Wow. Just wow. I’m still in shock. Earlier today I saw what was arguably the best ‘worst’ film I have ever seen. And it was bloody brilliant.
Sharknado is a TV movie made specially for the SyFy channel, from the popular mockbuster studio The Asylum – the guys responsible for Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. It was written by Thunder Levin (I really hope that’s his actual name) and stars Tara Reid, Ian Ziering and a whole heap of other C-list actors.
Now for the plot. Brace yourselves, everyone.
Hurricane David is tearing its way up the west coast of America. By the time it gets to California, it has driven heaps and heaps of sharks up the coast. These sharks are then ‘sucked up’ into the tornados which begin to devastate Los Angeles. It’s up to Finn – yes, that’s genuinely the main character’s name in a movie about sharks – (Ziering) and his estranged wife April (Reid) to somehow save the day. What ensues for the next 85 minutes is pure shark-related fun.
The CGI is what one might expect from an Asylum movie and the one-liners are fantastic. Before the storm hits the Californian coast, two surfers are walking down the beach, one says to the other ‘Killer waves, man. There’s something unnatural about them.’ Now if that isn’t the worst bit of foreshadowing then I don’t know what is.
Ignoring the whole ‘flying sharks’ part, the plot itself is wonderfully ridiculous. Just take this example, for instance. When the characters are stuck in downtown Los Angeles they decide they need to stop the tornados that are ‘devastating’ the city, and the only way they can do this is by throwing homemade bombs into each tornado from a helicopter that, luckily, Finn’s son can pilot. Erm, what?
The film is filled with stock footage of storms, cities and actual sharks – however, the way these are spliced into the film is such that it’s blatantly obvious the footage was filmed in an entirely different location to where the story is set. For example, a shark ends up in a swimming pool (just go with it); we see an above-water shot of the shark swimming in the pool; then we are treated to a piece of stock footage of a shark swimming in water that is blatantly too deep and too blue to be the pool water we have just seen. It’s little gems like this that just make this film more fantastic.
Let’s get down to the sharks themselves – beautifully rendered in CGI, they do things in this film that I previously thought sharks couldn’t do: climb up ropes with their teeth, jump out of the water and launch themselves at people, swallow people whole. Let me expand on that last one. In the film’s nail-biting finale, the final tornado has been blown up (again, just go with it) causing sharks to rain down from the sky on our gang of heroes. Finn picks up a chainsaw, ready to tear apart any flying sharks, when suddenly he spots his daughter about to be eaten by a falling shark. He pushes her out of the way and, in a split-second decision, starts up his chainsaw as he is swallowed whole by the shark. The rest of the gang look in horror as they think poor old Finn is dead – Tara Reid gives us her best ‘shocked’ impression, when all of a sudden they notice movement coming from within the shark. Could it be? Yes, it’s Finn, chainsawing his way out of the shark – from the inside! Not only does he save himself, but he manages to save his girlfriend who got eaten about ten minutes ago, and by an amazing coincidence, they were both swallowed whole by the same shark. Words cannot describe my face whilst watching this madness unfold in front of me.
There were many, many inconsistencies in the film, to name but a few – the constant changing of the weather and depth of the water everywhere; the lack of emotion on the part of the extras who were supposed to be running from flying sharks; the fact that the directors forgot to add in the CGI devastation that the tornados have done to Los Angeles; the fact that emphasis was put on Finn’s legendary surfing abilities at the start of the film and then it’s never referenced again in the film (like an anti-Chekov’s gun); and, the fact that a helicopter to get within throwing distance of a tornado. But these are why the film is so brilliant – it knows it’s ridiculous and doesn’t try and hide that fact.
What did make me laugh was, as it was rated ‘TV-14’, no one was allowed to swear – so cue people screaming ‘Oh my gosh!’ and ‘Oh darn!’ when in reality they’d be screaming ‘Holy f***ing sh*t! F***ing sharks are raining down from the mother-f***ing sky!’
If you can get a copy of Sharknado, then I urge you to watch it – it’ll be the best 85 minutes of your day.
Oh, and they made a ‘period’ joke. Yup, an actual joke about menstruation. When looking into a room filled with blood-red water, someone shouts ‘Looks like it’s their (the sharks’) time of the month.’ For shame…