Friday, July 11, 2014

Shark Weak

As people who enjoy – for a given value of “enjoy” – watching terrible movies, Scott and I had intended to eventually watch Sharknado at some point, but we never managed to catch it during its (*ahem*) whirlwind journey through cultural relevance.
However, we were spared the necessity of sitting through a screening of the movie and providing our own smart-ass commentary on its shittiness by Mike Nelson and the boys over at RiffTrax, who made the pop culture phenomenon the subject of their latest RiffTrax Live! event.
I’m not going to dive (sorry) into the plot of the movie too deeply, but I do want to make a few observations and mention some points of interest.
If you don’t know anything about Sharknado, the basics are that crazy weather is causing massive tornadoes to form over the oceans and heavily-flooded coastal areas in California, and said tornadoes are scooping up sharks out of the water and carrying them around for miles.
It’s a low-budget movie made for SyFy (the former Sci-Fi Channel), and it stars Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame, and Tara Reid, of…well, she’s been in a lot of stuff, but suffice to say that those aren’t the things that she’s really “famous” for, and if SyFy is really scrambling for ideas for a new disaster movie, they could just tell the story of Tara Reid’s life.  (Zing!)

Actually, scratch that.  Okay, SyFy, here’s the pitch:  Mecha-Tara Reid vs. Lindsay Lohanasaurus.  (Call me)
Anyway, you know the basics, so let’s get to my observations:

If you have scars on your leg from what was obviously – based on the title of the movie and your behavior – a shark attack, and you don’t want to talk about how you got them, you feel completely self-conscious when people see them, and you get angry whenever people ask you about them, maybe you should try to find a job where you don’t have to walk around in a bikini all day.  Just a thought.

It seems unlikely that you really have any kind of deep personal feelings for someone if you’ve been around him long enough to, supposedly, develop said deep personal feelings for him, yet you’re completely shocked to discover that he has an ex-wife and two children, one of whom is pretty close to the same age as you.
The character of Joni Wave – who specified that it’s “Joni with an I” every time she mentioned her name – was played by Julie McCullough, who was Playboy’s Miss February 1986*.  She also played the love interest of Kirk Cameron on Growing Pains, but was fired from the show after Cameron learned that she’d appeared in Playboy and decided that working with a former Playmate constituted an attack on his religious liberty.  Actress Chelsea Noble was later brought in to play the part of Cameron’s love interest, and she went on to become Mrs. Kirk Cameron in real life.

The legs of Tasmanians are apparently considered a delicacy by sharks.  They just can’t seem to get enough.
The actress who played Ziering’s daughter is playing the titular role in the upcoming live-action movie adaptation of the cartoon Jem and the Holograms.  That is outrageous.  Truly outrageous.  Truly, truly outrageous, even.  It is not, however, truly, truly, truly outrageous.

Given that it it’s apparently possible to completely stop a sharknado in its tracks by flying up to it in a helicopter and throwing a bomb - made out of a propane tank, an emergency flare, and what looked to me like a smoke alarm - into it, thereby dissipating its energy, one would assume that the same holds true for a tornado that contains no sharks.  This is a trivially simple solution to a large problem, and this indicates to me that FEMA, and indeed, the entire Federal government, and even State and Local governments, are criminally negligent for allowing tornadoes to continue to cause as much damage and loss of life as they do every year.  Surely we could accomplish the same thing via drone strikes.  Unless, you know, the people behind Sharknado were incredibly ignorant and/or stupid.  But surely the people who provided the results of the equation Shark + Tornado could hardly be either of those things.  Therefore, the science must be solid.

Even if it is more age-appropriate, hooking up with the son of the guy you spent most of the movie pining for is pretty fucked up.

“Because Global Warming” has officially earned its place next to “Quantum Physics” and “Humans only use 10% of their brain” in the Lazy Writer’s Toolbox.

During the scene in which our gang of plucky survivors makes a quick stop at a convenience store, I expected them to bump into the gang of plucky survivors from Birdemic:  Shock and Terror.

Sharknado vs. Birdemic.  Seriously, SyFy: Call me.

*When I was working as a janitor while I was in college, one time I found a stack of old Playboys hidden away in one of the janitor’s closets.  Among them was the February 1986 issue.


Merlin T Wizard said...

One of my favorite things about Sharknado has nothing to do with the movie. I started listening to the Stuff You Should Know podcast a while back and came across this gem: Apparently, Syfy and Asylum cribbed the idea from the podcast. Good stuff.

Jon-Paul Maki said...

I'm shocked - shocked! - to learn that a creative powerhouse like The Asylum would resort to such tactics!