DVD review: Sharknado
Seriously silly aquatic disaster flick starring Ian Ziering, Jaason Simmons and Tara Reid
Let’s acknowledge one thing from the off: Sharknado is only too aware of how trashy a film it is. The tagline reads, ‘Enough Said!’ The cast includes D-list stars from Baywatch (Jaason Simmons) and Beverly Hills 90210 (Ian Ziering). There’s a reliance on gory, splattery visual punchlines to make up for the lack of believable CGI. And that’s to say nothing of the self-consciously ludicrous script: when one character notes that the storm’s calming down, another asks how she knows; the reply - ‘There’s less sharks flying around’ - is said with only the slightest smirk.
What’s surprising therefore (and silly enough to become a running gag in itself) is how dedicated the film is to making its own warped logic seem legit. A storm made of sharks? ‘It happened once in Alice Springs,’ explains Aussie sidekick Baz (Simmons): ‘Hundreds of perch fell from the sky. Why not sharks?’ Okay, Baz, we’ll buy it – but why so many sharks in such a concentrated area? Cut to a shady fisherman selling a record-breaking 20,000 sharks to a Japanese businessman in the otherwise pointless prologue. The movie is littered with these needless qualifications that suggest a creative team so focused on minutiae (‘Wouldn’t the sharks affect the power supply? Not if the cables are silicon-coated!’) that they happily overlook the massive carnivorous fish in the middle of the room.
This spirit of straight-faced verisimilitude is what makes Sharknado halfway watchable. If it was all done with a nod and wink, it’d be a flash in the post-ironic pan and extinguished from memory within seconds. As it is, you can’t help but admire a movie that simultaneously acknowledges its own ridiculousness in one moment, then follow it up with, ‘But actually, if you think about it...’
Sharknado is released on DVD by Optimum Home Entertainment from Mon 7 Oct.