| July 28, 2013

The bad movie has become almost its own genre by this point, and like any other genre, some people catch lightning in a bottle and turn out really exceptional bad movies.  The concept of a “good bad movie” may seem oxymoronic, but if you’re someone like me who can’t get enough of these things, then you really do come to admire how the filmmakers apparently go out of their way to make every minute aspect of their film as awful as possible.  Of course, it’s that much better when the audience is sure that the director was trying to make a legitimately good film and simply miscalculated everything.  Everything.  That being said, Sharknado is not the best bad movie I’ve ever seen because it feels like the filmmakers weren’t taking this seriously enough.  I believe they were shooting for something more tongue-in-cheek; in the realm of parody.  To me this is why Sharknado will never rise above the likes of Birdemic for the title of best bad movie of all time.

The story is simple enough.  Former surfing champion Fin (Ian Ziering) owns a little restaurant on the beach in L.A. with his best friend Baz (Jaason Simmons) and waitress Nova (Cassie Scerbo), while his ex-wife April (Tara Reid) and daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peebles) live in-land in his old house.  But, his family is his first concern when a hurricane begins flooding L.A. and allowing sharks to start swimming the streets and attacking people.  Things get worse when three cyclones (water tornadoes) form and suck hundreds of the sharks into the air to be hurled at the innocent citizens below.

Of course, the titular sharknado doesn’t become an issue until about two-thirds of the way through the film, so it feels misleading to call the film sharknado, but that’s one of the best bad things about this.  My favorite aspect of the film though is that the laws of physics do not apply to this world at all.  Sharks weigh hundreds of pounds, so a tornado being able to hurl them over enormous distances through the air like rain drops seems a bit farfetched.  When they land, they’re heavy enough to crush a person to death, but when the film needs them to be downright impossible, that’s when the audience is treated to some real movie magic.  A particular favorite moment of mine is when Tara Reid’s character catches sight of an in-bound shark falling from the sky towards Fin.  She has time to yell his name, kick a cart to him with a chainsaw, which he then has time to pull-start and hold over his head as the shark hits and is easily cut in half as it falls past him.  Bravo, Sharknado.

The other great thing about these particular sharks is that they are ravenous.  Even when they’re being sucked out of their natural habitat and flung through the air (presumably suffocating the entire way) they are still hoping for that last meal.  They continue to chomp their jaws and as soon as they land near a human being, they just have to eat him or her because it’s their nature or something?  Basically, every shark in this movie is the shark from Jaws.  They’re merciless killers with a taste for man flesh.  This idea is proven by the directors use of many obvious Jaws references including one of the characters exclaiming that they would need a bigger helicopter, and one character killing a shark by exploding an air tank in its mouth.

There are countless parts of this movie that make absolutely no sense, but the realization of these things don’t make for a bad viewing experience.  Actually, Sharknado is amazingly fun and well worth the time of anyone who really enjoys a good bad movie.

Sharknado will be in select theaters for a special midnight screening on August 2nd.  You may want to pre-order tickets for this one.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Now Playing

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.