Saturday, March 15, 2014

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)


Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 20% (fuck if I know how it got that high)
Rotten Tomatoes Average Score: 2.7/10
IMDb User Review Score: 1.9/10

Acting: 0/10

Special Effects: 0/10

Coherence: 3/10

Fun: 0/10 (first half); 6/10 (second half)

Humor: 2/10 (first half); 8/10 (second half)

Introduction


Birdemic is a super low budget film (an estimated $10,000, though I have no clue what that money went toward) made in 2010 that gained some notoriety because it is just... awful. It is currently #9 on IMDb's Bottom 100 list, and was listed as #1 on Cracked.com's August 15, 2012 article "The 7 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Movies of the Decade".


Synopsis (Spoiler-Free)


Meet Rod. Rod is a successful technological salesman who is on the verge of fulfilling the American dream. He meets Nathalie, a fashion model, and the two of them start a romance that will soon be tested. For unbeknownst to them, there is a natural disaster on its way, one with lots and lots of angry birds. When it hits, Rod and Nat must team up with other survivors if they are going to make it through the day. 

Character Summaries (Minor Spoilers)


Rod (Alan Bagh)

Rod is a tech salesman for a company called NCT Software. He is very good at his job and makes a lot of money doing it. After meeting Nathalie in the first scene the two of them start dating. Rod is a good person, almost to the point of boredom. Now there is a reason I gave the acting a 0/10, and you're looking at that reason. Alan Bagh (and therefore Rod himself) is the most wooden, unemotive person that I think I have ever seen in cinema. Say what you want about Tommy Wiseau in The Room, at least he was expressing himself. It may be the incorrect expression most of the time, but at least its expression. Alan Bagh literally gives you no reason to care about his character because his character comes off as barely passing for a human being. It also leads to some frustration because you (the audience) cannot figure what Nathalie sees in this guy. Obviously it's her job to be interested in him; otherwise there would be no movie, but it still bothers the hell out of you while you're watching.


Nathalie (Whitney Moore)


Nathalie is a fashion model, who is somehow not materialistic. Like Rod, she is a good person to the point of boredom. As I said before, she and Rod are dating after a chance encounter at the beginning of the movie. Now let me clarify that Whitney Moore does not act well in this movie. However because she is so often sharing screen time with Rod, it makes her look like she could contend for an Oscar because she is just so much better than him. As I said in Rod's section, it really makes you wonder what Nathalie sees in Rod because we have this beautiful young, seemingly normal woman who is head over heels for this guy who's reaction to becoming a millionaire is pretty much sheer indifference. In a way I feel kind of bad for Ms. Moore. I feel like given the proper training and gigs, she could do alright, but this movie (and its sequel) will drag her down for the rest of time, especially with the cult status of this movie.

There are a few other characters as well, but none that are really on screen long enough for me to write about.


Saving Graces

Birdemic
The reason I split some of my ratings into two parts is because there really are two movies contained in Birdemic. There's the first half, the boring, completely inconsequential, and borderline unwatchable romance movie focused on Rod and Nat. This half sucks; there's no way around it. However, while the second half, the birdemic half, also technically sucks, it is a much different kind of suck. The birdemic itself is something you can really enjoy and laugh at from an absurdist point of view. First, there are the special effects (covered in a later section), which make it impossible to take any of these birds seriously. However, accompanying that, there are other absurdist elements here that are pretty damn funny. For instance, the birds tend to dive-bomb things and blow up (as in with a fireball). Bird's don't do that. They have never done that. On a similar note, outside of a Looney Tunes show, I don't think birds have ever made airplane diving sounds when they fly downward. This is most likely because birds are not airplanes. Lastly, these birds vomit flesh-melting acid because why wouldn't they?

Sins (Spoilers)

Global Warming
Let me preface this by stating that I fully believe in climate change and the role that mankind is playing in it. That being said, this movie shoves the topic so far down your throat that you really just want to believe less in climate change rather than listen to this nonsense. Keep in mind, at no point in this movie is global warming ever actually linked to the birdemic, meaning it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Yet all the same, it gets thrown in our face every few minutes. Sometimes they'll even be discussing the birdemic and go off topic to talk about global warming. Let's delve deeper, shall we?

