12/27/2013

Ian Ziering, Sharknado; Source: The Asylum
We'll be doing a semi-regular series where my brother Maurice and I discuss various geek topics via email. This week, the round-table is on the TV movie, Sharknado.

Nigel: Sharknado has become a phenomenon that goes far beyond the actual movie. It became a huge hit on Twitter and other social media, and continues to generate parodies and interest. What often gets lost in the shuffle is the actual movie. I finally got to see it, and it was an experience. While it could never stand up against big-budget blockbusters, in the realm of B-movies, I thought it held its own. What was your general impression of Sharknado?

Maurice: It's awesome if you're looking for a movie about sharks flying around eating people. As an actual movie, it's horrible, but it lives up to its slogan. I was shocked by how awful Tara Reid is.

Nigel: Yeah, Tara Reid is one of those actors who I wonder why she ever got work. I mean, her role wasn't that deep, but she almost slept through the movie.

Let's talk about the flying sharks. First of all, I admire the fact that they didn't bother trying to explain the gaping plot hole, which is that sharks couldn't survive for more than a minute out of the water. Sharknado should have been about a tornado of dead sharks. It's like Jurassic Park not bothering to explain how they turned fossilized mosquito guts into living dinosaur embryos. If you can't explain it, skip it. But I did think it was even more ridiculous how so many sharks managed to hit people with pinpoint accuracy, considering how they had no control over their flight path. We should have seen more sharks smashing into walls, and slamming into the ground.

My favorite scene was when Ian Ziering saw a shark coming at him, Tara Reid pushed a chainsaw at him, Ian took the chainsaw and revved the engine, then cut the shark in half. Instead of just, you know, taking two steps to the left, out of harms' way.

Maurice: Yeah the chainsaw scene was the one we kept seeing in trailers, but it's the perfect example of how ridiculous the movie is. But we're keeping it real? Ok, then. Here we go.

That is so true that there would have been more sharks on the walls then eating people. But here's the better question: Why would they even try? Why does flying around in a tornado make a shark hungry? What was the shark's plan after he ate someone? He's out of the water! He's dead! If I was having a last meal, I'd make it count. Like going for a big, juicy steak instead of skinny Tara Reid.

Also, tornadoes (or more accurately water spouts) don't last that long. The whole movie should have been five minutes long.

Nigel: That's so true! Why would the sharks even try to eat people? It's flying through the air at a hundred miles an hour. Even if it landed right on someone, it would be more interested in trying to find water and breathe than eating. It feeds into the idea that sharks are just ravenous eating machines, such a stereotype.

You know, I was disappointed that the actual tornado doesn't show up until late in the movie. Most of the movie, it was just random sharks flying around in no particular order. More like a shark storm than a shark tornado.

Side note, I found myself wondering why sharks are so scary to us. Like, if the movie had been Lionado about a tornado of live lions, it would have been more plausible but less scary. Why is that?

Maurice: I always tell people to skip the first hour, which is frustratingly logical and jump in at the tornado. It's not like you're missing anything.

Lionado should be the sequel. I think it's based on the mystery. We don't know much about them beyond the movies and they stay underwater.

Nigel: Yeah, I agree that sharks are scarier because they're more mysterious.

I did think there was some good stuff in the first hour, especially if you like bad movies. I was laughing about how people were running around screaming on the beach after some people get attacked by sharks. Why were they running? The sharks are in the water! Then the heroes seemed to have this weird premonition about what was going on, going, "We need to get inside! The sharks are coming!" And I'm like, "How do you know that? How could anyone foresee a shark-filled tornado coming?"

But yeah, all the character development and backstory didn't really have anything to do with what we came to see: Sharknado.

As far as the movie itself, I thought they did some clever stuff. Did any scenes jump out at you?

Maurice: I'd say the scene when they blow up the tornado like tornados last forever. Final thought: I'd say this is the most fun you can have watching sharks in tornadoes.

Nigel: I thought the scene where the Ferris wheel smashes into the building, and the scene where Ian Ziering jumps into an airborne shark's mouth were great as well. One thing that impressed me about Sharknado is that they really tried so hard to make a good movie, despite the ridiculous premise, bad acting, bad special effects, and low budget. I would say that the director of Sharknado cared more about its production than Michael Bay has cared about any movie he's ever made.

Final thought: The best part about Sharknado is that it really did redefine the B-movie industry by taking the shark attack movie, combine it with the disaster movie, and give both new life. Any natural disaster is better with sharks. Looking forward to Sharkquake, Sharkcano, and Sharkalanche!

What did you think of Sharknado? If you haven't seen it, would you?

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7 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

Ooh, now I want to see Lionado! I don't think sharks would really care if they're dying or not; they're eating machines. All they do is swim and eat.

Yolanda Renee said...

Is it okay if I just don't care? LOL

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You guys put more thought into this than the writers did.
The whole movie was a plot hole. Once the sharks are out of the water, all they will care about is breathing.
Tornadoes tearing through a city on a bright sunny day... Been through enough tornadoes to say that isn't true.
What if it had been killer whales instead?

Rusty Carl said...

I am forced to admit that the movie was hypnotically watchable. I hated every moment... but couldn't turn away. I'm probably less likely to heap any praise on it, much in the same way that I don't actually want to see a train wreck, but if I were to happen upon one, I'd still be unable to look away.

Nisse Söderström said...

i honestly enjoyed sharknado. i think we've come to the point in bad movies where they are actually getting "good". in a few years the asylum will be getting actual big time names working for them, as either a career booster or a way to show a more comical side of their acting, and so on... its like when bad teen movies in the end of the 90tees became a thing (almost). im not saying sir hopkins will be working for the asylum any time soon, but perhaps a comeback arnold?

Nigel Mitchell said...

I agree. CGI allows even low budget movies the ability to make visuals that would have been impossible 20 years ago. It's lowering the playing field.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I was recently thinking about why we villainize sharks, wolves, snakes, etc. And it occurred to me that when people were more actively in their territory, when we didn't have ways of protecting ourselves or the knowledge of what to watch for, they WERE probably dangerous, and they told tales (fairy tales, for instance...big bad wolf) about these creatures to teach kids that they should be feared. And that has continued into modern day where we make movies and write stories about these vicious creatures. But if they were as dangerous as we make them out to be in fiction, we'd have a whole lot more dead people. Too bad we learn to fear instead of have a healthy respect for them.

Good roundtable discussion. Sharknado was a kick.

The Warrior Muse

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