Syfy (TV Movie 2013)


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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 7/11/2013

Season 1 : Episode 1


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    • This doesn't make any sense, but a funny movie though.

      The title says it all
    • Oh, Come On! It's Sharks in a Tornado! A SHARKNADO!

      My favorite moment of this movie is when a shark comes flying towards Steve from BEVERLY HILLS 90210 and he cleaves it in half with a chainsaw. No, wait, it's a little later, at the very end of the movie: Steve has just used that very same chainsaw to carve his way out of a shark so massive it is practically a submarine, and then he shares a kiss with his estranged wife Tara Reid, and his mouth is covered in shark blood and you can just see her going ew, that's disgustingand it is the finest piece of acting Reid manages to accomplish in this whole thing, doubtless because she wasn't acting at all. It truly is disgusting, fake blood or not.

      And fake blood it so obviously is, as is everything about this deliciously deplorable made-for-TV film. The sharks are fake (except when they're stock footage), the effects are fake, the breasts are fake. The romantic tension between Steve and the much-younger Nova (Cassie Scerbo) is fake, the family discord is fake, hell, probably the only thing that isn't fake is sidekick Baz's (Jaason Simmons) Australian accent, which makes for a pleasant change when it comes to these kinds of things.

      I keep calling our hero Steve, by the way, but of course his name is Fin (Ian Ziering) here 'cause, get it? and he is a former World Champion surfer ("The best surfer I've ever seen," praises one doomed character) who owns a bar on a prime piece of the Santa Monica pier. Little does he suspect that an unfortunate confluence of circumstance will soon cause him to lose that bar: an illegal shark poaching operation in the deep ocean collides with Hurricane David, closing in fast after devastating Mexico, meaning that a hundred thousand sharks let me write that in numbers, so it sinks in better: 100, 000 sharks! of several different species find themselves swept along with a tidal wave into the Southern California shore. And man, are these sharks pissed. You know, it's always particularly hilarious in these things when the animals are given no reason at all for their bloodlust they're sharks, and so therefore they want to attack people willy nilly, apparently. Take that, Science!

      This is, of course, far from the last beating that Science takes in this movie. From the improbability of sharks swimming down suburban streets six miles inland to the outright absurdity of a helicopter hovering mere feet away from a violent tornado (sorry: sharknado!), there is very little in this film that makes logical sense. There are scenes where young Nova blasts sharks with a shotgun and scenes where she bombs them with homemade explosives and scenes where a bus full of schoolkids is saved from a rampaging school of killer sharks by a tenuous-looking pulley system. It's ridiculous, of course, it's ALL RIDICULOUS, and with that stipulated, SHARKNADO is groan-inducingly, uproariously, entertainingly awful fun.

      Of course, it is no secret that I am an outspoken proponent of just this kind of cheesy B-grade Animals Attack! movie. Whether it's old school creature features like CUJO and THEM! or the cynical-yet-awesome of MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS and its ilk (also productions of this particular "mockbuster" maker, Asylum Films), give me a freak weather pattern or an irradiated insect colony, an unearthed prehistoric beast or an unscrupulous developer disrupting migration patterns, and then set the resultant man-killing creatures loose on an unsuspecting vacation destination, and I am one very happy girl. So my judgment when it comes to SHARKNADO is not at all to be trusted, unless you too are a fan of this particular genre of dreadful. I mean, sharks get rammed by surfboards and killed by pool cues. A sappy family drama, simultaneously unnecessary and insufficiently explained, is woven into things (poor Tara Reid is given kids who are probably only a few years younger than she is; she and Fin started young), and the acting throughout is almost as bad as the directing, which is almost as bad as the CGI, which is almost as bad as the plot. What the hell the genial and accomplished John Heard (you know him; Kevin's dad from HOME ALONE) was doing here I do not know, except that perhaps his barfly drunkard was "as himself," and he really needs the cash to pay his actual bar tab?

      Regardless, look at the title, folks. SHARKNADO! You go into this one knowing exactly what you're getting, and if you can't be satisfied with:

      a) some used-to-be-somewhat-famous stars (in addition to Ziering, Heard and Reid, Simmons is known for his work on BAYWATCH);

      b) a few decent quips (a door is locked; quoth Nova: "Guys, stand back. I have a key" then she shoots out the lock!);

      c) some truly insane action sequences (though at least the shark biting the helicopter is slightly more believable here than MEGA SHARK's infamous plane scene);

      d) a few very questionable explosions (sure, that car was leaking gasoline but WHY did it blow up?);

      e) some cartoonish death throes (a guy got his arm bitten off, then his leg chewed on, and then a shark FELL ON HIM);

      f) a ragtag bunch of civilians saving the day (exactly where the hell's the government in all of this?); and

      g) a vague environmental message (the massive tornado was caused by Global Warming!)

      then I wash my hands of you.

      Just as it is to be hoped Fin washes his mouth thoroughly before his traumatized wife tries to kiss him again, or those crazy kids are never going to get back together which, of course, was totally the point of this whole story.

      -- Review from GEEK SPEAK MAGAZINEmoreless
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      20/20: In an Instant Murder in the Maternity Ward