On Second Thought: “Sharknado”

When campy sci-fi features with bad special effects, and usually worse acting, come along, one would never think that it could be anything more than just another weekly TV movie. It can happen, but not often. Sometimes even, everything that usually means a terrible film, can lead you to a charming and fun film that you actually really like.

The Asylum production “Sharknado”, is not as much fun as the sequel, but it’s plenty ridiculous and still able to be enjoyable.

This cult film stars Tara Reid (upcoming “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, “Charlie’s Farm”) Cassie Scerbo (upcoming “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, “My Life as a Dead Girl”), Jaason Simmons (“3 Headed Shark Attack”, “Mad Cowgirl”), John Heard (upcoming “Counting for Thunder” “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”), and Ian Ziering (upcoming “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, “Defiance”).

The film was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (upcoming “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, “Sharknado 2: The Second One”) and written by Thunder Levin (upcoming “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, “Sharknado 2: The Second One”).

It originally aired on July 11, 2013 on SyFy.

I feel like I’ve done something wrong! I cheated! I didn’t really, but it feels like I did. I spent a few days trying to decide if I should watch this film the day before the triple feature on July 22 (starting at 2pm PDT (West Coast), which leads into the premier of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”, (yes, I did just shamelessly plug something that doesn’t need it). If I waited then I’d be able to get even more excited for the newest film and just enjoy a back to back airing of one of the best film series to come from The Asylum and air on SyFy. However, I sadly realized I wanted a different posting schedule than I’d get if I waited until tomorrow. Which brings us here. To the re-watching of “Sharknado”.

This film, in case you missed it the first time, or last year (second time), is about sharks and tornados. Sharknado’s!

The plot did manage to throw in some human drama (which at times tanked in its execution) and funny and silly moments. Ridiculous at times too. All the things you’d expect from this type of creature feature. Oh, and did I mention part of the plot was stay safe, save loved ones, and save the day? No? Well, it is. As always.

While the plot isn’t at all original for a SyFy film, you can quickly overlook that. When watching this again I noticed something. The acting wasn’t actually that bad. It had some meh moments, but overall it really was easy to sit through. I’d say lines being poorly delivered (written) is what made you cringe most. It’s because of this that I found myself liking these people and the types of relationships they had, even if you didn’t get to explore them that much.

Once the sharks start attacking and the people begin running around screaming, that’s when the fun begins, and the bad special effects start showing up on a constant basis.

Watching as Ziering, Scerbo, and Simmons (sorry, George (Heard), you are truly missed), work hard to get to Reid’s house and rescue her, is one insane situation after the next. From the moment all hell breaks loose, there’s falling sharks and people getting eaten! A nice body count did come from this film. Many deaths were had and quite hilarious! Even the shark deaths were awesome! Pool stick to the head! Getting hit out of the way by a bar stool! And, of course, Ziering and that epic moment with the chainsaw!! There’s also a strange scene involving freeway traffic that sadly takes Heard from us too soon. Like so many other scenes/moments in this film, the fact that the water level, and the rain itself, and cars on the road constantly changes is one that just stands out. All I can do with these types of scenes is shake my head. However, again, as ridiculous as these scenes are, they bring about a few laughs.

While this film of course had unintentionally funny moments, I did enjoy the deliberate attempts at humor that popped up every now and then, if they were a bit groan inducing. At one point, after identifying a tiger shark, Ziering asks Scerbo how she knows this. Her response was simply, “Shark Week”. Haha… Kind of lame, but still funny enough for me. Then, of course, although I probably didn’t notice it as much the first time, there was “We’re going to need a bigger chopper”. Yup. They went there. Apparently if you’re going to make a shark film, there’s got to be a “Jaws” reference. It’s the oldest thing ever. One moment that I did love, was after Scerbo tragically fell into the sharks mouth and “died”. Ziering’s onscreen son responded with a deep “Oh my god! [pause] Nooo oh ooo”. He did it much better than I could ever type out.

Even though this film had plenty of exciting shark attacks, death, and overall ridiculousness, there was one thing missing. Not enough Twitter banter and snark. Sad to say, but apparently Twitter does in fact make things even better. Perhaps if I tune in tomorrow and check into Twitter that viewing will be even better than today’s. It certainly felt weird that I had to lament the demise of Simmons’ character all on my own. It was certainly a difficult death to take. So sad. Gone too soon. I may need a moment.

Okay. I’m ready to continue. I’m fine, I promise.

Even with the loss of characters you like, the survivors managed to save the day and end an incredibly silly film. It’s not every day on SyFy with a lot of fun shark action and decent acting. But, surprisingly, the SyFy loyal and those that have only heard of SyFy Original films are much better off because of it. Last year’s sequel managed to be even crazier and amazing, that all we can hope is that the third film in this series will be just as ridiculously nonsensical as ever! If not, there may be some protests.

The trailer that started it all:


One thought on “On Second Thought: “Sharknado”

  1. Pingback: ‘Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’ Brings Mass Destruction, Hilarity And Fun! | Past, Present, Future in TV and Film

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