Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Review - Sharknado - (2013 - Dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

I had relatively high hopes for Sharknado. A friend had recommended it, saying that it was completely stupid but fun. Sounds like my cup of tea.

I had visions of tornados. Tornados filled with sharks. Maybe the first one that sweeps past our characters could contain some small sharks - maybe a pale catshark or two? - causing some minor nipping. Nothing that Salvon couldn't cope with (is there anything that Savlon can't cope with?). As this tornado moved on, more would appear containing larger and more violent sharks. Hammerheads, bull sharks and tigersharks would all make an appearance. Finally in the largest tornado - one that would whip your pants off you from a mile away - the great white sharks would appear causing pointy toothed mayhem.

I was expecting it to be cheap, but I thought that this would be offset by some sparkling creativity and ingenuity. There surely must be some great shark/tornado related kills, I thought. Sharks whipping past people in the wind and whisking them away for some chompy chomp? Or taking a cheeky bite out of someone as they pass? The possibilities are huge and surely this is where the majority of the time writing the film should have been spent.

Sharknado is nothing like what I thought it would be. My hopes dropped rapidly when I saw that it was a Syfy presentation and that The Asylum were also involved. But even so I gave it a chance. Sadly, I needn't have bothered. A fair proportion of the running time is spent looking at the characters sat in a car that is obviously in a studio/the producer's garage, driving away from tornados. To be fair they do mix it up a bit to create some visual interest, they get in a helicopter. A fair few shots of a studio bound helicopter follow. It's pretty dull stuff.

There is some slight entertainment value at times. I raised an appreciative eyebrow when a huge Ferris wheel chased our heroes down a street. There are some minor moments of tension too, but they're few and far between.

Out of the kills, I can only remember two, both chainsaw related. They are completely preposterous but that's fine in this type of film. The problem is the completely uninventive way they chose to shoot them. I know it's a low budget production but they didn't even try to solve any problems creatively (for good examples of this try Manborg and the classic The Evil Dead). Way more ingenuity is shown by people inspired to make fancy dress costumes.

For once, this could have done with being a mega-budget blockbuster, like Twister with added sharks and death. The stupidity of the (admittedly brilliant) premise could have done with the excesses of 3D, CGI, an 18 certificate and ridiculously paid film stars. It could have been a gloriously stupid fun-filled shark/breeze fest. But no. The gore is tame and the closest it gets to film stars are Tara Reid (big deal, but watching her stare at a hedgecutter for ages has to be one of the funniest bits of the film by far) and John Heard, the dad from Home Alone. Heard is the only cast member with any personality and gravitas, so it's a shame when he leaves the film at such an early juncture.

You may have noticed that I've not even bothered giving a plot synopsis to whet your appetite. Let's face facts, it's obviously not worth my time writing it or your time reading it. It's a shame but the idea, and screenshots, are way better than the actual film. Sharknado is a real missed opportunity and possibly for the first time ever I'm looking forward to the remake. 

If you like this you could also try:
Throwing a kipper into a headwind. 


  1. You beat me to this film. It looks like I win again! Ha ha, ;-) great review

    1. Cheers. It's a shame because it's got such potential. There is a sequel on the way so maybe you can watch that one first :)