Sharks are ridiculously awesome, except for those pussy-ass Nurse Sharks that don't eat people. Every year I host a party for Shark Week, although to be honest that party is usually in my head. When I went to Sea World recently (more on that in an upcoming post) I totally embarrassed Iron Man by making him go through the shark exhibit at least four times that I can remember.
One of the most excellent ways to commemorate sharks (besides Shark Week, of course) is to watch one of the SyFy Channel's Original Movies. A surprising number of them contain the word "shark" in the title, with my personal favorites being Dinoshark, Megashark vs. Giant Octopus, and of course, the greatest moment in cinematic history, Sharktopus. (I also just found out that SyFy has bestowed us all with a movie called Kaw. That isn't even a real word! I love this so much.)
For your viewing pleasure, here is a list of the SyFy Channel Original Movies so you can plan the rest of your life. You're welcome.
Continuing with this storied tradition, SyFy debuted another Original last night with what is probably the second-best title for any film of all time (Sharktopus still wins): Sharknado.
Due to the fact that SyFy films usually premiere on Saturdays, I must believe that television execs have declared The Asylum finally ready for primetime. This is the jackpot, people! Prepare for your minds to be blown.
So apparently, Sharknado was written by some dude named Thunder Levin. THUNDER Levin. Right away this has promise.
I originally assumed that this would be the thinking man's movie of the year; focusing on SharkNATO, a group that handles GovernShark events and keeps oceanic peace. Alas, it did not. Instead, Sharknado centered on a hurricane that swept through Los Angeles, carrying all the sharks in the sea with it. There were sharks on highways and city streets, in personal pools and IN HOUSES, biting random people and also swallowing them whole. It was amazing.
Perhaps the most exciting part of Sharknado was the cast that it managed to assemble. After begging and pleading with their agents, SyFy was fortunate enough to snag Ian Ziering and Tara Reid as a former couple (IM: "Yeah, right."). To his credit, Ziering, who we all know as the "not hot" dude from 90210, has aged impressively well.
Tara Reid, however, has not.
There was also a scene in the beginning where some Asian guy and some other guy (I couldn't tell where he was from, because his accent kept going away and coming back) were making some kind of deal to trade some shark fins, or something. You may wonder if this scene was important, or if these people would ever be discussed further.
Sharknado is so spectacular because it has all the makings of a consummate SyFy event. It was the perfect way to introduce Iron Man to the wonderful world of SyFy Channel Original Movies, with the heinous overdubbing and ever-changing lighting tones. The green screen was also a standout, especially the scenes in the car. I won't give away any more about that, because if you didn't watch, shame on you. You're obviously allergic to fun.
The characters are all quite appealing, including Tara Reid's boyfriend, who resembled Prince Eric if he drove a windowless van. He shows up, as is typical, for about three minutes looking particularly rapey, gracefully and adroitly recites a Shakesperean sonnet, makes a molesty face and then gets eaten by a shark that's swimming around the house. Then everybody leaves to find 90210's son who everyone totally forgot about until halfway into the movie. Some 22-year-old chick with a shotgun gets mad because 90210 neglected to mention his ex-wife and kids even though they only met like half an hour ago. Stage Five Clinger, perhaps?
Then again, maybe you shouldn't piss off anyone who can shoot a huge gun and pilot a terribly-CGI'd helicopter. Also, speaking of this, one of the most brilliant scenes in Sharknado was when a shark hung off the bottom of the copter and then ate the girl. It was fucking phenomenal, but sadly I couldn't find any videos or screenshots so you'll just have to trust me.
Honorable Mention: Tara Reid utters the now-classic "We're not all gonna fit in here." And the Emmy goes to... Interesting. Challenge accepted.
The part I was really looking forward to finally appeared in the last four minutes. I had been spoiled by the guys over at Uproxx, who perhaps were anticipating Sharknado nearly as much as I had been. This is how they described the scene that pretty much cemented this as the most definitive archetype in cinematic history since Mansquito, which is saying a lot:
IAN ZIERING CUTS HIMSELF OUT OF A SHARK’S STOMACH WITH A CHAINSAW. WITH. A. CHAINSAW. THIS MEANS THAT EITHER (A) IAN ZIERING GETS SWALLOWED WHOLE BY A GREAT WHITE SHARK WHILE HOLDING A CHAINSAW, (B) IAN ZIERING GETS SWALLOWED WHOLE BY A GREAT WHITE SHARK AND FINDS A WORKING CHAINSAW IN ITS STOMACH, OR (C) IAN ZIERING GETS SWALLOWED WHOLE BY A GREAT WHITE SHARK AND THEN SOMEONE FEEDS THE SHARK A CHAINSAW SO HE CAN FREE HIMSELF.
This movie is the equivalent of online dating circa 1996: I fell in love with it before we even met. The only difference is it turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be and more.
I cannot WAIT for the inevitable sequel. Bearicane? Piranhacano? Damon Lindelof has so far ruined everything he's ever touched but I have to admit that even I would watch this:
In conclusion, I give you this .jpg of one of the final scenes from Sharknado. It sums up everything about the movie and if this doesn't get you, well, I'm shit out of ideas: