Directed by Anthony C, Ferrante
Starring Tara Reid, Ian Ziering and John Heard
A massive hurricane creates tornadoes which sweep sharks into the air, raining them down on Los Angeles. The early beach massacre gives way to an apocalyptic road movie, as Champion surfer and bar owner Fin, together with his Australian bessie mate Baz and inappropriately forward and bizarrely badass barmaid Nova hit the road – driving past street sharks, which are a thing – to try to rescue Fin’s family from the squamous tide.
What’s wrong with it?
The film opens with sharks fleeing a tornado and then being sucked up into it. There’s no build up, just straight in there, killing any sense of tension.
Then there is a scene featuring a shark-fishing crew who become the first victims of the storm, but not before engaging in a bit of scenery chewing negotiation with a Japanese shark fin buyer and a gratuitous shoot-out when the buyer tries to steal back his deposit and flee… into the ocean?
Bad dialogue is rattled off at a ridiculous, staccato rhythm, when you can hear anything over the bad sound mix, while woeful green screen shots try to menace people, but fail by virtue of clearly being somewhere else. To try to imply cause and effect, the film cuts wildly back and forth, to the point of incomprehensibility. Our hero shouts a warning to the beach, but it’s ignored, largely because the two shots are clearly taking place in different time zones.
Fin’s insane drive to heroics leads the film at a crawl through a series of increasingly unlikely set-pieces, encountering a dizzying cast of extraneous characters, most of whom get eaten by sharks, usually after flagging their death with some piece of bad dialogue.
The film tries so hard to be tense that the number of threats it piles in becomes ludicrous, and the denouement is pure insanity.
What’s right with it?
It pretty much is what it is.
How bad is it really?
So, it’s bad; there’s no denying, but seriously…
In the Simpsons episode ‘Brother from Another Series’, Krusty the Klown explains the principle that a pie in the face gag is “only funny if the sap’s got dignity”. To get any meat and mileage from critiquing a film, the film needs to have some sort of cinematic dignity. It’s basically impossible to write a proper bad movie review of a film which gives this little of a fuck about itself. Besides, even watching the thing is more attention than it deserves.
Best bit (if such there is)?
At the end of the film, it flashes up the credit ‘fin’. That was quite funny.
What’s up with…?
- It’s a film about sharks in a tornado; it feels kind of pointless to mention anything else.
Production values – I swear, in this day and age they must have tried to find effects this bad. The CGI is terrible, and impossibly poorly blended with the live action. 17
Dialogue and performances – Bad dialogue, poorly performed and half-concealed by sound effects. 15
Plot and execution – A mad series of set pieces, linked roughly together by the antics of a series of stock characters. 17
Randomness – It’s called Sharknado. 20
Waste of potential – This is pretty much the greatest film ever made about sharks in a tornado, but so little effort is given that it still squanders what potential it had. 16