Friday, September 20, 2013

Sharknado Movie Review

Many years ago, double features were things that movie theaters would do. A big budget, highly publicized "A Movie" was the main event. This was followed by a low budget, less publicized "B Movie." They were often campy, cheesy sci-fi or horror films in the 1950's. Now, the movie industry is so dependent upon profits and marketing that most of the ridiculous low-budget camp fests never hit theaters because they likely won't make a lot of ticket sales. B Movies still come out every now and then; they are TV releases or are simply released directly to home video. One such B Movie, Sharknado (2013), has been taking the internet by storm. It sounded so stupid that I had to give it a look.
Thanks to global warming, the California coast is hit by its first hurricane. This coincides with a massive number of migrating sharks. The migrating sharks are scooped up by water spouts (a kind of tornado over the ocean) and begin flooding Los Angeles with shark-infested seawater. Surfer and bar-owner Fin Shepherd (Ian Ziering) sets out with his Tasmanian friend Baz (Jaason Simmons) and bar waitress Nova (Cassie Scerbo) to rescue Fin's estranged wife April (Tara Reid) and teenage daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peebles). As they trek across the panic-stricken L.A, man-eating sharks rain down upon them from the sky and attack from the flooded sea water.
Yes, Sharknado is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds. The very idea is just about as laughable as can be. The title and premise is so unspeakably ludicrous that I think it actually became a draw for a lot of people. It became a trend on Twitter for a while and was discussed through Twitter by Olivia Wilde, Mia Farrow, and the notorious geek icon Wil Wheaton among others. After gaining increased publicity through Twitter, the SyFy Channel's encore showing of Sharknado set records for the most watched encore film in SyFy history. Maybe there still is an audience for corny B Movie schlock films.
Sharknado gives us exactly what was expected from such an absurd title; something so unapologetically dumb and cheap that it is hard not to laugh at and occasionally with. The movie does not take itself seriously at all. It makes some allusions to other movies, though it's done with such an air of silliness that I'm honestly not sure if it's a parody or a reference. There are references from disaster movies like 28 Days Later and Twister as well as some shark movies like Jaws. Early in the movie someone kills a shark on the beach by cramming an air tank in its mouth and shooting it. Later while flying in a helicopter near a "sharknado," a shark bumps into them prompting the line, "I think we're gonna need a bigger helicopter."
Have you ever been so angry that you attacked a flying
great white shark with a chainsaw?
The special effects were pretty bad. There were a lot of bad CGI sharks that lacked texture and shading and weren't animated very believably. That's not uncommon for TV films, but it just stuck out like a sore thumb. There was a lot of stock footage of nautical storms in the same scene with people running for shelter on a bright clear day at the beach. I'm not sure if this was intentional for the sake of making the movie look even sillier or if it was just bad editing. While the film is "Not Rated" and has TV safe content, there is lots of terribly animated and fake blood splatter. It simply looks too silly to be taken seriously.
There are scenes of illogical destruction such as a hammerhead shark hitting the pavement which cracks under the shark rather than having the shark splatter. There's a scene with a shark attack inside a flooded residential home, even though there is no flooding outside the home. In another scene a swimming pool full of sharks explodes by pouring one gallon of gasoline and a lit matchbook into it. The sharks don't seem to have any mass since they are able to swim underneath moving vehicles that are driving through a foot of water.  I'm pretty sure all of that is not how physics works, but it does make for some laughable action sequences.
Sharknado is such a dumb movie. The script is absolutely terrible, the acting is on par with most television soap operas, the special effects are pitiful, there are holes in the plot that a Great White Shark could swim through, and the premise is so preposterous that it's almost painful to watch. But the movie is aware of all that. It really looks like the director, cast, and crew knew they were making a ridiculous movie and were genuinely having fun making a movie that they knew would be ridiculous. If we are to rate the movie on how well they achieved what they set out to do, then Sharknado passed with flying colors! What makes a movie like this fun is sitting around with friends while laughing and making fun of the terrible movie. Sharknado is very good for that! If you are the type of person who enjoys watching stupid movies for the sake of making fun of them, you simply must see Sharknado. If you are not, you'll just be annoyed by it. Either way, it's worth renting to see once; it's not worth the money to buy a copy.

Do you have a favorite stupid movie you like to watch just to make fun of it? What is it and what makes it so funny? Comment below and tell me all about it!

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