It’s hard to keep track of all the killer shark movies. Ever since one Steven Spielberg gave birth to the blockbuster movie with Jaws these marine predators have been the subject of many movies including three Jaws sequels. None of them is really great, though some do have some redeeming quality to them. Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea comes to mind with an above average cast and as a gimmick the heightened intelligence of the sharks. A gimmick is something most shark movies need since the release of Jaws as it’s the only way to get people even remotely interested. Only Open Water is a movie that comes to mind that has just plain sharks terrorizing a couple of people stranded on open sea. Especially studios specializing in low budget fare release movies featuring Mega Sharks, Sharktopi, Megalodons, Sand Sharks, Swamp Sharks, Dinosharks or 2-Headed Sharks. Now we have a new one to put on the list as the people of The Asylum now bring us: Sharknado
Sharknado starts off with a totally unrelated scene on a fishing boat which catches sharks for some shady businessman. But a tornado comes along that has just sucked a wide variety of sharks from the sea and which are now spinning around in the tornado. Whenever there happens to be a human nearby these sharks are propelled from the tornado and onto their latest meal. Because these different species of man-eating sharks were just there together when they were sucked up and can apparently live inside of a tornado, this tornado is now even more lethal than ever. It also surprised me that these sharks had no disorientation problems whatsoever, despite being whirled around for hours.
All of these movies consist of the same elements: a run of the mill script, crappy special effects and some people that were once famous surrounded by a lot of unknowns. This movie has Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering and American Pie’s Tara Reid. Can you remember the last time either of them starred in something decent, excluding American Reunion in which Reid had a small part? Me neither.
They play ex-husband and wife. He has a bar at the beach while she lives up in some mansion against the hills. When the water rises and Sharks are propelled on to the main land eating everything that walks before being killed by a household appliance, he and a couple of acquaintances try to reach higher ground where the sharks can’t come. When they realize the sharks are literally everywhere, even in swimming pools and drain pipes, they try to save his son and daughter who are with his ex.
I could put in some effort and point out all the faults, cringe-worthy elements and such, but why should I when the makers of this movie didn’t put in any effort from their side into this movie? Everybody will probably think this is yet another so bad it’s good movie, but is it really? It was made intentionally to belong to that category, but in my opinion that category should only consist of movies that were unintentionally bad. Movies the makers had envisioned as masterpieces but turned out to be world class junk. Being junk is this movie’s main selling point.
To give you something of a breakdown and because I want you to have a review worth reading here are some remarks I had on this movie:
Reid and Ziering will never win an Oscar, and they have some pretty bad line delivery in this movie, especially Reid only has one look on her face the entire movie which screams “what am I doing here?”. Of course the special effects are bad, though I kinda liked the Ferris Wheel going on a rampage. The most annoying thing of the entire movie was that it was clearly shot on very sunny days while the movie is supposed to be taking place during a storm. They used filters to desaturate the image, but the heavy shadows and still clearly visible sun take away the illusion. Even weirder is it when the movie cuts to an actor in front of a green screen and the inserted background image is that of a realistic stormy environment. Sharknado also incorporates shots of stock footage of peacefully swimming sharks in the open ocean mixed together with shots of them in the tornado or in a swimming pool. As if we must believe that the real stock footage shark is the same as the CG-one swimming in the pool.
I could complain about over the top scenes that defy every law of nature and physics known to man, like Ziering cutting flying Great Whites in half with a chainsaw, but all of these scenes are put in on purpose; tohopefully go viral on YouTube like a couple of other movies did previously: the shark attacking the plane in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, the guy kicking piranhas in Mega Piranha and the scene where a Megalodon swallows a life boat whole. These movies became famous for having these stupid scenes and the makers of Sharknado obviously want to go viral. And it worked I guess, since I’m reviewing it and a lot of people are talking about it.
Sharknado isn’t better or worse than the average CG-beasts-gone-wild schlock released over the last ten years or so. It’s just another entry in a sub-genre filled with crappy movies of the same quality. Only ever so now and then a Rogue or Piranha 3D is released. Sharknado has its moments and is good for a laugh or two, but when you’ve seen one of these movies you’ve seen them all. It’s the masochist in me that keeps me watching them.