First off, there are many minor references to environmentalism and global warming. There are a few times where they actually are properly embedded into what's going on. For instance, Rod has his start-up company that is making a new type of solar panel. That's okay; he's allowed to do that, and one of solar energy's downfalls is the fact that it is very expensive to make an efficient panel. Most of the "cheaper" ones are less efficient. Now on the flip side, most of the environmentalism in this movie is so crass and obvious. Some examples: there is no reason why I should have to watch Rod purchase solar panels for his house. No one cares. There's also the intermittent news segments that discuss topics such as the polar bears and polar ice melt as if no one has ever heard of it before. Then we have Rod's plug-in hybrid Ford Mustang, which gets 100 mpg (I assume he means the equivalent of 100 mpg, since plug-ins don't use gas, but hey, why should the writer know he's talking about?). I'd also like to point out that this car doesn't exist. There's the gas prices reaching $100/gal, a crafty statement on the current oil market. There's also the time that they go to the movies to see An Inconvenient Truth despite that movie coming out four years before this one. Lastly, there are two instance that I am going to spend a little time on...

First we have this scene:


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For those of you that can't see this video, his answer to the question of essentially "Why are these birds attacking?" get so off track that at one point he talks about krill dying out from global warming, which just to recap, does not answer the question at all. He also ends the conversation by saying we should act like astronauts as if that's a thing.

Then of course we have the tree-hugging hippie:


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... ... ... what the fuck is he talking about? What does this have to do with anything? People are being murdered left and right by wild birds on what I am going to assume is a global scale (it is called Birdemic after all), and this guys talking about mild temperatures facilitating bark beetle movements. And like the scientist, he never links any of this to the birdemic. After this entire movie we still don't know what cause the birdemic.

Also worth noting, despite this movie's eco-friendly theme, almost 12 fucking minutes of this movie are shots of them driving or take place inside a moving car. And despite the movie's claim, I'm pretty sure that car is not a plug-in hybrid. Nice job, assholes.

Acting
I have already covered the acting the "Characters" section, but needless to say, it is just awful from pretty much everyone. Everyone is incapable of emoting. I used to think that acting poorly was better than not acting at all, but this movie changed my mind. It is one thing to misinterpret a line; it is another to miss the line in its entirety. Nathalie can be slightly excluded because she at least tries, but really the only person who acts well is Nat's mother, who plays the perky, earnest old lady role very well. It is worth noting, however, that sometimes the terrible acting is quite funny.

Special Effects
There just... awful. You'll see in the videos. No need for me to elaborate.

Play-By-Play Summary (Complete Spoilers)

Well, we start out with some exposition shots before the movie that becomes a more-than-2-minute dash cam video. But here's the best part: the cameraman is a fucking moron so the camera is tilted 25 degrees to the left the whole time. So anyway, Rod parks his car and walks like the Terminator to a diner and we are immediately assaulted by the very first words of the movie.


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So Rod orders absolutely nothing at this diner and instead follows Natalie out to force small talk with her. Apparently they went to school together or some shit; I wasn't really paying attention, but they do exchange cards. 

The next day starts out with some newswoman saying that a lot of dead birds have been found and that the polar ice caps are melting (no shit). At this point you probably think that this will be significant but I assure you it will not. Unrelated, but if you thought you were going to miss out on one second of this man's morning, you are dead wrong. We get to follow him as he drives around, gets gas, gets stuck IN A TRAFFIC JAM (whoo!), drives obscenely slow, parks, and walks into work. Fucking seriously...


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Rod is then at his job "closing" (loose definition) the biggest deal of his career: ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Now considering he gave the guy a 50% discount, he got $1,000,000 for a $2,000,000 deal, which makes him a jackass. It is worth noting, that Alan Bagh's acting, though it started out at abysmal, actually keeps getting worse. Look at this;


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Eleven minutes in: There have still not been any birds.

Going back to Nathalie, after doing some modeling, her agent tells her that Victoria's Secret wants her to be their new cover girl, which is impressive considering the gig she just finished five seconds ago was at a one hour photo. Rod calls her and they force (and I mean FORCE) smalltalk, complete with comments like "I'm sure you'll look great in lingerie", referring, of course, to Nathalie's new job. This scene is actually pretty interesting because while Whitney Moore is no Meryl Streep, she certainly looks like Ms. Streep compared to Mr. Bagh. Anyway, long story short, Rod asks her out.

