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Sharknado

By: Addison WylieSharknadoPoster

Here we go again!  A shoddy B-movie courtesy of The Asylum and SyFy has graced our pop culture palette and tons of people (including celebrities) are claiming it to be a film that’s “so bad, it’s good”.

Sharknado earned infamous notoriety after its television premiere and has become so popular amongst a cult crowd, that it earned a fleeting theatrical run – including midnight screenings.

The schlock fest has been embraced in the same way James Nguyen’s Birdemic films have been, but Sharknado could’ve been the game changer.  I was really wanting filmmaker Anthony C. Ferrante to prove me wrong and offer pure joyful escapist entertainment.  I wanted Sharknado to avoid those bullheaded snafus Nguyen often found himself in.  Unfortunately, Ferrante is determined to out “Nguyen” James Nguyen with this stinker.

Sharknado actually had me pining for the good natured passion the Birdemic filmmaker clumsily charges through with.  Chalk that up as another thing I didn’t like about Sharknado.  It made me confess that I wished I was watching a James Nguyen flick.

I hate Birdemic, but I can at least understand why it works for some.  The cringeworthy likability factors exist because there’s a dedicated filmmaker behind the wheel legitimately trying to involve movie goers and successfully pitch what he’s selling.  The fact that anyone was so hard driven enough to go through with a film of its nature hooks people and they keep coming back.  They’re addicted.

There’s no selling whatsoever in Sharknado.  Ferrante, The Asylum, and SyFy think a goofy title and cheap special effects will be more than enough to satisfy their customers, when really they’re only scraping the surface of what needs to go into something this ridiculous.

Just because a filmmaker shovels a wacky premise towards its audience and then layers a bunch of tomfoolery on top doesn’t mean everyone’s going to eat it up.  Instead, the film and those involved come off as posers – hoping the audience won’t second guess.  When the evidence and presence is this flat, it guarantees skepticism.

While I tried not to dig too deep into the absurdity that is Sharknado, I just wasn’t convinced by any of it.  Part of the fun while watching these B-movie romps is investing yourself in these crazy environments during its freak attack.

In Sharknado, it is painfully and embarrassingly obvious that everyone is acting in front of a green screen in a studio or on a backlot.  Whenever the cast is acting on location, there’s always neutral activity happening in the background to convince you that the main danger is never life-threatening.  When a giant Ferris wheel is unhinged, rolls down a boardwalk, and smashes into a building, I have a hard time believing people would still be driving their cars around it at a normal speed.

Just as the filmmaker has to sell their idea, the cast has to do their fair share of convincing as well.  They don’t.  They not only have a hard time showing fear towards a wild tornado hurling sharks across California, they have a hard time portraying the notion of ever having seen a shark before.

Tara Reid, who looks like an embarrassed Mother who’s been caught by her friends playing make-believe with her kid in a park, is haggardly out of place – as is her whiny character.  It’s a relief to see John Heard having fun as a drunken fool who runs around and chases the girls, but I wish he was letting loose in a better movie.

Criticizing a film that has its protagonists trying to bomb a shark invested whirlwind feels a bit redundant, but I needed to air my thoughts.  Because, this isn’t “so bad, it’s good”.  Sharknado lacks a sense of peril, a sense of humour, and a sense of what is going to entertain.  This is “so bad, it’s bad”.

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