Lady Saika: Ohhh yeah, folks. You may not know this about me, but I am the biggest sap for terrible Syfy-channel original movies on this planet. I legit was Sharktopus for Halloween one year, I’m not even playing with you.
So imagine my incredulous delight when I saw the teaser trailer for Sharknado, a film that appears to have come about by putting a bunch of dangerous words in a hat and then grafting the first one they picked onto the word ‘shark’. (Hey, it worked for Sharktopus.)
Lady Bacula: And imagine the internet’s reaction when the thing actually came out. Social media exploded everywhere, which allowed for the movie to be aired again on Syfy (resulting in a bigger social media explosion), and it to be shown in movie theaters.
Before we get to the movie, can I point out that it is truly amazing what social media can do sometimes? Here’s this Syfy movie that now got into a real theater because of Twitter. That’s crazy!
So how was the darn movie? I thought it was such a shitshow that it was awesome. However, I feel that it goes in that same category as Snakes on a Plane: it’s just fun and ridiculous to say the name and you really don’t have to watch the stupid thing. However, I still recommend you watch it. Because being in the know is always better than not.
Saika: I think that it’s amazing the traction this movie got in the media, but actually, in the end, I didn’t really like it. Part of what lends the fun to the Syfy original movie shitshow experience is watching a ludicrously stupid imaginary monster eating people and eventually getting blown up or whatever. Sharktopus, Dinocroc, Supergator, Frankenfish; hell, even Jaws, about one anomalously large, abnormally vicious shark: what these movies all have in common that they are not about real, naturally occurring animals. I know going into Lake Placid 3 that the animal is not going to follow the real world rules of how crocodiles behave and what they can do, so I can just cheerfully suspend my disbelief and enjoy the movie. This is not the case with Sharknado.
It’s one thing to have fun watching, for example, Deep Blue Sea, where the sharks are mentally enhanced and we get to watch them take out the hubris-filled scientists who made them that way while a few scrappy underdogs survive. That’s part of why Jurassic Park is so successful, right? But watching as hundreds of totally regular sharks, whose only crime happened to be ‘being in the vicinity of a hurricane’ are shot, blown up, stabbed, chainsawed, and otherwise gruesomely murdered started to get old pretty fast. Am I being overly critical?
Am I, lover of Mega-Shark versus Giant Octopus, demanding more realism in this of all genres? I dunno. What if it were dogs? Cujo is scary because it’s about a crazy-vicious dog. A tornado full of dogs would just be weird. I scuba dive, and I’ve dived around sharks, and regular sharks don’t act like that, and so it’s just weird to me.
I don’t have much to say about the rest of the movie. I’m glad that the female employee from the bar ended up being the badass with the dramatically damaging past who overcame her shark problem and didn’t actually die. This movie apparently also passes the Bechdel test, although I wasn’t paying attention enough to catch that exchange.
Bacula: I’m glad that lady was a badass too. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting a lot from this movie. It’s like potato chips, tasty but not really nutritional, for your brain. I wasn’t expecting to be realistic, and I didn’t end up feeling sorry for the sharks. Knowing that the premise was stupid, I knew the movie was going to be stupid. So I didn’t have the expectations Saika did.
Saika: Everything but the premise was exactly as expected or better than what I was expecting from a Syfy channel movie—the acting, the special effects, the plot progression. I just wasn’t sold in the end on the premise, and that sort of killed the rest of it for me. When a movie where sharks are supposed to be the villains leaves me feeling sorry for the sharks… well, enough said.