In today’s digital age, the demarcation of art being classified as “good” or “bad” has completely turned over its head. The Internet has managed to sensationalize some of the worst movies ever made, under the catchphrase – “It’s so bad, it’s good”. Such movies are usually made as an inside joke – a satire on the mindlessness of today’s modern world. When the first Sharknado movie was released in 2013, under a modest budget of $2 million, it garnered rave reviews for its ‘bad’ acting, directing and story – eventually enticing more than 1.5 million viewers globally. Since then, five new movies of the franchise has come out every subsequent year – pushing the envelope on absurdity and repugnance. On 19th August, 2018, its sixth (and final) installment, “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time”, was released, making an entire generation of fans to ‘facepalm’ and gawk at the same time.
The brilliantly stupid Sharknado Series is the brainchild of Thunder Levin. If you are one the few who haven’t heard about it – brace yourself. The movie revolves around the onset of ‘sharknados’ – tornadoes filled with sharks and the adventures of one family to save themselves from the continuous attack. While the story is bizarre in itself, the movie doesn’t shed any inhibitions to ensure that the directing, acting, and CGI are all equally bad. Released by Syfy, the American basic cable and satellite television channel, the movie took the viewer on a ride of absurdity and ensured a loss of all senses by the end of it.
However, it’s the inclusion of a few chosen scenes in each of the movies that have enabled it to become a ‘cult classic’ – for all the wrong reasons. In the first movie, the protagonist, Fin Shepherd, jumps into the stomach of an incoming shark with a chainsaw. He manages to escape by sawing the shark in two pieces. In the second movie, he takes it one step further, harnessing a flying shark using a chain to impale it on top of the Empire State Building. The third movie of the franchise witnessed the president of the United States, played by Mark Cuban, impaling a shark using a United States flag. The next two franchises blessed us with scenes like sharks flying alongside satellites in earth’s orbit, and R.R. Martin, the writer for Game of Thrones, being killed by one while watching a movie called Shark Wedding.
It’s no wonder that the anticipation for the final movie was immense among its fans, who couldn’t wait to see new ways of killing sharks. The sixth installment integrated time travel in its storyline, which saw sharknados occurring in pre-historic times. The most memorable scene from the movie has a shark fight with a T-Rex, to sheer delight from its ardent lovers. The film also depicts Nazis, knights and Noah’s Ark, and successfully manages to culminate the reign of ridiculousness that it helped start.
In a world governed by political correctness and Twitter-driven judgment, the success of Sharknado stems from the fact that it enables the viewer to just switch off their brain and enjoy an hour and a half of mind-bogglingly stupid and ridiculous movie packed with surprise twists and turns.