Sharknado

Sharknado posterDirector: Anthony C. Ferrante

Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo

Cert: 15

Running time: 86mins

Year: 2013

 

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The lowdown: The “stick a shark in it” bad movie series reaches a fin-de-siècle with Sharknado.  Everything is present and correct; ropey FX, set-pieces unmatched by budget and stars wondering how they ever got here.  Interesting if only to see how far naff effects have come since Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, but let’s call time on these Carcharodon Car-Carry-Ons.

Sharknado - hammerhead attackSharknado - Tara Reid mouth open

The full verdict: How fun can a bad movie be when the filmmakers are in on the joke?

Sharknado cost a reported $1m, but the good folk at The Asylum seem intent on making it look a tenth that amount.

The budget evidently did not stretch to a light meter, the film murkily lurching from shot-to-shot.  And that so many locations are bone-dry despite an apocalyptic storm hitting LA smacks of laziness rather than budget/experience deficits.

Sharknado - living room attackSharknado - shark hurricane

Pornstar monikered scriptwriter Thunder Levin concocts the usual bunkum, this time involving a freak tornado that lifts sharks from the ocean and dumps them over the City of Angels.

Coastguard hero (groan) Fin (Ziering) must take his friends and family (including wife Tara Reid, who can’t open a door convincingly but has amazing waterproof lip gloss) to higher ground.  John Heard also crops up as a barfly, and may not even be aware he’s actually in a film.

With trapped school buses, helicopters vs flying sharks, and chainsaw sushi crammed into 86 breathless minutes, Sharknado is never dull.

Sharknado - Zieling, Tara ReidSharknado - behind you

But, can’t one million dollars be put to better use than this?  Roger Corman’s B-movie studios AIP and New World Pictures gave promising directors exploitation quickies to cut their teeth on.  So Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard and others could produce interesting work as long as there was violence or titty every fifteen odd minutes.

Today’s trash cinema has zero interest in risk taking, making these movies spiritual descendants of Troma’s 1980s sewage works.

Without wishing to sound like the one kill joy at the party, if you set out to make a bad movie, what’s the point?

Give me Birdemic, with its true amateur hour plot and acting, vaunting ambition and clumsily heartfelt eco-message over this ersatz nonsense.

Sharknado 2 has been greenlit.  Swallow me now.

Rob Daniel

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