Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! – Oh Hell Why Not?

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015) Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Mark McGrath, David Hasselhoff, Bo Derek, Ryan Newman, and Jack Griffo. Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante. Teleplay by Thunder Levin. Produced by David Michael Latt Run Time: 120 minutes. Color. U.S. Science Fiction, Horror, Comedy

While this blog usually stays away from television shows, we have made a few exceptions, one of which has been the Sharknado series of “films”: Sharknado (2013), Sharknado 2: TheSecond One (2014) and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! all brought to us by the SyFy channel. The old adage, it’s so bad it’s funny, surely comes to mind when watching these films. Throw everything you know about science out the window, along with that rational part of your brain and sit back and watch the gory and downright stupid plot, which revolves solely around the idea that tremendous tornadoes pick up sharks out of the ocean and throw them at human beings like chainsaws.

Sharknado took place in Los Angeles, with sharks not only flying through the air, but also swimming up the streets and Sharknado 2 took place in New York City, our third installment takes place in Washington D.C. and in Orlando at the Universal Studios Park there. (Disney World is apparently safe.) The action, which is as dumb as ever is literally taken to new heights, including a launch of the now non-existent Space Shuttle, and yes, we do end up with Sharks in Space!!!

Back to the fray are not only are Ian Ziering (Finley Allen "Fin" Shepard) and Tara Reid (April Dawn Wexler Shepard) who are making their third appearances in the franchise, but also Cassie Scerbo returns after skipping 2 as Nova Clarke. The rest of the class is made up of has-beens, wannabes and those who seek the limelight whenever possible: Frankie Muniz as Lucas Stevens, Bo Derek as May Wexler, Ann Coulter as Vice President of the United States, Mark Cuban as President of the United States and finally David Hasselhoff as Gilbert Grayson "Gil" Shepard. If you like your acting wooden, then this would be your dream cast.

They say we get the government we derserve. Meet the President and
Vice-President of the U.S. in Sharknado 3. What have we done wrong to deserve this pair?

The movie has non-stop action from the get go; Fin is running, but instead of fighting swirling sharks, he’s in D.C. to receive a Presidential medal. You have to wait all of five minutes though before the sharks start flying as the entire East coast of the United States is under threat of Sharknadoes cropping up. The combination of sharks and high speed winds wreck havoc on Washington D.C. not only thinning the herd of non-important characters, but also decimating most of the monuments and government buildings. But it’s all in the name of camp and so no harm no foul.

There is a little bit of everything in this film for the Sharknado fan. Not only are there flying hammerheads and tiger sharks, but chainsaws are prevalent and even get an upgrade to lightsaber-like when the action moves into space. Cheesecake and beefcake also get equal play as after a plane crash, Fin emerges shirtless and Nova is inexplicably down to her bra and panties. For both it is some of their finest acting.

With a reported budget of $1 million, it is easy to see that all of it ended up on the little screen. With production values akin to making a movie with an iPhone, Sharknado 3 is really a glorified product of corporate synergy. Not only does a lot of the action take place at a ComCast owned theme park, but it also includes some of the company’s most high profile employees, the cast of NBC’s Today show. Mercifully, this time it appears that everyone is eaten alive by sharks, so they probably won’t pop up in the already promised Sharknado 4.

In addition to corporate synergy there are also Sharknado flavored commercials for the advertisers calling back to recent victims in the plot. It sometimes feels Sharknado is paid programming pushing Infinity wireless. Oddly enough, a guy being swallowed up to his legs by a shark on a roller coaster isn’t necessarily someone I want to emulate, even if he has good cell phone coverage.

Despite being equally goofy and gory, the Sharknado movies have become a sort of a seasonal rite of passage. They are one of the few TV shows that seem to bring people together to revel in the stupidity. Far from great TV fare, Sharknado 3: Oh Hello No!, is a not to be missed Hell Yes! It wouldn’t be summer without it.

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