Before it even aired on SyFY, Sharknado was making waves. First spotted as a film poster, Sharknado would make periodic social media resurfaces as more and more people saw the poster for the first time. The image of the sharks swirling in the tornado, with the tagline “Enough Said!”, was enough to send everyone’s lips a-talkin’ and smartphones a-tweetin’.
And lo, it came to pass that Sharknado did air on SyFy. An event film, it became a social media sensation, though the ratings failed to live up to the hype. How much was just people thinking they were too good to watch, and how much was the lamented switch to new SyFy movies on Thursday, I cannot say. But saw Sharknado I did, and thus, now we shall all learn about the Sharknado!
Sharknado laughs in the face of your physics and logic, presenting a world where a Mexican hurricane causes massive shark gatherings off the coast of LA, which are then sucked into water spouts and unleashed on the city, but not before random flooding causes sharks to be swimming in the streets, the sewers, back yard pools, and increasingly in higher ground. LA is as prepared for sharkmageddon as it is for being invaded by alien butts, thus no one has evacuated or even leaves the beach as terrible weather comes in.
Through it all, we follow surfing legend Finly “The Fin” Shepard, as he attempts to save his children and ex-wife from the swarms of sharks. Fin wasn’t always there for his family, but he’s there now, and has to mend the wounds while avoiding shark wounds. The journey is also an excuse to explain whey they just don’t hole up at the top of a tall building until the storm passes. Fin is also a guy who can’t leave lots of innocent people to die, so at times he goes and risks his life to save strangers. At one point this literally stops the film as he saves a busload of kids. But it’s nice to see a hero do heroic things and think of others, and not see people as just collateral damage for his conflict.
Sharknado saves the actual sharknado for the end of the film, before that it is just a glorified flooding shark attack movie. But the title does appear (3 of them!) and there is some sharknado destruction and gifable images. But I’m greedy and always demand more more more. While the carnage and death is fine, I can see why some people are disappointed.
But Sharknado is a wonderland of references and crazy stuff. It also has some odd parallels with Pacific Rim (at least three scenes) though they would be totally independent, as the Asylum version is called Atlantic Rim. Sharknado has references to Wizard of Oz, 90210, Shark Week, Jaws, Crocodile Dundee, and many more. It also features such wonderful shark battles as:
- pool stick vs shark
- barstool vs shark
- oxygen tank vs shark
- bookshelf vs shark
- lamp vs shark
- power lines vs shark
- exploding swimming pool vs sharks
- pistols vs shark
- chainsaw vs shark
I liked it, it wasn’t the best Asylum production, but it was enough to satisfy my SyFy cravings. And what other movie would brave a title like Sharknado?