Now Rod and his friend, whose name I care so little about, I'm not even going to look it up, are playing basketball like poorly acted white salesmen. We learn that Rod and his friend's company are going to be acquired by a larger company, which will make them all very rich. Note: his name is Rick, it gets mentioned later.

That same newswoman comes back to tell us about a wildfire that has 0% containment, otherwise known as no containment. Rod then answers his door to a solar panel salesman. I'd like to tell you that we don't have to literally watch Rod purchase solar panels, but we do. It is exactly as boring as it sounds.

18 minutes in: There are still no birds...

Well we're at a Vietnamese place for their date. They talk about how they like/got into their jobs, their dreams, and... and... zzz... zzz... zzz... Ok, now they're outside an- HOLY SHIT! BIRDS!... that don't do... anything... MOTHER FUCKER! Rod takes her home after some lame dancing.

Nathalie then stops by her mom's place and they talk about her new career and Nathalie gushes about Rod, which makes me die a little inside. Fun fact: Nathalie's mom is by far the best actor/actress in the movie.

Nathalie then calls her friend to see if she wants to go on a double date. This friend happens to be dating (or just banging) Rick, Rod's friend. Small world, huh. 

Now comes one of my favorite non-bird scenes. This is whee the CEO of Rod's company announces they have agreed to the acquisition... FOR A BILLION DOLLARS! Everyone then claps for a full 50 seconds (no bullshit). What makes it better is that the clapping continually dies down and then abruptly starts again because who edited this was doing something other than his job for this particular scene.


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Afterward, Rod is talking to the CEO about the work he's don- AND OH MY FUCKING GOD ALAN BAGH IS JUST... AWFUL! Shit! I don't even have words to describe him anymore; it's just unbelievable.


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After, Rick tries to convince Rod to buy a "nice, hot Ferrari" to impress Nathalie. Rod responds with, "She's my hot Ferrari" which makes no goddamn sense at all. Plus, according to Rod, his Mustang is "a plug-in hybrid. It gets 100 mpg". Let's clear up a few things. First, there is no such thing as a Mustang plug-in hybrid. Second, there is no such thing as a Mustang plug-in hybrid. Third, and this is important, we WATCHED HIM GET FUCKING GAS NO MORE THAN 15 MINUTES AGO! They then go to the movies to see An Inconvenient Truth, which I will remind you, was in theaters in 2006, which means that either A) this movie takes place in 2006 or B) creator/director/writer James Nguyen is a moron (probably B).
Note: at the pumpkin festival later on, one of the floats says "2008" on it.

The next day, Rod presents a new type of solar panel to potential investors, except Rod is played by Alan Bagh so it's about as exciting as watching a thermometer all day. Bafflingly, they agree to fund him.

Thirty-five minutes in: minus one bird sighting, there has STILL not been any hint of a birdemic.

Rod and Nat (I'm tired of typing "Nathalie") then walk through a very specifically named "Pumpkin and Art Festival". Nothing interesting happens. Then they go to the beach, and talk about their ideal man/woman and life backup plans (for some reason). Throughout this conversation there are literally jump cuts (that's right, you heard me: JUMP CUTS) MIDWAY THROUGH THE FUCKING DIALOG. What the HELL? You can't just do that. 


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Regardless along the beach they come across a dead CGI eagle who must've died while breakdancing because I see no other plausible explanation for the position that it died in.

Next, Nat and Rod go to visit Nat's mother, who is still super earnest. They talk about nothing an- GOD DAMMIT! Another jump cut, this time mid-SENTENCE!


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Forty-one minutes in: THERE IS STILL NO FUCKING BIRDEMIC!

They have dinner and talk about nothing (which is becoming a staple of this movie), and then we get to watch them dance terribly for two solid minutes. Don't believe me?


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They then go back to Nat's apartment to have implied sex. Just as I thought it would earlier, it made me die a little inside.

Forty-seven minutes in: HOLY FUCK BALLS, YOU GUYS! IT'S HERE! IT'S THE BIRDEMIC! Looks like it's time to regain my enthusiasm. Here we go!

