SHARKNADO. Stupidity, bad jokes and tragic CGI

Even before its premiere, Sharknado had already become a cult classic.

Filip Jalowski

12 August 2023

sharknado movie

On July 11, 2013, the American television channel SyFy, known for hits like “Shark Swarm,” “Malibu Shark Attack,” “Sharktopus,” and “Two-Headed Shark Attack,” presented its new creation to the world. Produced in collaboration with the Asylum studio, Sharknado captures one of the deadliest elements in the history of cinema.

The concept for the screenplay of this film is so absurd that it’s brilliant. Picture the western coast of the USA and the ocean waters where sharks occasionally appear. A certain unfavorable current causes more and more sharks to head towards the beach. The first victims fall prey, losing limbs and their lives in truly imaginative ways. Unusual weather phenomena begin to intensify. A powerful wind picks up, lifting sharks from the water and tossing them around the city. However, the animals aren’t concerned about the situation at all. They use their newly acquired aviation skills to hunt terrified people. Eventually, the winds evolve into tornadoes, and as the film’s tagline suggests, sharks + tornado = sharknado. Ironclad Aristotelian logic – nothing more, nothing less.

sharknado movie

The Sharknado trailer, recorded using an amateur camera straight from a television screen, captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of internet users worldwide and contributed to a whopping 1.4 million viewers tuning in on the film’s premiere day. Countless internet websites covered SyFy and Asylum’s latest film. On the premiere day, someone hacked Mia Farrow’s Twitter account. A prankster posted a photo of her with Philip Roth, captioned “Watching #Sharknado.” Even Jimmy Kimmel weighed in on the trailer phenomenon, proposing another shark-themed film idea, “Shark vs. Jesus,” on his show. So, even before its premiere, Sharknado had already become a cult classic.

When watching such films, one must immediately abandon all illusions. These won’t be another Jaws by Spielberg. Asylum, a made-for-television film, Tara Reid after a few unsuccessful plastic surgeries, Ian Ziering (a faded star from Beverly Hills, 90210), and a tornado of sharks – it speaks for itself. Therefore, before watching, I expected a slaughterhouse of absurdity, poor CGI, and stale wordplay jokes. The screening delivered exactly what I expected from it. The only drawback is that Sharknado significantly distorts proportions. It’s primarily an idiotic disaster film, where during the storm of the century, piloting a helicopter is a piece of cake. The wind carries away gigantic devilish windmills, yet people can run aimlessly along the boardwalk near the sea without a hitch. The level of absurdity is thus raised quite high. Mediocre jokes and terrible CGI also manage to hold their own. So, what’s missing in Sharknado?

sharknado movie

Paradoxically, it’s the sharks themselves! Scenes where the characters deal with their insatiable appetites are a rarity in the Asylum film. Occasionally, a fish will fly over people’s heads, sometimes taking a few heads with it, but that’s about it. Sitting down to watch Sharknado, I was expecting dozens of minutes of carnage, over-the-top fun carried to the extreme, using shark-themed conventions to the limits of decency. Unfortunately, expectations exceeded reality. Sharknado is a tedious B-movie, only occasionally lifting you from your seat. I give it a five, mainly because of the sheer ingenuity of the idea itself and the television trailer that flirts with the genius of bad taste. Sharktopus was better.