The other night, Jessie suggested that we spend the evening watching a movie. No one had any specific ideas for which of our many downloaded films to choose, so Jessie went through the list of choices and it went something like this:
Jessie: OK, we could watch this decent movie, or this good movie, or this other not-embarrassing movie, or Sharknado.
Me: …yeah, I’m going to have to go with Sharknado.
Jessie: That’s your choice, Wes?
Wes: Out of the movies mentioned, it has to be Sharknado.
And so it was that we put Sharknado on. I’m pretty sure Jessie sighed a little in disbelief that we were actually going to spend time watching it (she ended up falling asleep near the end…that’s usually my job!). I went over to Shaun, who was playing Skyrim (obviously) and said, “We’re watching Sharknado if you’re interested!” I was pretty excited. Shaun, though, raised an eyebrow and said, “Um, no, I think I’ll pass…”
Now, as many of you know, I am a huge fan of terrible movies. Honestly, in terms of entertainment, there is nothing better than a movie that is so bad it’s good. Examples of this are Death Race 2000, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and Battleship.
Well, let me tell you, folks, Sharknado was definitely so incredibly terrible that it was fabulous.
Incidentally, I have added “Sharknado” to my spellcheck dictionary so that it stops telling me that it’s not a word. It’s a word NOW, bitchez!
Sharknado has it all. Sharks! Dubious and hilarious pseudoscience! People with a troubled past involving sharks! A retired surfer who has problems with his ex-wife and kids!
SPOILERS! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN SHARKNADO, STOP READING. Though no one should really be all that worried…nothing that happens makes a lot of sense, and there’s no twists, and there’s no one to care too much about.
The film begins abruptly by the sight of a bunch of sharks getting sucked out of the ocean by a big tornado. They DID NOT waste anytime with that shit. Later, it is explained that global warming is the general cause of this catastrophe. Global warming made the hurricane that was going to hit LA (of course it’s LA) and also, I think, made the sharks conglomerate into big diverse and angry schools that want to eat everything in their path. Also, we got an explanation of “water spouts pick up marine life from the sea all the time…why not sharks?” Why not, INDEED.
Beyond that, there is apparently just a lot of pissed off sharks in the sea near the shore because of the impending hurricane. So, in case you’re having trouble following: the movie has both a Sharknado AND a Sharkicane. The Sharkicane allows the sharks to enter the sewers and get tossed into flooded areas, like highways and restaurants! The Sharknado allows the sharks to eat your face while blowing by, or a shark can fall on you or something.
Make sense? SURE!
So, first we see the formation of the Sharknado. And then, for some reason, we are taken to a fishing ship in the middle of the ocean where an evil French (?) pirate/longshoreman extorts ridiculous amounts of money out of a Japanese businessman using a gun and a toothy evil grin. Apparently, the Japanese businessman wants the pirate to catch him some sharks…I’m assuming for sushi, but that’s probably a racist assumption but I don’t think he wants them alive, so it’s not for an aquarium, probably. He wants to pay the pirate $100K for the catch, but the pirate is like “Non, I will catch you thee sharks for one meeellion or nothing” and the Japanese businessman squirms around while trying to negotiate, then Frenchy takes out a gun and a deal is struck. By now, the Sharknado has hit the boat and the whole crew has been eaten by flying sharks. Then the businessman tries to escape but gets eaten and THEN the pirates face gets eaten aaaaand then we’re in Santa Monica.
One of the things that makes this movie so amazingly bad (and so very SyFy channel made for tv film) is that all the sharks are CGI and not good CGI. I remember when I saw The Mummy 2: The Scorpion King and marveled at how poorly done the CGI version of The Rock as a part Scorpion/part Badass MoFo was, with the kind of budget that The Mummy franchise must have had. Apparently, by the time they got around to making the Rock, they had whittled their budget down to SyFy channel levels.
The other thing that’s bad and wonderful about this movie is that it stars Ian Zierning of Beverly Hills: 90210 (the original class) fame. It also stars Tara Reid as his ex-wife. He plays a washed up surfer who has a Tiki bar on the Santa Monica pier (which gets destroyed by the Sharknado).
