Sharknado is a howlfest and not to be missed (Review…kind of)

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Its hard to review SyFy’s (to be fair, The Asylum’s) Sharknado without giving away most of what happens in the movie — so if you don’t like spoilers, don’t read ahead…just watch it next time it is on. Its actually a movie that can’t really be reviewed because the schlock-factor is so bad, its like watching live action MST3K in your living room with your own family doing the play by play. I am so glad I DVR’d this so I could watch it over and over (7 times so far). Its possibly the best bad movie ever made. Ed Wood would be proud.

Let me preface this by saying I loved this movie, for all the wrong reasons, or maybe the right ones. I couldn’t stop laughing from beginning to end — and in a good way. The production values, as high as they are for a movie of this ilk, range from superb to horrendous. As does the acting, Wait, what am I saying, you can’t review the acting. Even the actors knew they were immune from critical review in this stinkbomb, so they could do all the overacting and/or deadpanning that they wanted.

Led by superstar Ian Ziering and later featuring superstar Tara Reid, they act, react, swim, climb, look scared, look dumb, look sexy, look anywhere but at the camera for fear of laughing on screen. You know you are in for a treat when there are lines like “The water’s rising – I’m going to go up to the bridge and repel down”.

Here’s the scoop — The movie starts with a scene that takes place on a boat at sea (obviously filmed on several different boats) where some criminal types are making dealings about shark meat — though it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie — and they get eaten anyway. Then this waterspout picks up a school of swarming sharks and carries them on land in LA where they swim in the sewers, enter houses, swim on highways, and defy gravity to leap into the air on repelling equipment. Sharks apparently can get very firm grips on nylon rope.

There’s a scene in which sharks attack swimmers in one foot of water. Later, sharks attack people in parked cars in one foot of water. It doesn’t come to anyone’s mind to just walk over them. The good guys race around in a traffic-less LA in first a Jeep, and then a Hummer. Later they hurl homemade bombs into the tornados and save human kind. And gladly so, because a sequel based in NYC has already been ordered by SyFy from The Asylum.

The Asylum (featured in Wired not long ago) churns out two schlocky sci-fi/horror/cheese flicks like this a month, so there’s a lot of great stuff you can pick up on SyFy, rapidly becoming my go-to tv channel when there is nothing decent on tv. This is the company that brought you Titanic II, so it should tell you something about the quality of these films.

But watching Sharknado is mesmerizing — it gets funnier and funnier as it goes along, complete with a howler at the end of the movie that you seriously need to make sure you have set your drink down before reaching — I won’t give it away, but it involves a toy chainsaw and finding a character you thought was already dead. My dog stared at me as if I was demented as I howled out load with laughter.

But there are plenty of other similar howlers along the way — you can’t take your eyes off the screen for a minute for fear of missing something outlandishly ridiculous. Watch the amazing editing from stock footage — in a scene “filmed” on a helicopter with a raging tornado outside, the view downward shows a full Hollywood Bowl of audience watching a concert. This is the same kind of stock footage that revealed the Queen Mary (standing in for Titanic II) at port in palm-tree-lined LA when supposedly in the Atlantic in that film.

But nothing compares to Sharknado in the classic film department. Its legen, wait for it, dary. Film classes will be studying this disaster-flic’s ineptitude, and having a laugh riot along the way. Please please do yourself a favor — DVR the movie when it next appears (7/27 on SyFyD and 8/22 on SyFy, but I bet other screenings will be added before those) because you will want to see this one over and over and over (without commercials, it runs about 85 minutes of pure cinematic delight).

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