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TV Waffle - Sharknado

A hurricane washes hundreds of sharks inland to Los Angeles.

Directed by: Anthony C. Ferrante
Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons


An immense freak hurricane hits the California coast, bring with it hundreds of killer sharks, plucked from the ocean and carried inland inside multiple tornadoes. Former champion surfer Fin (Ziering), along with his surfing buddy Baz (Simmons) and young admirer Nova (Scerbo), attempt to rescue his ex-wife (Reid) and his son and daughter before they become victims of this bizarre phenomenon.
A product of the notorious low-budget studio 'The Asylum', 'Sharknado', like most of their product, was made to air as an original production on the SyFy channel. Around a decade ago, the channel discovered that any poorly made piece of dross could bring in lucrative viewing figures as long as it featured sharks. It started off with simple 'Jaws' knock-offs like the 'Shark Attack' series but the concept quickly became stretched to include such ludicrous titles as 'Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus', 'Sharktopus' and 'Sand Sharks'. Yes, the SyFy channel has given us sharks as big as oil tankers, sharks that can live in the desert, and even a half-shark, half-octopus hybrid. Along with shark movies, the network is also synonymous with disaster flicks, usually resembling exceptionally cheap Roland Emmerich rip-offs. It was only a matter of time before someone at the channel decided it would be a great idea to combine both of their specialty genres. That time is now; enter 'Sharknado'.
The Asylum/SyFy shark movies have always guaranteed three things: a hilarious poster, an even more hilarious trailer, and a nigh on unwatchable final product. 'Sharknado', despite it's "so crazy, how can it fail?" premise, is no exception. If you've seen the trailer, there's really no need to watch the movie, as there's no more than two minutes of genuine entertainment in the finished product. Most of the film resembles an extended episode of 'Baywatch', but without the bathing suits. The CG is awful (but we expect that), the editing nonsensical, and the dialogue mind-numbingly unoriginal.
The night of 'Sharknado's US TV premiere, the internet was abuzz with people cracking jokes about the film, creating a barrage of publicity which failed to translate into viewing figures for SyFy. Only 1.4 million viewers tuned in, which is half the expected audience for a highly publicized SyFy original.
The poster carries the tagline "Enough said", which highlights the problem with these movies, they're one joke films and, when that one joke is on the poster, do you really need to watch the film? Any images a title like 'Sharknado' conjures in your mind simply aren't going to be replicated on screen by the effects crew at the Asylum. In fairness to SyFy, they'll gladly admit this, unlike their bigger Hollywood cousins who, equally, rarely deliver on their high concept pitches. That's why we've gotten a series of 'Transformers' movies with little in the way of actual transforming. Strangely, people will mock the SyFy originals, which can be viewed for free, while gladly handing over money for big-budget garbage like 'Battleship' or 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'.
Premiering the same evening as 'Pacific Rim' hit theaters, many jokingly asked which movie was superior. Well, the answer is 'Sharknado', simply because, unlike del Toro's film, it does contain two entertaining minutes and you can catch them in the trailer instead of wasting two hours of your life.
3/10


Eric Hillis

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