Anybody who’s been paying even the slightest amount of attention knows that, with a blog post title like this one, I’ve recently been hanging out with my mother. You can’t watch a movie like Sharknado alone — or, at least, you shouldn’t. Movies like that are about a thousand times more entertaining with another fan of the genre. And there is no bigger fan of the good-bad shark movie genre than Mom.
MAN, I was born into a great family.
Anyway, I know we’re several months behind the herd on Sharknado — we were waiting to watch it until we were together, see? — but it was well worth the wait because it meant we could combine it with SyFy’s spirited (literally!) follow-up, Ghost Shark. A double-feature to die for! CHOMP!
Obviously, Sharknado was a revelation. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a movie quite as spectacularly entertaining as that one. Even better: the acting wasn’t totally terrible — I know! We were surprised by that too! I mean, who knew Steve from 90210 was going to turn out so well? I hope they cast him in the sequel. And set it in Beverly Hills. And add Brandon and Dylan and the rest of the gang. And call it Beverly Hills 9021-Sharknad0!
For those who live under a rock and/or on the dwarf planet Pluto, Sharknado was about a coastal town in California taken by storm by a storm that ended up shooting big ol’ water spouts up from the ocean, which in turn sucked up a bunch of sharks, which in turn ended up falling all over the town, wiping out unsuspecting people left and right. I say “unsuspecting” because who would expect sharks to fall from the sky? And still be alive despite the fact they were not in water?
Steve from Bev is the hero of the story, racing around rescuing family members, buses full of children, tourists, Vin Makazian from The Sopranos, that dude from the mid-90s version of Baywatch (why do I know that? I don’t know!), and anybody else in peril, which is pretty much everybody else in town.
There are lots of people chomped by sharks, and, for the lucky ones, also a few swallowed whole. I say “lucky ones” because, in case you did not know this — and I certainly didn’t, so don’t feel bad — human beings can survive inside the gastrointestinal tract of sharks for, like, an HOUR. And then all you have to do to get them back out alive is get yourself swallowed whole — while clutching a chainsaw — and, well, you can take it from there.
That might’ve been the best scene I’ve ever seen in a shark movie EVER OF ALL TIME, by the way.
The best thing about Sharknado, of course, is that it doesn’t even put up the pretense of taking itself seriously. This is not always the case with movies that have utterly ridiculous story lines, and it’s a vital component of the “good” part of a good-bad movie of that variety. As long as you aren’t pretending to be something you’re not (logical, for example), you can do stuff like put sharks in tornadoes, and Mom and I will just nod and say, “Sure thing.”
Meanwhile, they ARE, in fact, already planning a sequel (doubtfully set in Beverly Hills, alas). I’m not sure if it’ll be another sharks + tornadoes movie, but in case they’re looking for additional creature + weather ideas, I have a couple. First: Gnunami! A giant tidal wave of hairy wildebeests comes crashing down over the Serengeti! Chaos! Madness! Horns! (By the way, before you protest that a gnunami would be impossible because the Serengeti is not on the coast, let me remind you of this part: GNUNAMI. You can just stop right there.)
Second: Actually, wow, these are kind of hard to think up. Props, SyFy. Okay, okay, how about this: Hurricaques! A whirling mass of macaques comes flying over a little girl, a lion, a tin man, and a scarecrow . . . no, wait, I think that flying monkey thing’s been done.
Fine, YOU come up with some! I’m moving onto Ghost Shark, the second feature in our double-feature of sharktitude.
Here’s the premise of Ghost Shark — you’re gonna love this: when a bunch of rednecks on a fishing boat kill a giant shark, its body drifts into a magic cave, releasing its spirit into the ether. While some sharks might appreciate being able to continue to inhabit the world and swim around in the ocean as spirit beasts, THIS SHARK IS HELLA MAD ABOUT IT.
Bent on revenge, Ghost Shark heads toward shore, and quickly begins to kill lots and lots of teenagers. Delightfully, though initially Ghost Shark is isolated to the ocean, where it can only take out idiots dumb enough to go swimming after a bunch of their peers have been EATEN BY A GHOST SHARK, it eventually discovers it can kill from any source of water anywhere. Oh man, so, so sorry about that, car wash girl eaten by a bucket of soapy water. Okay, now, the rest of you, pay attention: Do not sit on a toilet. Do not turn on the taps. Do not go swimming. DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Just when you think this movie can’t possibly get any better/worse, Bull from Night Court shows up as a drunk lighthouse keeper who, it turns out, knows quite a lot about that magic cave. Reluctantly teaming up with our two heroes, who I can’t even describe to you, they were that nondescript, the gang manages to release the spirit of the shark, who finally appears to them in a bright, pink light and says, “It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside — you take it with you,” and then turns and slowly swims into the afterlife.
Wait a second. Sorry. That was Patrick Swayze at the end of Ghost (SPOILER ALERT!). To be honest, I can’t remember what happens to Ghost Shark after his spirit is released. Whatever it was, though, I’m pretty sure he deserved better. Stupid rednecks.
Bet you guys wish you had a mom as cool as mine.
Sharknado: Steve from Bev, Vin Makazian from The Sopranos, that dude from the mid-90s version of Baywatch (why do I know that? I don’t know.). Rent/Stream or Buy from Amazon | Netflix it
Ghost Shark: Richard Moll in da house! Not available on DVD or elsewhere yet, but watch for it to reappear on SyFy. IF YOU DARE.