Along with bad CGI is also amazingly terrible editing. They don’t even try to make it look like Zierning is actually surfing. Most of the time, the shot makes him look like some doofus standing on a surfboard on the beach, but not in the water. The bad editing combined with the supremely bad acting makes most of people’s motivations make little sense. At one point Zierning and his Australian friend (who goes jet skiing with him when he surfs) are dealing with shark infested water. We can tell that there aren’t actually sharks there because the Australian guy looks completely unexcited or concerned that there is a shark a foot away from his friend. In fact, he only chooses to care (and by “care” I mean start screaming) is when
He has a scrappy waitress friend there who wants to do him but is “too young for him” or something. She also got bitten by a shark before and really hates sharks. She said so, about 5 times. She’s also really good with a shot gun, so she comes along to help him save his family…but only because she lives on the beach and her house is probably flooded.
Zierning somehow screwed up his family life before, seemingly from being too heroic all the time or something. Reid invokes this explanation at some point when he decides he should save some kids from a stranded school bus surrounded by sharks. “You’re such a jerk. You never consider your family FIRST!” His daughter hates him for never thinking about her first (over her brother, who is getting his “flying license”). There’s also a neighborhood drunk who hangs out at the bar who is important because he knows how to get to Beverly Hills and also uses his bar stool to kill a couple of sharks before getting eaten.
None of this matters. They really want us to care about these people but it’s pretty much impossible. I mean, how can you even think about any of it when there is a whirlwind of sharks wreaking havoc on Southern California? Tara Reid acts as though she is in a porno (and really, this movie should have been porn, a la the award winning Pirates of several years ago…it’s about the same quality everything else. Reid looks and sounds like the costar of Pirates and there were plenty of places to add nonsensical, gratuitous sex to add to the fun). The daughter is insufferable. Her dad risked his life to come safe them and she’s like “I want to have a family counseling session RIGHT NOW!” The son makes a brief appearance to fly a helicopter and come up with a ridiculous plan to drop bombs into the tornado…which works.
I don’t really have anything to say about that. I don’t know much about meteorological science, but the plan sounded pretty ridiculous, but hey, it’s a way to get this shit handled, so sure. At some point in movies you just have to accept the science of that universe and move on.
The important part is this: The scrappy waitress and Zierning get swallowed whole by an airborn Great White shark. Luckily, Zierning happened to be holding a chainsaw when he got swallowed, so he was able to saw his way out, emerging victorious covered in blood and shark guts. Then he pulled the scrappy waitress out and his son saves her with the power of CPR.
And all this makes Reid want to get back together with him and mend their family. Because I’m sure all of the previous issues have been completely solved after surviving a Sharknado. It’s pretty much the number one suggested family therapy, but isn’t practical to come by most of the time.
So, there you have it. You want to watch now, don’t you? Yeah, I know you do.
After the movie was over I went over to Shaun and said, “I can’t believe you passed up Sharknado. It was a movie of a life time.” Shaun once again raised an eyebrow in my general direction. Being undeterred, I continued, “Dude from 90210 CHAINSAWED his way out of the belly of a Great White shark, Shaun! CHAINSAWED OUT OF A SHARK THAT SWALLOWED HIM!”
Shaun was unconvinced of the importance of this and stated that he’d have to learn to live the rest of his life knowing he made this decision. Mind you, this is the same guy that tweeted the entire time we watch Hobo with a Shotgun together. So whatever.
Wes agreed with me though and engaged in quiet contemplation as to whether Sharknado was a great movie about airborne sharks or the greatest movie about airborne sharks while Jessie snoozed on the sofa. She woke up to come to bed and asked what she missed. I informed her of the chainsaw escape and that seemed to be enough for her.
There was no real point to this post except to talk about Sharknado. Feel free to look at it as a snapshot of life in the Polyskeptic Compound or something if that makes you feel better. If it doesn’t, well…I got nothin’ for ya.