“This movie doesn’t know it can’t do that” – Anthony C. Ferrante(Director)
Syfy channel has a long history of commissioning hilariously bad original films (Jersey Shore Shark Attack, Rage of the Yeti, Swamp Devil, to name a few. All of which are enjoyable if you like laughing at shitty movies…and I do), as does a plucky little Production company called The Asylum, who is particularly known for producing low-budget knock offs of popular films (Paranormal Entity, Mega Python vs Gatoroid, Two Headed Shark Attack, Nazis at The Center of the Earth. Wonderful, wonderful trash!) These two have teamed up several times before and the results are always great fun, but NOBODY could have anticipated the phenomenon that Sharknado would become. The tagline is “Nuff said” and it sums everything up perfectly. Plot? Not important. Continuity? Never touch the stuff. Physics? Ha! Fuck Physics! To anyone who hasn’t seen Sharknado yet, yes. It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like. try not to think about it too hard, and just enjoy the ride. First airing on Syfy on July 11, it was never intended to be a success. It was intended to be a silly, fun movie. Only about 1.37 million viewers saw the premiere, down from the average 1.5 million viewers for Syfy original films, and that is where it likely would have ended. But then the Internet took over.
Virtually overnight, Sharknado (or #SharkNado) was trending on Twitter, and it seemed like virtually everyone was talking about it. I seem to recall reading a statistic that within the first 24hrs, 1.37 million people had seen the film, but over 10 million were talking about it. This led to the film being aired several more times, with viewership dramatically increasing each time, leading it to be the most viewed Syfy original film of all time. Not bad for a concept that was born from a throw-away line about a terrible News headline in a film called Red Clover (more details here: http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/69078/first-sharknado-sighting-flick-red-clover-finally-coming-dvd). Before anyone knew it, this weird little gem was announced for special theatrical dates.
Last night I attended one such screening, held at The Rio on Broadway (for further proof that the Rio rocks, Tonight they are screening Spice World, and on Friday, The Dark Crystal. Yeah…if you live in the Vancouver area, you NEED to become a Rio Regular). The Theater seats 420…really. It seats 420, and it was PACKED! a resounding success! A theater full of people having a great time as they cheered and clapped and laughed their asses off to a film is a truly special experience that is often lost on the Multiplex crowd. I had the pleasure of sitting next to my friend Mila for this screening. Having never seen the film herself, I was very eager to see and hear her reaction to the ridiculousness on screen. Pure joyous Bliss! I love when people get such pure enjoyment from a film. We even started a “THIS! IS! AWE! SOME!(clap-clap-clapclapclap)” chant.
After the film, we were treated to a Skype Q&A with the director, Anthony C. Ferrante. He was super humble, seemingly more blown away by the success of the film than anyone, and just tickled pink that so many people had packed into a theater to watch his movie. He called Sharknado “The movie that doesn’t know that It can’t do that”, by which he means, It was never supposed to become an internet sensation, never supposed to get a theatrical release, never supposed to generate a sequel…it can also refer to the complete abandonment of logic and laws of physics displayed in the film. You may have noticed that I haven’t discussed ANYTHING that happens in the film yet. In the words of Ferrante himself: “There’s a flood. And a storm. With Sharks. Don’t worry about it”
The Rio has announced ANOTHER screening of Sharknado on Aug 31 (search “SHARKNADO – Returns! August 31st All Ages (14A) at the Rio!” on Facebook for the event page), and i encourage everyone in the Vancouver area to attend! And keep a weather eye to the horizon for the sequel, slated to premier on Syfy Jul 2014. It’s title?
SHARKNADO 2: The Second One!