This post is brought to you by Tom Zumwalt, a writer from Kentucky whose movie reviews have appeared in the Georgetown News-Graphic. He came across Write Naked and learned that I pay for guest posts. After an amusing and well-crafted query, I accepted Tom’s pitch to offer a film review. This is the first film review on Write Naked! Enjoy Tom’s post:
Today’s forecast: 100% possibility of tornadoes with scattered sharks.
Once upon a time we were worried about swimming in the ocean because of one big white shark (Jaws). Now, dorsal fins are everywhere — mainly on our TVs. We’re witnessing a (bad pun alert) feeding frenzy of shark fascination. Typing “shark” in the TV Guide search field for our local cable channels scored 92 hits, with titles such as Spawn of Jaws: Sharktweeto, Shakpocalypse, Alien Sharks, and Shark After Dark Live.
And, then, there’s Sharknado.
I first heard about it by word-of-mouth from a buddy of mine at work who knows I love bad movies. When I think about it, that’s how I first heard about Star Wars way back when. Word-of-mouth. But, that’s where the two films part company.
Brought to us by The Asylum, a renegade film studio that makes what some call “mock-busters”, they’re known for spoofing the Big Guns. And, in ‘nado, they target big budget disaster flicks, shark movies, and tornado movies in particular. But, unlike many spoofs, they play it straight, with the occasional wisecrack tossed in for flavoring — just like a “realistic” A-list action movie would. What works so well for ‘nado is that it could be mistaken, at a sideways glance, for a straight-up actioner.
Basic set-up. We see a bunch (flock?) of sharks pursued by a massive waterspout. Up go the sharks, whirling around, a twister with teeth. Soon, the storm (we go from hurricane to waterspout to sunny weather randomly throughout the movie — atrocious editing, which just adds to the ridiculousness factor) bears down on a California coastal town, and we have our required disaster-movie group of ragtag survivors banding together after the waves/clear-weather-hurricane/flying-shark-attack take out the local hangout, even breaking loose a Ferris wheel. Much CGI-disaster ensues and Monty Python-style spurting blood effects. And, that’s the movie. It primarily consists of crew trying to stay the heck out of the way of the on-again-off-again hurricane/waterspout and a rainstorm of sharks.
What we have here is a full-tilt shark-a-palooza of a cultural event. And, it happened on TV, not the theaters, a lot of it due to social media. ‘nado quickly went on to the midnight theater world, appearing so far in at least 300 theaters. There’s even been talk of a sequel. This is guerilla film-making at its best — it’s huge, and it’s entertaining.
So, just how big? A quick Google search for Sharknado spewed up 17,300,000 hits. And, though the ratings were in the shark tank, the number of tweets was…killer.