to pieces as Ian Ziering pretends to ride a jet ski. The dialogue was already making my eyes roll so hard I had to switch my glasses to a stronger prescription. The soundtrack sounded like it came from Tal Bachman’s less talented siblings. But it seemed fun and I really wanted to see that Nado.

The thing is, it takes quite a while for the Sharknado to show up in this film. You need to sit through a lot of CGI water, CGI rain, CGI clouds, CGI blood, and a killer ferris wheel first. Sure the sharks are there, but it’s more of a shark flood.

The hero (Ziering) and his band of misfits go to rescue his ex-wife (Tara Reid) and daughter. It is this sequence which offers my best example of the quality of writing you can expect in this movie. The house is flooding and the sharks are racing in. Some carnage ensues and the water turns red with blood. And somewhere, offscreen, a male voice says “Looks like it’s that time of the month!” I believe it was at this point that I cracked open the bottle of Pepto.

Okay okay. I am being pretty harsh here. I just don’t want anyone walking into this expecting Jaws in the sky. In fairness, I did say that is was entertaining as hell, didn’t I? And it is.

The plot is very simple and never gets too deep into character development. I think they tried but the writing is too bad for anyone to become invested in them. The writers totally rip off Quint’s monologue from Jaws. It is a superficial film that is focused on shark carnage. Pure and simple. I am totally fine with that.

The basic storyline follows characters played by Ziering and Reid, who unsuccessfully pretend to have a semblance of onscreen chemistry, their children and a couple sidekicks as they galavant about Los Angeles dodging toothy weather, saving innocents and witnessing a ton of gory death in CGI technicolor glory. Just when the rain stops and the sun begins to shine on our heroes, the winds kick up and, finally, we have a Sharknado.

The movie makes a half-cocked attempt at explaining how sharks end up in tornados, but you will be hard pressed to find any logic in it. The second film gets deeper into the “science” of the Nados but we will talk about that later. Apparently, you can bomb Sharknados and they will become equalized and dissipate (I did some research and turns out that is a really bad idea). It also helps to turn the sharks into more manageable bite sized chunks. So they try that. With mixed results.

Now I cannot tell you what happens next without spoiling the look of astonishment and amusement that will inevitably take over your face, but let me tell y’all, some of the most ridiculously fun shit happens at the end. I am going on the assumption that you know nothing of this film, but unless you live beyond the Wall, I’m sure you have heard mention of it. Nevertheless, super fucking fun.

Despite the banality of the dialogue and basic plotline, this is the best movie about shark- laden tornados I have ever seen. Is it truly a blast to watch as long as you shut off that little part of your brain that holds logic and intelligence. This movie knows what it is and it does a great job of being just that.

Now, I hadn’t quite realized the profundity of deciding to keep watching these movies in sequence…all in one day. I still had some Triscuit nachos left and I was feeling optimistic.

Don’t try this at home, kids. You’ll find out why as we continue into the opus known as Sharknado Two: The Second One. About as much thought went into the title as the film itself.

See ya next week!

Leave a Reply