As I discussed this weekend, I have a special affection for movies like Sharknado. They're not great movies (not even really good movies) but they're entertaining enough and sometimes I need a break from all the seriousness of life and feminism and helping to create the world changers of tomorrow. Sometimes I just want to watch 90210 Steve chainsaw his way out of the belly of a shark.
Let's discuss the entire social media phenomenon that is this movie. There is not built-in fan base for a movie like this. Sure, you might follow SyFy on Twitter (like I do - I like the show "Face Off") and maybe you like previous movies like Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (featuring both Debbie Gibson and Tiffany) or Sharktopus (with the lesser know Roberts sibling, Eric) but I wouldn't classify that as a fan base. Not like the fan base summer blockbusters like Iron Man 3 or Star Trek have. It's not right to assume but I'm going to assume that no one was sitting around saying, "I'd love it if someone made a movie that appealed to my love of sharks, unusual weather phenomena, and stars of the 1990s." This is probably a small demographic of people (although I know you exist out there somewhere and probably have your own tumblr account or maybe a con).
I would have preferred to watch Sharknado with others but I know in my heart of hearts that most of my friends cannot and will not sit through this movie no matter how much I bribe them (homemade cookies! or marshmallows!) or if they've had too much to drink. Pumpkin was disinterested (to say the least). So I tackled Sharknado on my own. I did not have a chainsaw (like 90210 Steve) nor did I have a ingenious idea to stop the sharknadoes. It was just me, my notebook, and my love of the ridiculous.
There are lots of things I absolutely love about Sharknado. Here are the most important things you need to know about Sharknado (And there are "spoilers" - seriously, it's a movie about tornadoes that drop sharks on people. If you don't know how this is going to play out, I can't help you.)
- The movie begins on a boat somewhere off the coast of Mexico. There are shady dealings on this boat and lots of stereotypes. I like to think that the sharks that attack the boat are really there to exact revenge for the real sharks in the world who are poached and action movie stereotypes.
- It's Ian Zerring - Steve from the original cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. He's almost 50 (this will be important in a few minutes) but still looks like he could hang out at the Peach Pit. Although people would probably find him a tad bit creepy. He's the hero/surfer/bar owner of this tale.
- Oh John Heard! What happened? You were the hot zoologist in Cat People, the attractive and affable dad in the Home Alone franchise - when did you decide to be the Gary Busey of SyFy movies? At least you saved a lady and her dog with your bar stool before your untimely shark death.
- Did 90210 Steve just kill a shark with a surfboard?
- "Sharks don't like vegemite?" 90210 Steve to Baz, his Aussie friend, after Baz is mauled by a shark.
- Do people in this movie not watch the news? All throughout the movie I kept thinking, "Why was no evacuation plan put in place?" I know the state of California has plans in place for significant events like massive earthquakes so why was nothing put in place? And why was no one watching television? This seems totally weird to me. I mean, I don't expect any governments to have a sharknado plan but I do expect a certain amount of emergency preparedness even in a movie like this.
- "Don't forget taco Tuesdays." Maybe they can have shark taco Tuesdays next week. Just saying...
- For real, a shark was just killed with a pool cue. By a waitress named Nova who has unresolved shark issues.
- Please note that the Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica can kill you if it becomes untethered (unmoored?) during a sharknado.
- 90210 Steve and company decide to go to Beverly Hills (ha!) to check on his wife and kids even though he's not really part of the family anymore and Tara Reid (his wife) has a new boyfriend. And his daughter hates him. And his son is in Van Nuys at flight school (also important to the plot). What we need to learn from this is: A. 90210 Steve is a good father. B. He and Tara Reid seem really young to have such old children (he's 49, she's 37 so the math is okay) and C. His family is the worst. He should have just stuck with the waitress, the drunk, and the Australian.
- And they take the 405! Freeway jokes, in spite of sharknadoes, are the best.
- "There are sharks out there. You don't have to go out there." John Heard (before his epic death scene)
- "By the way, I'm not a stripper." Nova (who's name is actually Jenny) I can't blame Tara Reid for thinking this at the start but clearly Nova is here to fall in love with Tara's flight school attending son so she and 90210 Steve can get back together at the end of the movie. Don't you watch movies ever?
- If anyone has a definitive list of all the ways sharks are killed in this movie, I would love to see it. I counted surfboard, pool cue, gun, bookcase, gun, and bomb. I'm sure I missed a few along the way. There was a lot going on.
- 90210 Steve, Tara, and their daughter - is this really the best time to discuss his involvement in your lives? There are sharks swimming in your living room and your boyfriend (Tara Reid) was just eaten. Get the eff out of your house now.
- Also, why is Tara Reid wearing a white sweater? And why did it never look dirty? She waded through bloody water at one point. The sweater should not be that white anymore.
- Is 90210 Steve really repelling down a bridge to save children from a bus in shark infested waters?
- "I hate sharks. I'm from Wyoming." The bus driver/actor before his meets his untimely death in the most ironic yet saw it coming moment of the movie (so it's probably not really ironic at all).
- How long do sharks live outside of water?
- Government paranoia is rampant in this movie. The liquor store guy even claims that they know what kind of cheese he likes. And the sharknado was caused by global warming.
- I know understand why celebrities and the very wealthy drive Hummers.
- Best dialogue: Nova: Why is there a retirement home next to an airport? Claudia (90210 Steve's daughter): Because old people can't hear.
- Let's talk science for a moment: I know very little about the science of tornadoes let alone sharknadoes but I am certain that dropping bombs into the tornadoes from a helicopter will not "equalize" the tornado and cause it to disappear. And real talk, wouldn't that just mean the sharks would fall to the ground faster and kill more people? Did we really think this through?
- Sharks killed Nova/Jenny's grandpa. So sure, she's game to throw bombs into a tornado from a helicopter flown by a dude she just met who isn't really a pilot. And she also likes him.
- The shark vs. chainsaw scene is epic and awesome as a stand alone scene but honestly is even better within the action of the movie. You should really watch the build up to this scene to really get the weight of what just happened.
- "I really hate sharks." Nova. The sun comes up, the family is reunited, Nova has a new boyfriend (probably), and improbable activities stop improbable weather. And L.A. goes back to having to just worry about earthquakes.