Everything you need to know about Sharknado is right there in that drive-in-friendly title. Yep, sharks are being scooped up from the ocean by a raging tornado and dropping onto the flooded streets of Los Angeles. Abandon all hope of credible physics or plausibility here.
Sparking a tweeting frenzy after its July debut on SyFy, Sharknado has all the giddily nonsensical plotting and crazy-ass set-pieces of a Troma quickie. It’s also played with a remarkably straight face. Alas, the premise is over-ambitious for SyFy’s pocket-money budget.
The lack of dollars evidently didn’t even stretch to a water machine, so even the rain comes with a fuzzy digital finish. And when the sharks are this conspicuously synthetic, there’s no peril, no sense of real threat.
But are we watching Sharknado for pulse-quickening thrills, or to point and giggle?
It’s clearly aware of its own ludicrousness, having its hero Fin (erstwhile Beverly Hills 90210 actor Ian Zierling) leap into a giant shark’s mouth then chainsaw his way out again. It also chucks knowing nods to its shark-movie heritage (“We’re gonna need a bigger chopper,” says Cassie Scerbo’s as she fires on a swarm of flying sharks from a helicopter).
The trouble is this is not Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room, buoyed by naive belief in its own greatness, but a winky, self-aware joke between its makers and its Twittering audience. SyFy has already announced a sequel, the subtitle of which (The Second One) suggests even more tedious nudge-nudgery.
Really though, one Sharknado is more than enough. Once you’ve laughed yourself silly at the concept and the woeful CGI, it’s just another no-budget telemovie. Spin up Jaws: The Revenge instead.
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