Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sharknado (2013)

Well this had to happen at some point, didn't it? I suppose it was inevitable that I got dragged in this mess eventually. I managed to avoid it for a time, but just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Like these unfortunate aquatic creatures caught in the ill winds of fate, I too am helpless, twirling about as I flail my arms uselessly until I puke from the spinning. And there's no doubt in my mind that I will end up much as they did: On the ground, broken and splattered as the quivering bits of what's left of me spasms in futility - not grasping the fact that they are already dead.

So "Sharknado" is a thing that exists. It was conceived of, written down, produced, filmed, edited and then distributed. It is an hour and a half of moving images that convey a story. Past that I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to say about it. It's called "Sharknado." I don't have time to explain the science behind it to you.

As is most likely painfully obvious, "Sharknado" was made by The Asylum - the same people who graced the world with such treasures as "Transmorphers" and "Snakes on a Train." However, this isn't one of their mockbusters in which they just switch a few letters in the title around and then throw a couple thousand dollars at a film crew and say "Here, make "Avatar" but film it in my producer buddy's backyard. Don't use the pool." Instead "Sharknado" is another entry in their long-running series of monster mashes, of which they have an absurd amount. The Asylum is like the American Toho, only somehow they make worse movies than "King Kong vs. Godzilla."

I posit a riddle: Which aspect is stupidest, the shark on land attacking someone, John Heard hitting the shark with a bar stool, or that bimbo who's about to castrate John Heard with buckshot?

Regardless of how much Twitter seemed to love the concept of "Sharknado" since it was flooded with it before its release, relatively nobody ended up watching it when it debuted. This fact gives me some hope for the human race since clearly there are enough of us left with the good sense to realize when something is going to suck, and they shouldn't waste their time with it. Of course, that won't stop them from making "Transformers" or "Paranormal Activity" movies, but at least we're not completely hopeless yet. But to everyone who didn't watch "Sharknado," good job. Your instincts are working. I don't know what my excuse is, but I blame sadistic friends and beer.

"Sharknado" sucked. I know that's a bit of a redundant statement, but really it's nowhere near what The Asylum is capable of. Every once in a while they make something that's not physically painful, like "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus," if we're doing the monster match-up thing. But I could not get into "Sharknado." Unlike their better entries, but very descriptive of most of their stuff, it's just a boring slog. The story is naturally ridiculous, which you would think would make it fun, but it's such a barrage of wash-rinse-repeat and wretched acting that it's simply kind of lame instead of the "so bad it's awesome" angle they were clearly attempting to go for.

Seems legi...wait, no it doesn't...

In this movie, there's a huge storm rolling into the California coast. It produces tornadoes. For some reason the waters the storm goes over are INFESTED with thousands upon thousands of sharks, all of whom are really pissed off at being sharks, and just want to eat the first thing they see or violently get thrown at. The tornadoes pick the sharks up in their funnels and head towards land, bringing with it a mass of these mean bastards in a truly bizarre weather event that produces heavy rain, severe winds, flooding, and sharks - a "Sharknado," if you will.

Our characters, none of whose names matter because you'll not remember any of them, attempt to escape L.A. as it floods, but are trapped by the encroaching water and constantly falling sharks that don't seem to be harmed by slamming into the pavement at terminal velocity nor the fact that they've been out of the water for hours at this point. But then again, at the climax the characters literally stop tornadoes by BLOWING THEM UP, so I suppose that if that's the way we're going to be going about things I shouldn't be complaining about trite things like sharks needing to be in the water to survive.

If it didn't work in "Hitchhikers Guide," I doubt marine life falling from the sky will pan out well here, either.

Out of all the cast, there's really only three people who stood out. The first was John Heard since he's John Heard and pretty awesome. He's about the only actor giving a half-damn here, although it is only half of one. But he's playing a drunk who brings his bar stool with him while they're on the run, so he is pretty entertaining. The second person was Cassie Scerbo, playing a character named Nova whom I can only describe as being like Phoebe Cates in "Gremlins" if she were also Quint from "Jaws." She's notable because I swear I've seen a pornstar who looks just like her. This isn't a stretch because she is quite attractive, but it was slightly distracting.

Now that I think of it, I'm surprised there hasn't been a greater number of "You're gonna need a bigger boat" references in porn. Just saying.

And of course, we save the worst for last with Tara Reid. It's difficult to put into words my thoughts on Tara Reid, so I'll just leave it at this: When you are the worst actor in a movie called "Sharknado," it's time to rethink your profession. Go become an interior designer or something. Even if you're color blind, you're bound to be better at it than what you're doing now. Just a thought.

The effect of "Sharknado" can basically be summed up by imagining a scene where a shark in a tornado comes out of the sky and eats someone. Picture it done really shoddily. Then imagine people running. Then image watching that for an hour and a half. I've just summed up "Sharknado" for you. Its biggest fault is that it's boring because it's simply doing the same thing over and over again, and the acting chops of Tara "Botched Boob Job" Reid aren't doing anybody any favors.

Her face when she realizes that both Tiffany and Debbie Gibson were better in an Asylum movie than she was.

Here's the thing that will make or break a movie like this: Does it do what it set out to do well? In the case of something like "2-Headed Shark Attack," the answer was a resounding "Yes." That's because all that movie was setting out to do was show babes in bikinis, and every once in a while one of them got eaten by a shark with two heads. And you know what? That movie did that very well. Yeah it was smut but it was enjoyable smut. "Sharknado" on the other hand doesn't do what it set out to do well, that being "BEING AWESOME," because it's too dull and repetitive to be as cool as it thinks it is.

This is the kind of "awesome" idea that you have while slamming back shots of Cuervo. You laugh uproariously about it with your friends for a while, insisting that this needs to be a thing, maybe you scribble something down on a post-it note, but the next day you wake up with a hangover and no idea what "Shrks pls strom = WTF YEAH" means. And that's as it should be. Those alcohol fueled sessions are seldom good beyond coming up with band names that you'll never use. And while I'd pay good money to see a band called "Sharknado," as a film concept it's just too stupid to care much about.

Notice how nearly every special effects shot is about an eighth of a second long here. That's so you can't notice how terrible they are.

THE BOTTOM LINE - "Sharknado" may not be the worst Asylum movie I've seen, but it's pretty bad. It's boring, it's titanically stupid even for a movie called "Sharknado," it features Tara Reid, and it does it whilst thinking it's just the most badass thing you've ever seen. The fact that I've seen Abraham Lincoln behead zombies while saying "Emancipate this!" begs to differ. This sucked. I'd say I was disappointed but it was just about as bad as I figured it would be.

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