So I finally did it. I gave in:
If you had asked me a month ago whether I would ever watch this made-for-tv-movie or not I would have easily shrugged it off and been like, “Never.” I know the schtick:
Then the internet exploded with Sharknado. And it even appeared on The Soup.
And it looked horrible and corny.
And I had to watch it.
And, oh my god, if it wasn’t everything I ever wanted it to be.
Sharknado is a movie that is so amazingly off-beat that it belongs in every film studies course. Tell Professor Argyle that it should be added to the syllabus.
As someone who was in Scott Thompson’s screenwriting course, I cannot tell you how many movies try to take themselves too seriously. This movie not only doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but goes out of its way to look like there was no budget. It is amazingly and intentionally bad, and did I already mention that it’s all kinds of amazing?
Obviously you need to be in the right state of mind to watch it. Many people aren’t and hate it, because they don’t get it. As someone who can watch back-to-back viewings of Alone: Life Wastes Andy Hardy my one caveat is that you cannot watch this sober.
Drink your beers/smoke your illegal drug cigarettes/snort your bath salts. Don’t have anywhere to be? Open up a brew, sit the hell down, and watch this.
I’d like to imagine that the screenwriters were a bunch of drunken bros hanging out with Thunder Levin (yes, that’s his goddamn name) while he purchased AlamDV and the Compositor’s Toolkit, surfed the Narrator Tropes page on TVTropes, and tried to come up with the most ridiculously bad premise, and laughable ways to get his characters into and out of danger, all the while trying to find the most to-the-point way of establishing his characters:
George: How come you never talk about that scar on your leg?
This is a movie where characters speak on the nose and spew exposition; where the footage shifts from stock, horribly green-screen’ed, overexposed, to atrocious CGI, and contains intentional continuity errors galore. The opening scene, which has no bearing on the main plot whatsoever, takes place on a trawler, which changes to a yacht and back to a trawler from shot to shot. It is a glaring error, and there are no attempts to hide it. You’d think that Sharknado‘s IMDB Goof page would have the day off on this one. It doesn’t.
If you go into this movie questioning how the sharks could breathe outside of the ocean, or why a Humvee has a nitrous button then you shouldn’t be watching. Behold the MST3K Mantra at work:
“It’s just a show; I should really just relax.”
If you’ve ever been on a student video/film production, or taken a screenwriting course, or written a story, then this is a movie that you’ll appreciate for the badness. If you watched Futurama‘s recent “Saturday Morning Fun Pit,” and could grasp all of the meta jokes in Bendy Boo, then you’ll understand Sharknado. Some people won’t get it, and that’s fine.
It is a opposing spot on the spectrum from movies that take themselves way too seriously, and I’m sure more of these will be made. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so be sure to expect a Tarantalanche or Scorpnami in the near future. I just hope that the ones worth watching are done right, and the genre doesn’t get inundated with bad productions, especially with being the new “trend.”