It comes from literally nowhere, further building the case against Mr. Nguyen's incompetency. There are all of these eerie, silent shots of the town (which is a good start), but then instead of having one bird creepily appear and then another or some other approach that would actually make sense, instead we see silent stillness in one shot and the next, there are birds EVERYWHERE. It makes no sense. See for yourselves after this paragraph. Then the birdemic begins. Here you will notice some the birds choose to dive-bomb things and when they do, they... explode? What the hell? Do... do they... do the make airplane sound when they dive bomb? I'd love to be making this up, but I cannot hide the truth from you. Here you go.


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The birds surround the hotel just hover, flapping their wings and moving nowhere because Newtonian physics is for pussies. Rod and Nat do what is thus far the smartest thing they've done the whole movie, which is to barricade the windows with the bed (this is in response to a bird non-explosively dive-bombing their window). After awhile, the birds leave, and for some reason I will never understand, Nat and Rod leave the apartment.

The head to a neighbor's (Ramsey's) apartment. He and his girlfriend agree to let Rod and Nat hitch a ride in their van (Rod lost his car keys in a bare 1-room apartment somehow), but first they must get to the van. They all arm themselves with coat hangers. Yes, coat hangers. And what follows is one of the bizarre and hilarious moments of visual media that has ever existed. It was also on my welcome page, FYI.




They flee in the van, and Ramsey pulls out a military-grade assault rifle and starts shooting some birds. They then rescue some children (one of whom was in the trunk of a car... weird) because what everyone needed right now was more baggage. Predictably, the children immediately complain that they're hungry so everyone stop by at an abandoned convenience store to get food. They of course have to fight some birds to get back to the car.

They drive for a bit before they inexplicably decide to have an outdoor lunch. At least point, I think it's a given that everyone in this movie is a moron. They see an old guy with a dust mask looking at some dead birds. He warns them to get back because the birds are contagious. Rod and Nat do the only logical thing which is to completely disregard his warning and keep coming closer. He then clarifies that the dead birds had bird flu. He then comes back to the picnic tables to provide the group with some answers. Just kidding. He goes off on a tangent about global warming for two and a half minutes. See the "Global Warming" section to see this preachy bullshit.

In the car, Ramsey tells Rod that he was a soldier in Iraq but was tired of killing and why can't there be peace and yada yada yada. Meanwhile, Becky (Ramsay's gf) is killed as she squats down to take a shit. That is in no way a joke. 


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Then there is more terrible birdemicking.


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They then see a bus being attacked by birds. Now I am going to ignore the fact that Rod and Ramsey shoot (poorly and a lot) at a fucking bus; the main point here is that right now the birds cannot get into the bus. Then Ramsey goes to get the to convince everyone to come out... for some reason. They don't want to leave because they have some small measure of intelligence, but Ramsey convinces them to anyway. Once they get outside, some birds vomit flesh-melting acid on them! It is exactly as stupid as it sounds. Everyone that was on the bus, including Ramsey, dies. Here's that whole scene.


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In the next scene, they go to get some gas, but the gas station person (I don't know what they're called) tells him its $100/gal. I love this scene because I'm 90% sure that the gas station worker is not an actor. I'm fairly certain they just walked into this guy's convenience store and said "Hey! Wanna be in a movie?". Judge for yourselves.


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As per the norm, birds attack them with their hover-and-flap-wings-from-the-bird-elbow-joint move.

Next they see a guy pulled over and go to help him out. He asks for gas, and after Rod tells him he can't spare any, the guy pulls a gun and demands gas. Also, he does all this without emoting in the slightest. As the guy is walking away with the gas, a bird cuts his throat using its... uh... wing? Are wings sharp now? Whatever. Rod drives away without the gas for no logical reason that I can think of.

The gang then stops by a creek to get fresh water when they encounter a tree-hugging hippie. He proceeds to tell about global warming and how it causing a dry climate and, oh yeah, bark beetles. He hates those guys. Talks about them for over a minute. As they leave, they are attacked by the world's least threatening forest fire.


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After they drive a bit, they find their friends (the ones they went on the double date with; I really just don't care enough to scroll up and find their names) murdered by birds. They then run out of gas (who could have seen that coming?). Rod then looks in his trunk and finds a fishing rod and a portable stove. After some heavy math, he concludes that he can catch some fish and cook it. He does just that, but the kids want "a happy meal" because kids are just the worst.

Then the eagles arrive. Everyone rushes back to the car and Rod finishes off his ammo before retreating to the back seat but does not close the window. I cannot explain this. The birds hover around a harass the car as they are wont to do, but then some doves show up and chase the eagles away. The doves and the eagles fly away into to distance without getting any smaller for about four goddamn minutes. Mercifully, the credits roll during this time so we have something else to look at.

