Sunday, August 9, 2015

“Sharknado” (2013) By Tyler Wanek

“Storm's dying down.”
“How can you tell?”
“Not as many sharks flying around.”
“Sharknado” (2013):

Humor me for a few moments here.
It’s a well-known fact at this point that the Syfy channel either creates or syndicates some of thee most terribly executed sci-fi and horror films in the history of modern cinema. From the special effects, editing, direction, acting, so on and so forth – if Syfy is labeled on the final product - it’s probably bad; and yet, despite of all that, they continue to thrive and make new features on a regular basis. However, when stopping to think about those things, that’s not really what is most intriguing about Syfy’s success because that part is fairly obvious: The network (or sub-network, as it were) would not be able to continue in such a way if they weren’t getting the necessary viewership; so, in other words, people are eating this stuff up. Sure, why not? After all, how could curiosities not be piqued with some of the obscure titles that Syfy throws out there for us to, er, “digest” as best as possible? And it’s not like the studio is oblivious to their product at his point. If an angry cinema lover wrote a heated letter to the CEO exclaiming that “Your movies suck!”, it’s doubtful that NBC/Syfy will jolt up saying “Jesus Christ on a crumpet! Why did no one tell us?!”
But I digress.
No, what fascinates me is the “why” for which viewers are continuously adding fuel to this fire. My thoughts are that, regardless of the quote/unquote “quality” of films that Syfy makes, I would also argue in defense of Syfy that they have some of the most imaginative productions out there today. Think about it: Movie-goers love creature features – always have, always will. Nevertheless, mainstream Hollywood has not been able to make any worth a damn beyond about the 1980s (sans “Pacific Rim”). To be brutally honest, the closest attempts at passible that have been created are a par and sub-par look at Godzilla (and no, I’m not counting “Deep Blue Sea” or “Snakes on a Plane” as they would have been appropriate for the Syfy channel).
Take the subject matter of “Sharknado” as an example. Whether it’s in a swimming pool, bathtub, or wherever else, this is the kind of stuff that 10 to 12-year-old kids dream up with their shark toys. “A hurricane sucks up some sharks…*whoa!*...then a big tornado blows them all over the city and they eat people…*blahhh!*…What do we do?? I know! Throw a bomb into the tornado…*BOOM!*” A little simplified, but the idea still stands because I was one of those kids. Hell, I’m not taking any claims here, but the concept of “Sharknado” sounds like something I would have conjured up when I was bored one summer afternoon. Same thing could be said for others, like “Sharktopus”, “Ghost Shark”, “Two-Headed Shark Attack”, blah blah blah. Dare I say it, but Syfy could be responsible for capturing our, gulp, childhood nostalgia.
Typically, I give a brief rundown of the film’s synopsis/plot in my reviews, but I pretty much just did, so why do it again? I’m a little bit behind the curve for this series as it is, so it’s highly likely that anyone that did get lured in by a title as outlandish as “Sharknado” has already watched it. From my own perspective, I’ll admit it, I had fun watching this; probably more than I should have, but like I said, it brought back memories even if my imagination put this production to shame. Sure, it looks like it was shot, edited, and printed in about 4 hours, and holy crap, can you ever tell (hey, I never said a 12-year-old’s imagination translated to the big screen). Though, in the same breath, as easy as it would be to burn this movie while insulting its mother – why bother? I’ve read and watched multiple reviews online of individuals bashing the life out of “Sharknado”, and my general response was, “Really?” You and I both knew what we were getting into from miles away. I can understand not liking it, that’s another thing entirely, but to scathe it just tells me that you watch the wrong channel looking for quality.
All of that being said, I believe I’ve easily gotten my fill of this particular feast. It was plenty fine for a nonsensical Saturday evening spent hiding from the heat, but I think I will avoid seeing either “Sharknado 2” or “Sharknado 3”. Same stuff/new location won’t really do it for me.
“Sharknado”: Sure, what the heck? I’ll recommend it for a good laugh.

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