Jared Felkins' column: ‘Sharknado’ may just be television at its finest

“Can't watch #Sharknado because I'm on the set of my new film Tsunamwolf,” Danny Zuker via Twitter....
Jul 12, 2013

“Can't watch #Sharknado because I'm on the set of my new film Tsunamwolf,” Danny Zuker via Twitter.

What do “Jaws,” “Twister” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” all have in common?

Well not a lot until Thursday night, but at least two of them include the evil-villain combo package that makes up the SyFy thriller, “Sharknado.”

First, here’s what it’s not. It’s not a comical tune from Jimmy Buffett. It’s not a sleezy dive in a back alley downtown. It’s not the latest craze on the sushi bar menu.

It is bad. It is gruesome. It is some of the best acting the 1990s has to offer.

It’s fun to say, rather scream. Sharknadooooooooo.

But don’t take my word for it. Consider a description from Los Angeles Times entertainment blogger Mary McNamara.

“…It is a tornado, several actually, brimming with sharks that hit Los Angeles – to the death and dreadful amputation of those silly enough to party at the beach or take the 405.

"I hate the 405," says April ("Make It or Break It's" Cassie Scerbo) as she and her friends take to the freeways after hammerhead-filled waves drive them from the nifty Santa Monica Pier bar owned by Fin (get it?), who is played by "Beverly Hills 90210" original Ian Ziering. Fin needs to save his hateful ex-wife ("American Pie's" Miss Tara Reid) and snotty daughter, who would rather argue with him on the doorstep than acknowledge the sharks roiling up from a nearby culvert. The 405 line is there to nail the situation down firmly in reality.

Which it does, actually, because as any Angeleno knows, the surface streets are never any better. In this case, a short afternoon rain, combined with the freaky wave situation, is sending water chockablock with sharks up through the storm drains and over the traffic barriers.

If nothing else, after even the briefest glance at "Sharknado" you'll never complain about your morning commute again.

And if there is any doubt what has gathered the world's sharks into one spot -- the opening scene involves a lot of shark murder by a guy with an accent working for an Asian businessman on the high seas--and pulled them heavenward in the phoniest looking tornado since my elementary school's production of "The Wizard of Oz,"  some fictitious news station standing in for KTLA explains all: Global warming is to blame.

So forget "An Uncomfortable Truth." Environmental activists need to set up screenings of "Sharknado." My fellow Americans, is this the legacy we want to leave our children? A shark on every rooftop?

Oh sure, it's easy to pick holes in a story about a weather system that makes it possible for sharks to fly and take to the streets, but that's the whole point of movies like this: fabulous in-home commentary. Often accompanied by the consumption of many alcoholic beverages.”

Now, here’s what I know. Based on McNamara’s words, I’ve driven the 405. There’s a lot there to hate. But when you mix flying sharks, well there’s not much left to the imagination.

Then again, it took a whole lot of creative spirit swirling around in “Sharknado.” It certainly blew up Twitter on Thursday night. Again, don’t take my word for it.

“I wish I could join in on the shenanigans, But I had a cousin that was killed by a #Sharknado back in '93. #RamonRIP,” tweeted comedian Horatio Sanz.

Tweeted by comedic actor Judah Friedlander, “The sharks represent the economy. The tornado represents the economy. Ian Ziering represents Canada. #Sharknado.”

The verdict is still out on whether “Sharknado” is cinematic genius, the future of made-for-television drama or just another in a long list of bad horror flicks.

One thing’s for sure, “Sharknado” doesn’t hold a candle to “Maximum Overdrive.”

Miss the “Sharknado” premier Thursday? Don’t miss it again Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. on the SyFy Channel.

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.


Log in or sign up to post comments.