Sharkapalooza: The Curse of Boredom—Movie

Boredom can induce one to do things one wouldn’t ordinarily do—it can open one’s eyes to new vistas… to new means of entertainment. That is what brought me to the Syfy channel’s Sharktopus” and “Sharknado.

I heard all the hoopla when the Sharkathon aired in mid-July, culminating with the premiere of “Sharknado.” I believed myself to above this lowly fare. But then boredom intersected with a second airing of the marathon and there I was…home…plopped in front of my television…snacks in hand…ready to watch the 2010 “Sharktopus,” followed by the 2013 “Sharknado.” I limited myself to just these two, fearing that viewing any additional movies would render me unable to ever eat fish again. As an avowed pescatarian, this would leave me in dire straits.

One might think that since “Sharktopus” (directed by Declan O’Brien and written by Mike MacLean) was produced by the king of the B-movies, Roger Corman, and starred Eric Roberts, that it would be the better of the two. One would be wrong.Sharktopus

Eric Roberts is Nathan Sands, a scientist working on a new defense project for the government. With his daughter, Nicole, he has created a mega-fish—half shark, half octopus. They believe (especially Nathan) that they can control the creature’s ability to attack and retreat at will. Because of a major hiccup in their testing, Nathan is pressured to rush the completion of this project without the normal safeguards. In so doing, a beast is unleashed and havoc ensues.

No one associated with this movie comes out unscathed. Eric Roberts is hysterically bad as the full-speed ahead mad scientist with a weird fixation on his daughter who has an unexplained English accent. Most of the special effects are horrific. However, there is one fabulous “stunt” involving a bungee jumper and Sharktopus, and it literally makes the movie.

“Sharknado” was produced for the Syfy channel. Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante and written by Thunder Levin, the film stars Ian Ziering, aka Steve Sanders from the original “Beverly Hills, 902010” TV series, as well as John Heard and Tara Reid. Ziering was never give much to do on the series—Jason Priestley and Luke Perry got the bulk of the storylines and publicity (it is horrifying on a whole other level that I know this), but man, he has come ready for action. With his stint on “Dancing with the Stars” and his current gig as a Las Vegas Chippendale, he is buffed, more than fine and has upped his game considerably.  “Sharknado” gives him a lot more dialogue than his entire 10-year run on “90210” and, shockingly, he delivers. He’s actually good.Sharknado

But, oh yes, the plot. Ziering portrays Fin Shepard, a former champion surfer who now owns a bar on a Southern California beach. One day, out of nowhere, there is an influx of sharks and before you can chug a beer, it seems to actually be hurricaning and raining sharks. And these sharks are vicious and hungry.

As everyone tries to flee the beach for higher ground, including Fin and several of his friends, we get some terrific overpass scenes. There are spectacular effects with jumping sharks, sharks on land, sharks in the sea, sharks in the air and so much more.

Fin’s group is heading for Beverly Hills (ironic, I know) to check on his estranged family—ex-wife April (Tara Reid) and his daughter and son. The storm has hit Beverly Hills and the action in the home is pretty terrifying. Ex-wife and daughter in tow, the group now moves in search of Fin’s son who is spending time at a nearby flight school. There we are treated to some spectacular effects involving helicopters, tornadoes, guns and sharks.

“Sharknado” is full of some amazingly cheesy dialogue, but let’s face it–one isn’t expecting Shakespeare. One is expecting sharks and “Sharknado” delivers.

“Sharktopus” (saying that never grows old) and “Sharknado” provide some valuable life lessons:

  1. Forget about the East Coast.  “Jaws” seems to be an anomaly. You should reconsider that trip to Mexico or a Southern California beach. Those areas seem to be the first place hungry sharks attack.
  2. Sharks are equal opportunity killers. They care not if you are black or white, young or old, pretty or ugly, rich or poor.  They just care that you are human.
  3. Most importantly, if a shark jumps up at you, do not stop and stare. Run…run for your life.

The Syfy channel will be premiering “Ghost Shark” August 22, so set the DVR. I am hooked (ooh, bad pun). Can “Vampshark” or “Sharkombie” be far behind? The possibilities are endless.

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