Picture it. A stereotypical, red-blooded American family is traveling down the highway. The kids are in the back, getting restless. The mother, in the passenger seat, fiddles with the radio. The father, driving, adjusts his rear view mirror so he can look at his kids while he yells, “Don’t make me stop this car!” All of a sudden, a dark apparition floats towards the windshield. Is it a bird? A Plane? NO! It’s a 5,000 pound Great White shark!

That’s what I thought about when I heard the ridiculous idea that became one of the most ridiculously awful great movies of a generation: Sharknado.

*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS…although, what can you really spoil about a movie titled SHARKNADO?


The plot of the movie is deliriously awful. Twenty miles off the coast of Mexico (thanks to a handy screen caption), a shark-fishing boat is going about its business when, miraculously, a storm brews, causing a tornado that catches hundreds, maybe thousands, of sharks, which proceed to tear the crew apart.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, life goes on like normal: people sunbathe and surf. All the women wear skimpy bikinis and silicone breasts while all the guys wear Bermuda shorts and six-packs. Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210 is there. So is John Heard from Home Alone. The local news station reports of a super-storm that has (supposedly) driven the sharks away from the coast.

Unfortunately, the news is wrong as a gang of sharks attack the beach, leaving countless people injured or dead. Not disastrous enough? Well, Los Angeles gets tornadoes, too. Tornadoes…FULL OF SHARKS!

With the fate of LA and all of its landmarks at stake, Fin and his band of merry men, which includes Tara Reid as his wife, fight off sharks by water, land, and air, drop homemade bombs into the tornadoes via helicopter to disperse them, and make sure that we will always be safe from a shark attack no matter where we are.

That’s the general idea, and what an idea it is. Tornadoes full of sharks. What an age we live in.

For years, critics believed that Syfy had fallen to the wayside in terms of cable programming. While channels like AMC and FX made great strides in original programming with popular horror series like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, Syfy had focused more on low-budget, made-for-TV movies like Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, Mega Python VS. Gatoroid, and Mansquito. When Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus was first aired on Syfy, the channel was accused of “jumping the shark” by purchasing films that tried to be cult films on purpose.

This time, Syfy had an answer to those naysayers, with a scene where Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame literally jumps into a shark headfirst with a chainsaw, and cuts himself out of it later on in Sharknado.


To fully understand how a movie so bad can be so right, we must first dissect everything that is so wrong.

1) Fin yells at a female surfer to get out of the water because there’s a shark. Where exactly should she go when she’s at least 300 feet away from shore? Maybe she could fly? That’s not too crazy, considering how sharks will be flying later.

2) Sharks are able to remain unseen 5 feet from the shore until they attack beach-goers who are, literally, just getting their feet wet.

3) A Ferris wheel is able to roll all the way down a street before crashing into a building. Coincidentally, people are unable to run off to the side of it to save themselves.

4) A SUV is apparently high enough off the ground to allow it to drive through water that is also inhabited by large sharks.

5) Scratch that. A SUV is high enough to allow a shark to swim under it…while it’s still driving.

6) Sharks don’t listen to John Heard when he yells, “Get off of me?” Impossible. Everyone listens to John Heard.

7) When someone is head-first in a shark’s closed mouth, pulling on his legs won’t really do any good.

Sharknado - 2013
Ian Ziering is married to Tara Reid in this movie. Who else would they each marry, anyway?

8) “Looks like it’s that time of the month.” Yes, the city streets are swarming with sharks and you’ve seen multiple people eaten alive. OF COURSE it’s time for a one-liner.

9) The house is full of water, but the driveway is clear? Makes sense to me.

10) Wind gusts are powerful enough to blow the letters of the HOLLYWOOD sign around, but not powerful enough to screw up a human body’s sense of balance as they dodge said letters.

11) Are those sharks swirling around the vortex of a tornado? Yes. Yes they are.

12) An entire airstrip of planes is destroyed…except for one helicopter, which happens to be in perfect running order.

13) Ian Ziering says we have to stand and fight. Fight what? A tornado? How? Should we start blowing on it?

14) When sharks are raining down from the heavens, it’s a perfect time to bring up deep-seeded family issues.


15) Not only is Ian Ziering a crack-shot with a handgun from at least a mile away, but his bullets can redirect 1,000 pound sharks.

16) Chainsaws are able to slice 1,000 pound sharks traveling at 80 miles per hour in half.

17) When a shark lands in a pool, the logical thing is to rush to be saved by your elderly husband…who is in said pool.

18) Superman jump into the mouth of a Great White shark and cut yourself out along with that girl that fell out of the helicopter without anyone losing a limb? No big deal.

In a rating from 1 to 5, I must give this movie…1,000 sharks. In a tornado.


By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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