Monday, August 4, 2014
Well, I've finally gone and done it. Caught up with a little piece of TV pop culture known as Sharknado.
I have never partaken of SyFy's infamous so-bad-they're-good creature features before, but I got a chuckle out of the sequel's sub-tag line, "The Second One" and figured I had to see what all the hilarious fuss was about. So I recorded the double feature and settled in for the craziness.
My goodness. Wow. The first hurricane to hit Los Angeles brings with it mega waves that spool sharks into the streets and sewer systems, through Santa Monica, into Beverly Hills and Hollywood and eventually up into Van Nuys. Being a resident of the city, I naturally recognized the many landmarks affected and watched them destroyed by flying sharks.
Oh, in case you didn't already know, they were flying because water spouts became tornados that picked up the many sharks, therefore making them - you guessed it - sharknados.
Fighting the good fight are Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210) and Tara Reid (American Pie) as Finn and April, ex-spouses who take down the sharks with guns, chainsaws and homemade bombs. It is one f-upped adventure to survive, and there are many casualties along the way. But this is by no means quality filmmaking. The special effects are quite laughable, the continuity is ridiculously inconsistent (It's raining! It's sunny! It's pouring!), but it's not a surprise. In fact, it's exactly expected in films like these. It's part of what makes them so insanely fun to watch. And why it promptly demanded a sequel. How can it not when the the climax of the flim features Finn cutting himself and friend Nova (Cassandra Scerbo, Make It or Break It) out of a shark that had swallowed them both whole?
Sharknado became such a phenomenon, it seems like everyone wanted to join in the fun of Sharknado 2: The Second One. Ziering and Reid returned for more action - which this time takes place in New York - and in addition to being joined by Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath and Kari Wuhrer, the many cameos include Kelly Osbourne, Robert Hays (playing a pilot, a humorous nod to his Airplane! days), Andy Dick, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, Judd Hirsch (another humorous nod - he plays a Taxi driver), Shark Tank's Daymond John (get it?), Perez Hilton, Robert Klein and Wil Wheaton.
The flick certainly doesn't fail to up the insanity. The opening sequence finds Finn successfully crash-landing the 747 he was on with April, who were on their way to the Big Apple for a book signing (she wrote the natch best-seller How to Survive a Sharknado). See, the pilots got sucked out of the cockpit after flying sharks took out the engine and disabled the jet. Duh. Also among the flight's casualties are Wheaton, who got sucked out the chewed out side of the fusilage, and April's hand, bitten off by an incoming airborne shark.
There's plenty of other gore and screaming and carnage in both *cough* films and the cheesy lines are among some of the cheesiest (feel free to grown and eye-roll all you want, but if you make a drinking game out of it, be warned - you won't last 10 minutes). And yes, they even included several winks to Jaws, including the line "We're gonna need a bigger chopper."
Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One are exactly what you expect, no more, no less. But who cares. Love em or hate em, they have secured their place in pop culture history.
And no doubt, there will be Sharknado 3. But what will they call it? The Third One? Back for a Bigger Bite? Feel free to leave your ideas for titles in the comments below!
Sharknado is currently streaming on Netflix and Sharknado 2: The Second One is replaying on SyFy Channel.