Anthony C. Ferrante
Alex Arleo as Bobby
Diane Chambers as Agnes
Marcus Choi as Mr. Palmer
John Heard as George
Chuck Hittinger as Matt
Aubrey Peeples as Claudia
Tara Reid as April
Cassie Scerbo as Nova
Ian Ziering as Fin
The opening moments of Sharknado betray the ridiculousness to come when a huge tornado over the ocean (I guess technically this is a water spout) is shown chasing down an enormous school of sharks and sucking them up into the air. Soon after that tornado ends up feeding a huge and unprecedented storm in Los Angeles and supplying the waves, the skies and the sewer systems with thousands of sharks that proceed to swim and jump into the air eating residents with an unyielding hunger and viciousness. Is this the apocalypse?
Obviously, this film is utter absurdity from the first frame until the very last. The first thought most will have as stupid scene after stupid scene unfolds on the screen is that SyFy has truly hit rock bottom, and that Sharknado is the pinnacle of failure to add the cherry on top of the bad horror SyFy Sundae. But wait… was that a chuckle? A huge laugh out loud? Maybe an enormous Whoop, Hell yeah!!!? The fact is that this film is so completely stupid and over the top that it crosses that line at the very bottom of the bell curve, trending toward the completely f**king awesome.
The first clue that something cool is upon us is when our hero Fin (Ian Ziering), the owner of a bar on Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles California, decides to shut down his bar so that his patrons can safely get home and avoid the coming storm when suddenly a shark comes bursting through the window and eats someone. Fin then leads a band of bar employees and patrons on a quest to save his estranged family (including ex-wife April (Tara Reid), helping stranded motorists and little old ladies from being eaten by sharks along the way. Although this film is a disaster, there are a number of elements that prevent it from being a complete disaster; some inconsistencies that render the entire experience rather cool.
First off, Sharknado is played very straight in terms of the script and the performances. The lines are cheesy, but not done in a way that lets on that everyone involved knows this is intended to be an inadvertent comedy. Playing this film straight is a key factor that allows it to be watchable. Also, the acting performances are actually credible. Not Academy Award worthy of course, but actually credible and reasonably well done. Having good actors and a straight script provides a striking contrast to the subject matter about tornados and storms in Los Angeles filled with sharks falling from the sky and leaping out of the flooded trenches.
In spite of casting reasonable performers and some excellent direction regarding their tone and attitude toward their circumstances, there is no care taken for consistency. For example, when Fin returns to the home of his estranged wife and children and the house becomes flooded with water and sharks, that house literally explodes with water the instant they escape… in spite of the fact that every other house on the block is standing firm and unscathed. Water is pouring down on the windshield of the car that transports the heroes and escapees, yet when they exit the vehicle it’s clear that the actual weather is consistent with the clear-sky 80 degrees that Los Angeles is famous for. By the time the helicopter is flying just feet from a category 5 tornado in downtown Los Angeles suspension of disbelief is so firmly entrenched that you’ll hardly even notice how impossible a feat this is.
The effects in Sharknado are CGI-rich, but actually fun and bloody. Those who have seen the remake of Piranha, in 3D, will have an idea of the caliber of effects in this soon-to-be-camp classic. Bloody water, severed limbs and skies filled with sharks of every variety are hallmarks of this crazy feature.
Sharknado is not recommended as a film that one eagerly entices a friend to watch with them, as the unfortunate result of such a scene will undoubtedly be you exclaiming “wait, watch this kill scene coming up!” only to have the friend roll their eyes and doubt your horror sophistication. A group of friends, however, is a different story – especially if Jagermeister is used to wash down the Doritos and Vienna Sausage. Sharknado is the Summer “horror” film for groups of drunken friends to whoop and holler as one after the other residents of Los Angeles California meets their untimely demise at the jaws of an airborne Hammerhead. The days of Roger Corman cheesy horror classics is alive and well it seems, and veteran effects/make-up artist turned cheese-ball director Anthony C. Ferrante may just be the guy to keep that fire burning. After being responsible for a number of SyFy and Asylum features over the last few years, Ferrante may have just happened upon a career-defining winner.