THE END

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sharknado (2013)


Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Average Score: 6.1/10
IMDb User Review Score: 3.3/10

Acting: 4/10

Special Effects: 4/10

Coherence: 5.5/10

Fun: 6/10

Humor: 6/10

Introduction


Sharknado is a SyFy original movie released in 2013 that initially had nothing special going for it. This is, of course, until Twitter got involved. Word of the movie's existence circulated though Twitter, even ending up in the Tweets of some celebrities, and the movie's popularity spread. The original release on the SyFy channel had a fairly average number of viewers, but it's increasing popularity caused SyFy to show it an additional two times during the month of its release.


Synopsis (Spoiler-Free)


Think you're safe out of the water? Think again. No place is safe in Southern California when a hurricane comes along that, along with flooding, is capable of launching sharks anywhere. When this happens, Fin, a surfer and bar owner, gathers his loved ones and makes for safety. However, once the storm spawns tornadoes that pick up sharks (hence Sharknado), conditions become even more deadly, and Fin, his family, and his friends must now stop running and find a way to stop these sharknadoes before everyone is devoured by ridiculousness.

Character Summaries (Minor Spoilers)


Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering)

Fin is the protagonist of Sharknado and pretty much fits the mold for a stereotypical SyFy movie leading man. He is extremely resourceful and has excellent survival instincts. Also, Fin is heroic. Super heroic. Pathologically heroic. Fin is so goddamn heroic that midway through the movie, his ex wife April literally asks him to stop being heroic. Fin owns a bar (creatively named “Fin”) by the beach and seemingly only has one bartender, Nova. Also, Fin has two children with April, Matt and Claudia, and he seems to be a little bit estranged from them, enough so that Claudia is perpetually pissed at him.

April Wexler (Tara Reid)

Considering that April is played by Tara Reid (read: the only cast member we’ve ever heard of before), I was very surprised that April literally doesn’t do a damn thing in the whole movie beside be kind of a bitch to Fin until her new boyfriend meets his demise (at which point she starts being nicer). April is Fin’s ex wife and they have two children together, Matt and Claudia. 

Nova Clarke (Cassie Scerbo)

Nova is Fin’s bartender (possibly his only bartender). She has an attitude and proves to be the only woman in this movie that is not a complete waste of oxygen. She has a scar on her leg that she refuses to talk about, and is extremely handy with a shotgun. Nova definite has a thing for Fin, which is kind of weird because 1) there is quite an age gap, 2) he’s her boss, and 3) he absolutely is not interested in her in the slightest. George sort of has a thing for her, but it is more in an older man, not-serious/playful kind of way.

Baz Hogan (Jaason Simmons)

Baz is Fin’s best friend, and the only likable character besides George. Baz is extremely loyal, but typically just follows Fin’s lead. That being said, he does have one or two good ideas of his own. Baz also tends to lighten the mood, making wisecracks at almost every opportunity.

Claudia (Aubrey Peeples)

Claudia doesn’t do shit in this entire movie; I’m actually not entirely sure why I am writing about her. She is Fin’s and April’s daughter, and she has major daddy issues because of the divorce. That’s pretty much all there is to say. She is either being moody to Fin or telling other people not to trust Fin. That’s her whole purpose in this movie.

Matt (Chuck Hittinger)

Matt is Fin’s and April’s son. Currently in flight school, he is very similar to his father in that he is a resourceful problem solver and very heroic. Unfortunately, his high pitched voice and extremely goofy face make him very difficult to take seriously. He will also end up concocting what must be one of the dumbest plans in the history of the human race.


George (John Heard)

George is a frequent patron of Fin’s bar, and frequently hits on Nova (but playfully). While he does almost all of his drinking at the bar, he nevertheless comes off as kind of a drunk. However, he is by most measures, the most likable person in this movie.

Saving Graces

Self-Awareness
Many of the movies in this blog will have some degree of self-awareness, but I'll wager that none have it to the degree that Sharknado does. By self-awareness, I mean that the makers and stars of the movie all know exactly what this movie is: a B-grade SyFy original movie. 

