We have come a long way since the B-movie creature features of the '50s and '60s, or have we? For years now, every animal known to man, from cobras to shrews, has been genetically mutated or manipulated for the cheesy thrills of a viewing audience. However, the notable standouts in this 'nature attacks' genre have generally gone that little bit further to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Sharks have - since Spielberg’s blockbuster birthing Jaws - been the granddaddy of this genre, so naturally the next evolutionary step was throwing in natural disasters. Back in 2013, the first Sharknado became an unexpected phenomenon, starting with the poster getting online buzz at Cannes and the TV zeitgeist when the film was aired on SyFy. Was it good? No, purposely terrible in fact, and yet the film garnered better reviews (or at least a higher Rotten Tomatoes rating) than the likes of Iron Man 3 and Pacific Rim. Naturally a sequel followed in 2014, so now we arrive again in this popular world of dreadfully bad CGI, acting and celebrity cameos, where the question is not so much “is it any good”, as “what do you want us to say”?
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No (seriously) is of course rubbish and it knows it, here endeth our logical review because there is no way to review this film. This is a knowing series that continues to deliver the bads and, more likely than not, most sitting down to watch a film called Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No will approve. The thing that has clearly made the series a success and more recognised than the likes of Lake Placid vs. Anaconda, is its level of open awfulness. In this third film, this remains the case but it must be said that after three movies, the concept is left with nowhere to go... not that this will make one iota of difference. The story (haha) sees the tropical shark-laden storms start up again along the east coast, only the game has changed and the storms are joining together! Naturally, chainsaw-wielding hero Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) takes it upon himself to save the world (or more importantly, America)… again. From a shark on rollercoaster tracks, people entering orbit in a fish belly, a baby escaping a charred shark gut, and water skiing with priceless art in the white house, this film does have its share of barmy brilliance but to what overall effect? You decide.
The film is chock full of cameos (including WWE Legend Chris Jericho, Jerry Springer and even Jedward) once again and is more a game than a movie, as we play spot the “star” and ‘laugh at the silly scene’. Half of the film plays like a silly advert for Universal Orlando and the other a NASA ad as co-directed by Michael Bay and a drunken (and likely disgraced) ichthyologist. This sequel is admittedly enjoyable in the same brainless ways as its predecessors, be it the eye rolling dialogue, ridiculous logic-defying action or the naff effects, but when will it be enough? After three films, a shit load of sharks and more D-listers than a week-long ITV2 marathon, there really are not many places left to go with the concept. By land, sea, air and now space, Sharknado 3 flies by with trashy writing, acting and lightsabing chainsaws and its success is down to you.
Love it or hate it, this straight-to-screen movement has grown to defy criticism for it embraces flaw over flair. The future of a lead “character” was left open to a hashtag Twitter vote when it aired months ago, so you can look at it two ways - this franchise is either a first step into social viewing participation or a slippery slope into how movies are shared. This is a bad film, with product placement tattooed into every scale, and yet it is what it is meant to be. There is no way to review this as a movie as it isn’t one, it is a bizarre fandom whereby you either love it, hate it or get drunk enough that this becomes Citizen Kane with gills and gale force winds. Whatever the case, you can ignore the rating below; you already know if you will like this!
SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ANTHONY C. FERRANTE/ SCREENPLAY: THUNDER LEVIN / STARRING: IAN ZIERING, TARA REID, CASSIE SCERBO, BO DEREK, DAVID HASSELHOFF/ RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 23RD