Anybody can make a bad film, but few can make a film that’s so bad it’s entertaining. To do so, it takes a team of people who don’t wish to make a bad film at all, as well as the absolute sincerity of everybody involved in its production. The most amusing bad films are the ones where the cast and crew have at first reached for the stars, before having concluded that it might instead be easier to render their own CGI stars using a friend’s laptop. They’re the films that have managed to go unnoticed by the person whose job it is to say, “Perhaps you should re-do that part.”
Sharknado is not one of these films, for it has obviously not been made to dazzle audiences with its artistry. Some degree of thought has gone into its conception. It has been made as a comedy to resemble unintentional comedy, and everybody involved in making Sharknado is aware of this. Hence even during some of the film’s genuinely funny scenes there is an unavoidable sense that the actors are all in on the joke, which immediately makes the joke less amusing.
Aside from the title, the plot is the most satisfyingly ridiculous part of the film: it tells the story of a freak tornado, which causes man-eating sharks to be scooped up in waterspouts and dropped all across Los Angeles. The hero of the film is the aptly named Fin (Ziering), a smooth talking bar owner, whose insufferable surf buddies are called things like Baz (Jaason Simmons) and Nova (Cassie Scerbo).
Concerned that his estranged wife (Tara Reid) and teenage daughter (Aubrey Peeples) may be in trouble, Fin sets out on a mission to get them to safety — a mission that is immediately overcomplicated due to the fact that Fin is profoundly dim. As Los Angeles slowly floods, he and his buddies cook up a variety of strange solutions to rid the city of “sharknadoes”, which include dropping bombs from helicopters and simply beating the sharks one at a time with baseball bats while yelling, “Get its nose!”
Nobody in the Sharknado universe has anything but animosity towards sharks. Even at their least threating, sharks are still regarded by almost everyone as evil sea beasts capable of jumping as high as twenty feet out of the water if they need to. But there is a reason for why these sharks are especially unpopular amongst our main cast of characters, as Fin’s teenage daughter explains during one emotional moment of the film. “They took my grandfather,” she says. “So that’s why I really hate sharks.”
Rarely does the dialogue get much deeper than this, for most of what is said on screen consists of lines like, “I’ve had just about enough of you!” and “Go! Go! Go!” and even “Run! Run! Run!”. Better still is the scene where Fin and Baz are driving through the streets of a waterlogged Los Angeles, and Fin suddenly points to a big red button on the dash and says, “What is that? A nitrous button?”
“Sure is,” replies Baz.
“Then what do you say I hit that?” says Fin.
“Give it a go!”
It’s scenes like this that save Sharknado from being merely just another intentionally hammy made-for-TV film. It does have its moments and the special effects department have clearly pulled out all the stops to make sure that their CGI creations are the very worst that money can buy. But really it pales in comparison to genuinely awful films — that is, films that are unintentionally bad and therefore hilarious—like The Room, Troll 2, Shark Attack 3 and Miami Connection.
Sharknado is certainly a lot of fun, but unless you’ve already watched all the classic bad films, there are similar films that are both funnier and more entertaining to be watched. This is just a fun addition for anyone with the propensity to enjoy “so bad it’s good” cinema.