It can be easily seen just in the premise of the movie. It deals in the absurd. There are an infinite number of topics that could qualify as science fiction, but SyFy chose to make a movie about tornadoes... in Southern California... that picks up sharks... and launches them everywhere. It's just ridiculous. Given this preposterous scenario, the characters in the movie don't seem at all, which creates an additional level of humor.

The special effects also help to keep us aware that this movie is ridiculous. The special effects are not awful, but they also are not particularly good for this day and age. Now this is obviously the result of the movie's budget, which IMDB estimates at $1,000,000, a very modest budget for a full-length movie. However, a side effect of the special effects being less than stellar is that it prevents us from being too absorbed in the movie and thus allows us to keep our distance and appreciate the goofy premise of the movie. I mean really, could you ever take this sharknado seriously?

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Sins (Spoilers)


Misleading Premise 
Now this may just be a personal misinterpretation, but when I hear the work “Sharknado” I picture more of a tornado that just tears one’s ass apart once it takes you in. This notion is furthered by a moment in the opening scene:

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I guess what I was envisioning was closer to a piranhanado because this type of thing never happens again. The sharknado serves more as a shark-missile launcher, and the hurricane that spawns the sharknado serves as a method to flood the coast so that sharks can access places they could not before. Like I said earlier, you may disagree with the movie being misleading, but this was just a pet peeve of mine.

Science
Here is the movie’s real sin. I know that the SyFy channel has a very loose definition of science, but I still think it needs to step up its game a bit. There are several issues that are probably just oversights. For example, the sharknado is present for pretty much the final act of the entire movie. Even if we go by real time, which would put the shaknado’s duration at about thirty-five minutes (movie time would be a few hours), the sharks would still asphyxiate from being out of the water for so long. That doesn’t make a several hundred pound shark-missile any less damaging, but the movie literally forgot that sharks live in the water. Regardless, like I said this was probably an oversight. No big deal.

The movie’s knowledge of hurricanes and tornadoes is a little more troubling. First of all, this movie is set in Southern California. Here are two direct quotes from Wikipedia: “Since 1900, two tropical storms have hit California, one by direct landfall from offshore, another after making landfall in Mexico” and “Since 1900, only four tropical cyclones have brought gale-force winds to the Southwestern United States”. Basically, hurricanes and tornadoes don’t happen in Southern California. The filmmakers literally picked one of very few places where hurricanes don’t happen. Their understanding of hurricanes is also suspect with quotes such as “the eye is pounding the shore”. As anyone who has had 8th grade science knows, the eye is the one part of the hurricane that doesn’t pound anything.

However, nothing else in this movie compares to what I am about to show you. This is Matt’s ingenious plan to get rid of the tornadoes.

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If you don’t feel like watching the video, I’ll give you the general rundown of the plan: Matt tells Nova he is going to throw bombs into the tornadoes to destroy them. When Nova questions his logic, Baz comes literally from out of nowhere like a ninja schoolteacher to give us a brief science lesson, namely that tornadoes are created when cold and warm air meet. He then claims that a bomb might equalize it but that if they miss, they’re screwed.

Now here are some issues with the clip besides that fact that anyone who views it is that much closer to having an aneurism. First, throwing a bomb into a tornado wouldn't do shit. The tornado would just pick it up, it would explode, and the tornado would be baffled by the pitiful attempt on its life. What’s worse is that Baz tries to justify this plan with science. He does, however, have a minor point. Let’s say you detonated a nuclear weapon near a tornado, the shockwave plus all of the debris being incinerated might disrupt the tornado (keep in mind, this is a guess; I am not a physicist). However, Matt is making gasoline IEDs.

There is also another issue that Baz manages to almost hit on but doesn’t quite get there when he mentions, “if you miss”. Matt and Nova are literally about to pilot a helicopter over a populated city and throw bombs at it. Most people know that to be terrorism.

Lastly, all things considered, watch Matt’s face. Look how pleased he is with himself when he reveals his plan.

Overall, this plan is so unbelievably stupid, it hurts the rest of the movie because there really is just no way to suspend your disbelief. It’s also just lazy. I can just imagine the writers thinking this through: “Well fuck it, I can’t think of any way to fight a tornado. Let’s just bomb it and call it a day”. 


Play-By-Play Summary (Complete Spoilers)

Sharknado begins by having a tornado picking up a bunch of sharks from the ocean… … … that was fast.

