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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide

People always ask me why I watch so many old movies, so I thought I’d try something different this time around. I’ll take a look at a new bad movie, one which has garnered much publicity. Yes, that’s right — we’re talking “Sharknado.”

“Sharknado” caused a social-media sensation when it first aired on the SciFi channel. Why?, I wondered — the SciFi channel has been cranking out shlock like this for years. We’ve already survived “Sharktopus,” “Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus,” “Atomic Twister” and — my personal favorite — “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.” The latter movie contains two great scenes: (1) former Monkee Mickey Dolenz gets eaten by a snake; (2) the battle between the two great beasts — not the reptiles, but has-been singers Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. How could “Sharknado” possibly top that?

Yet I have to say “Sharknado” delivers. Is it any good? Heck, no — you can’t hire Tara Reid as your star and end up with “Citizen Kane.” But the movie is so unrelenting in its badness that it tips the scales in its favor. There’s no need to review the plot. “Sharknado” is about exactly what it sounds like it’s about: Sharks spinning around in a twister. People become fish food. But while you can fill in the blanks plot-wise you can also learn many useful facts watching this movie.

Did you know that waterspouts can haul sharks out of the ocean — and only sharks? Apparently all other sea life is adapted to avoid the twisters — no one ever gets hit in the face by a flying manatee. Did you know saltwater sharks can survive in freshwater — and even on land? Did you know the best way to kill said sharks is with a pool stick or a bar stool? If you prefer a bigger weapon, raid an airport hangar — apparently they’re routinely stocked with an awesome variety of chain saws in case of emergencies. Or you could always go up in a helicopter and throw bombs at them. Which leads us to the scene where pretty Nova (Cassie Scerbo) falls out of a chopper and directly into a shark’s mouth. It’s followed by the scene — sure to become a classic — in which the hero, Fin (Ian Ziering), jumps into the mouth of a shark as it plummets toward him and cuts his way out of its belly with a chain saw to emerge with the unconscious but miraculously unharmed Nova.

This is all fine and good, you may say, but do the special effects work? Alas, the actual sharknados look like chum. However, the scene where a Ferris wheel rips loose during a hurricane and crushes patrons of the Santa Monica pier is fine filmmaking.

So check out “Sharknado” for a swimmingly good time. Also, get ready for ‘Sharknado 2.” Will lightning strike twice, or will it jump the shark? Keep the Weather Channel on just to be safe.

— Blaise Majkowski

Gazette page designer and B-movie aficionado

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