Sharknado, the ultimate shark-meets-Los-Angeles-meets-the-elements movie tore through the competition and social media last Thursday night on the SyFy Channel, delivering meaty ratings and a bloody good time. And tonight we have writer Thunder Levin, director Anthony C. Ferrante, and doesn’t-get-eaten-by-a-shark actor Robbie Rist, whose turn as the tormented school bus driver says so much about the state of public education in America today.
On the Pacific Coast of Mexico, a super hurricane fueled by climate change drives tens of thousands of sharks up the west coast. When the storm hits Los Angeles, flood waters swamp the city. There are sharks on the freeway, sharks in Beverly Hills, sharks everywhere! And it just gets worse, because huge waterspouts form over the ocean, spinning even more sharks into the air and onto the populace. It’s a sharknado! Several in fact.
The only hope for the City of Angels? A band of motley misfits led by a surfer/bartender named Fin, played with earnest machismo by Ian Ziering (the original Beverly Hills 90201 spoiled rich boy, Steve Sanders). Ziering, who in real life is also doing a stint with Chippendales in Las Vegas, brings a fierce sincerity to his role as the divorced dad trying to save his grown kids and ex-wife, played by Tara Reid, along with the entire population of L.A..
The city itself is the biggest star of the movie. Director Ferrante and writer Levin carve up L.A. geography and play on its reputation. There are obnoxious drivers, a woman obsessed with saving her dog, an alleged shortcut from Beverly Hills to Van Nuys (ha!), landmarks, and a freeway chase.
Sharknado is great. The zenith of sharxploitation films replays this Thursday on SyFy. Sharknado. Enough said!