We are then taken to a boat 20 miles off the coast of Mexico, where a stereotypical boat captain (for shark catching, of course) and a stereotypical shady Asian businessman are negotiating a price for the catch. Our Asian friend suggests $100,000 while the captain suggests $1,000,000, indicating that one of these two men is an idiot.  After the captain forces a deal at gunpoint, the Asian man flees and we have quite possibly one of the worst standoffs ever.


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They are all promptly eaten by sharks from the sharknado. Now while dropped plot points are not as common in Sharknado as they are in some of the other movies I will cover, it is worth mentioning that none of what just happened ever gets mentioned again.

Now we are in Southern California, where people are doing beach stuff like surfing, volley ball, tanning, and being attractive. We are introduced to Fin, a bar owner who was some kind of big deal in the surfing world, and Baz, a wisecracking Tasmanian. We are also introduced to Nova, a bartender (Fin’s only one, I guess) with attitude who for some reason does not like to have her ass grabbed by old men, namely George, the movies token likable drunk. We also learn that Hurricane David is coming and that it is driving the sharks away, which doesn’t make any goddamn sense at all since we know full well it is doing the exact opposite.

Fin tries to save a woman from the sharks because despite her flailing and cries for help, no one seems to give a shit. I am not making this up:


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Sharks then start attacking everybody near the shore and ignore Fin and Baz in the middle of the ocean. The eventually attack Fin and Baz (I guess when all other options were exhausted), but the two escape. Back at the bar, Nova makes a move on Fin, which is gross. Fin then calls his obviously-ex wife, April, and she’s a total bitch to him.

All of the sudden, sharks come crashing through the windows of the bar, and after everyone leaves the bar, the hurricane immediately decides to demolish the entire beachfront in a matter of seconds because that’s how hurricanes behave. This includes people being chased by a rogue Ferris wheel.

Fin, Nova, George, and Baz try to make their way to April’s house, but the entirety of Southern California is under water, and the sharks are swimming around everywhere. Fin also has this weird disease where he is absolutely compelled to be heroic, so he goes and helps some people. George also tries to be heroic, but God doesn’t like George, so his heroics are rewarded by being hit by a monster wave and devoured by sharks. They finally arrive at April’s house, which Fin notes is “in the hills” and therefore they should have time to get everyone, which we know is bullshit.

At the house, we meet April, Claudia (Fin’s and April’s daughter), and April’s boyfriend, who is a total doucheface and who fortunately exists in the movie for all of one minute and twenty-three seconds (exact time) before he is eaten. Once the shark has consumed all but his legs, everyone then decides to try and save him, which surprisingly doesn’t work. Nova then shoots the shark in the head with a shotgun several times because she is thus far the only woman in this movie who isn’t fucking useless. We then find out that Fin also has a son, Matt, who is in flight school, which is news to Fin. At this point we begin to wonder how many kids he has not mentioned yet. Next, Fin “distracts” (his words) another shark by singlehandedly impaling its brain with a rod of some sort, and they all escape just before the entire house collapses for no reason.

On their way to Matt, Fin notices a bus stranded in the road (partially under water of course) under the bridge that they’re on (read: they’ll need to RAPPEL down). There’s no explanation as to how he saw the bus, but who cares? Fin claims that they must help them without even knowing if anyone is on the bus (of course there is but he doesn’t know that). April very correctly scolds him for choosing to ensure the safety of others before his own family. Fin promptly ignores this and proves April absolutely correct by going to the rescue. Using an extremely convenient set of professional rock climbing equipment, Fin rappels down has every individual in the bus (twenty or so kids and a fat aging hippie) pulled up to the bridge. He accomplishes this task, which should take hours, in a matter of minutes because this is a movie. I can’t believe I am about to say this, but on Fin’s ascent, a shark jumps at least fifty feet (no joke) in the air and (no joke) grabs hold of the rope because gravity is for pussies. Seriously, look:

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The hurricane instantly stops, as hurricanes are wont to do after someone saves lots of people. But then some tornados form in the distance and kill the bus driver with debris because he was totally asking for it. The wind also destroys the “Hollywood” sign because that is a clause in the “Hollywood” sign’s contract for starring in movies. As they drive away, a shark lands on the roof of their car and bites through it despite having absolutely no leverage with which to do so. Nova takes care of it via shotgun, and they get out of the car when they smell gas, which makes absolutely no sense because the shark was on the roof. As any of you readers who have ever had a gas leak know, cars explode shortly after having a gas leak.

