The Sharknado series has been mocked greatly but the first two in the series, and the fifth, were surprisingly enjoyable. Tongue firmly in cheek the cast chewed the scenery with glee as cgi sharks rained down upon them, and whilst the third and fourth outings became a little predictable and dull it’s pretty amazing that three out of the five were dumb and lots of fun. Now the series is supposed to be finally over, but has it ended with a bang? A whimper? Or an anguished squeal?
Written by Scotty Mullen (Sharknado 5, a few other dodgy low budget flicks), it opens with Ian Ziering thrust back in to the Jurassic era, with cgi dinosaurs that look worse than many of the effects in the classic 1963 – 1988 Doctor Who series, indeed I’ve seen better cgi in many a low budget youtube video. Still, realism has never been the point with this series, and it’s completely thrown out of the window when characters return from the dead like Judah Friedlander’s Bryan (and it isn’t long before he’s briefly transformed in to a woman), Tara Reid’s April (both as a human being and a talking robot head), and Cassie Scerbo’s Nova, with the excuse being ‘time travel’ and nothing more.
The dialogue is often perfunctory at best and somewhat oddly whilst there’s a lot of sharknados there aren’t actually many sharks, and the gore is of the barely seen variety, and when it is on screen it’s all rather unconvincing. But there are the occasional inventive moments, at one point Ziering gives a pep talk that fails to motivate anyone and Tara Reid gets to be enjoyably silly in the far far future. The series is also known for having a sod load of cameos and this time around we get the magnificently named Alaska Thunderfuck, Star Trek The Next Generation’s Marina Sirtis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gilbert Gottfried, and La Toya Jackson, though unfortunately Dolph Lundgren decided against returning so we get lots of slight glimpses of his character as a younger man but not the ageing action movie star himself.
After messing about with dinosaurs the gang take a trip to Arthurian times, then the American revolution (leading to at first “The British are coming, the British are coming” and then “The sharks are coming, the sharks are coming”), the wild west, the fifties (where dodgy beach movies are briefly amusingly parodied), the 90s, and the future, which is by far the most fun section of the film as it features an army of Robotic Tara Reid’s. In each part there’s a big enjoyable set piece, and a sprinkling of daft gags, and each segment never outstays it’s welcome. And it does have a satisfying ending too, one which suggests this really could be the final movie in the series. Which I hope it is as by the finale it’s a well which has not only run dry but has also been filled with concrete and had a house built on top of it. But it can’t be denied that for a while it was a hell of a ride and despite the series many failings it’ll remain in the memory of b-movie lovers for a long old time.
So yes, this is undoubtedly a dodgy movie, whilst the leads are okay there are a lot of shoddy performances, there’s some terrible green screen effects to go along with the previously mentioned weak cgi, and it’s still only the fourth best Sharknado film – but despite all this I couldn’t help but enjoy the film, the ridiculous, silly, over ambitious mess that it is.