Sharknado (2013)

Sharknado (2013) movie poster

director Anthony C. Ferrante
viewed: 07/25/2014

The phenomenon of Sharknado was very 2013.  I say that because we are on the cusp of Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014).

I do want to give credit where it is due.  The Asylum, which produced Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009) and a cyclone of variations on that theme ever since (Mega Piranha (2010), Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus (2010), Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (2011), 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)…just to name a few in the same general genre).  I’m sure they are making Roger Corman proud…or envious.

One other big coup on the part of The Asylum is their casting.  Getting Ian Ziering, who I hadn’t seen since Domino (2005) and Tara Reid, one of the truly worst actresses in the world, who I also hadn’t seen since Alone in the Dark (2005), you’ve got exactly the kind of cast you need to add cheese to an already massively cheesy pie.

In all this, Sharknado is just plain ludicrously ridiculous yet insane enough to really truly appreciate.  It’s spectacular nonsense.  Spectacular.  Nonsense.

And then there is the movie.

I’m vaguely reminded of the Troma films with The Asylum stuff.  Tongue is in cheek throughout yet in these Asylum films they are also trying to make the thing as straight-forward and serious so that the camp value can be more genuine.  They ride this weird line between irony and right on action genre fun.

Of course in Sharknado it’s pretty balls-out nonsense.  The CGi is both its success and letdown.  In some ways, the film would do well to look to the 1970’s and 1980’s of action thrillers because in those films gore is its own reward.  Since these films were made for the Syfy network, I don’t know what kinds of limitations they had (if any) on blood and gore.  To my mind, you don’t just ratchet up the concept, you ratchet up the viscera.  And the film comes through on a few of those points.

It’s funny but Ian Ziering really pulls it off.  He’s actually pretty good in the movie, game as anyone to make this nonsense work.  And he’s a way better actor than Reid or anybody that showed up in Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus.  Actually, it’s amazing how bad Tara Reid is in any of her line readings.

The upshot: it’s not all that it could be, but just the concept alone is so hilariously bananas that I have to give credit since credit is due.


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