They stock up on supplies, and in the store, Claudia warns Nova not to go after Fin because Claudia thinks her dad sucks. They steal a car and blow through a police checkpoint because they just have no restraint whatsoever. The cops actually give chase because I guess they have nothing better to do during the storm of the century.

At the flight school place thing, Baz looks outside to see that a sharknado is headed their way, and they find Matt shortly after. When they tell him what’s been going on, he has what is definitely that only reaction in this movie that could’ve happened in the real world:


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They debate for a minute as to whether or not it is possible that sharks could have made this far inland, with Fin saying it’s “entirely possible”, which is ridiculous, but this is Sharknado after all. After an expendable unnamed colleague of Matt’s is taken by the sharknado, it promptly vanishes, presumably because it’s had its fill for the day.

Fin then baffles the hell out of the entire audience by claiming they need to stand and fight, as if you can fight a tornado. Matt directs them to a hardware store, which considering it was a decision made on the spot, is the smartest thing anyone has suggested thus far into the movie. However, our praise for Matt instantly ceases when he proposes that they throw a bomb into the tornado to destroy it. This scene is so colossally stupid that I already dedicated an entire section to it, so I won’t show it here. Seriously though, it is an assault on the brain. Baz also separately starts building a bomb because I don’t know why. That’s why.

At this point, Claudia starts bitching to Fin about how he has never been there for her despite being there for her this entire movie. He reminds her of that and she tries to process it. While making the bombs, Nova tells Matt about when she was a child and sharks ate pretty much her entire family when her grandfather’s fishing boat went down on a fishing trip, and that’s why she hates sharks. This is Matt’s reaction.

Durrrrrrr...

Before Nova and Matt take off in the helicopter, Baz drives up in the Hummer and reveals his bold Plan B. If Matt and Nova’s plan doesn’t work, he’s going to drive the Hummer, with a bomb in it, into the tornado. So to recap: if the bombs being thrown into the tornado are ineffective, he’s going to suicide bomb the tornado. It’s bulletproof.

So Matt and Nova fly to the sharknado (helicopters are awesome near tornados) and Fin shoots one of the sharks headed for them with a pistol. Once the shark is dead, the tornado no longer feels compelled to hold onto it so it just drops out of the sky. Nova throws a bomb into the tornado and it totally works! This victory is soon eclipsed by the best scene part of the movie. I’m not even going to try and describe it.


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Shortly after, Baz and some random people we’ve never met before who are helping him are injured by shark-missiles and, Baz is taken up into the sharknado, effectively knocking off the only remaining character we liked (the other being George (and I guess we care a little about Nova (maybe(?)))). Nova and Matt destroy the second tornado, and the falling sharks lead to one of the most hilarious deaths ever:

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Afterward, Fin rescues some elderly people and blows up a now shark-filled pool. He does this even though the sharks can’t hurt anyone as long as they’re in the pool. Nova bombs the third sharknado but SURPRISE: it doesn’t work. Then a shark from the sharknado grabs hold of the helicopter and while trying to stab it repeatedly, Nova is killed preposterously. Matt’s reaction is pure gold.


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Matt has a rocky landing but is okay, and then Fin, with his hero disease, decides to drive the Hummer into the tornado to, as he puts it, “finish this”. At this point I’ll remind you that there is no reason that this should work. Fin drives the car up to the sharknado but jumps out at the last moment (which is something Baz never thought of). After the last tornado is destroyed, hundreds of sharks start falling from the sky, and one of them heads straight for Claudia. Fin pushes her out of the way and then literally jumps into the shark’s mouth. Why he couldn’t just also move out of the way is a mystery.

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Fin chainsaws his way out of the shark’s belly and guess who’s inside as well: Nova! (who was swallowed… whole… wholly whole). Probability can suck a dick. After Matt revives her, Nova tells him that her real name is Jenny Lynn. She then leans into him, indicating she totally into him now. I guess since she couldn’t have Fin, hey a silver medal’s not so bad, right? Lastly April and Fin make out. This is completely out of left field being that (next to) nothing in this movie indicated they were becoming closer as a couple. They all then stare into the sunset and Fin says, “Hell of a day”. Well said, Fin. Well said.


THE END