Should I Watch..? Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
What's the big deal?
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is an action disaster movie made for television in 2015 and is the third instalment of the Sharknado series. Once again directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, the film reunites cast members Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo and Mark McGrath along with a host of famous faces as sharknadoes threaten the entire east coast of the US from Washington, DC to Orlando, Florida. It is a joint production between Syfy Films and The Asylum (the producers of the earlier Sharknado films) with an estimated budget of just $2.4 million, the highest in the series so far. Like the earlier movies, there is a strong level of tongue-in-cheek humour running throughout despite the B-movie material being played perfectly straight.
What's it about?
Following the dramatic events in the previous film, Fin and April have remarried and are expecting their second child. While April is in Orlando visiting her mum May and daughter Claudia, Fin is in Washington receiving an honour and a golden chainsaw from the President. But a sharknado soon strikes the capital and Fin single-handedly rescues the President, although the storm disappears as quickly as it emerged. Fearing that his family may be in trouble, Fin makes his way to Florida along with his old friend Nova (who is now a hardened hunter of sharknadoes) and her mechanic partner, Lucas.
As Fin, Nova and Lucas make their way to Universal Orlando, April senses that the weather is quickly changing. They soon realise that multiple sharknadoes are combining to create the ultimate storm - a sharkicane - which could wipe out the entire East coast of America. Following Nova's suggestion that the storms need to be dissipated by equalising the pressure inside with a massive amount of heat, Fin is forced to turn to his estranged father - former NASA colonel Gil Shepard - for help...
Gilbert "Gil" Shepard
Anthony C. Ferrante
93 long minutes...
Release Date (UK)
23rd July, 2015
Action, Disaster, Horror
What's to like?
You can't say you didn't see it coming. Even Ziering, who famously declared that he only did Sharknado because he had a kid on the way and needed the money, appears to have jumped whole-heartedly aboard this strangest of movie franchises, judging by his newly acquired abs. No other film series in history is this bad, this demented and this popular. By now, fans will know exactly what to expect - shoddy CG, laughable acting, cameos by the dozen and a story that would only make sense if you weren't paying attention. Which is actually quite easy, given how utterly mental these films actually are.
What seperates this and the earlier sequel from Sharknado is that the film-makers are now in on the joke as well. Even the film's jocular title suggests that this isn't to be taken as seriously as the original and sure enough, the film is loaded with bad puns and comedic cultural references. The film, if not the entire series, is about having fun and despite itself, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is still fun to watch - even if you're laughing at it instead of with it.
- Among the many famous faces to cameo in the film are wrestler Chris Jericho, Jerry Springer, Kevin Sorbo, magicians Penn & Teller, hip-hop star Ne-Yo, Irish pop twins Jedward, Game Of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and the late Jackie Collins.
- Lou Ferrigno plays a secret service agent called Banner, alluding to his more famous role as the Incredible Hulk. At one point, he even says "Don't make me angry!"
- The original crew for the film were all fired after they went on strike once they attempted to unionize. They were, however, replaced within a day and production continued regardless.
What's not to like?
However, it's not as much fun as you'd think. Product placement is as shameless and subtle as it was in Spectre with half the film feeling like an advertisement for Universal Studio's theme park. There's nothing in the way of suspense because, as dictated in the series' prior entries, famous people will always end up as some shark's very bloody lunch. The sharks themselves look worse than they ever have before and the story is practically non-existent. Throw in a variety of chainsaws (including a double-barrelled one and one that looks and sounds suspicously like a light-sabre) and even the surprise factor disappears.
Question is, is that going to deter fans of these films? Unlikely but frankly, the joke is starting to wear thin. I didn't care about any of it - I occasionally laughed when a celebrity got munched but that was the limit of my emotional involvement. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is like an annoying party guest that outstays their welcome, telling the same ludicrous stories but embellishing the details each time. And by the time the ending comes around (about eighty-five minutes too late), the film drops any attempt at trying to maintain logic by being as insane as rubbing cheese in your face to prevent wrinkles.
Should I watch it?
Truthfully, I've had more fun at a funeral. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! recycles its now-tired material for a third helping but this dish is definitely tasting a bit off. It was never going to be a classic but it's not even bad enough to be memorable. Nevertheless, fans of the series will get plenty out of this monstrous waste of time, talent and money.
Great For: fans of the Sharknado series, masochists, lovers of shlock cinema
Not So Great For: genuine film fans, anyone expecting a traditional horror, young children, grown ups
What else should I watch?
It's no great shock to find this film sticking firmly to its own crazy rules of logic laid down in Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One. But The Asylum are remarkably prolific, even if they specialise in made-for-television creature-features and A-list rip-offs. If you enjoy this sort of crap then take your pick from the likes of mockbusters like Snakes On A Train, Paranormal Entity and the scarcely believable Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus. There are no shortage on Asylum products out there but I, for one, will not be reviewing them unless held at gun-point to do so.
Shark fans needn't despair, though. Having put up with dodgy sequels to Jaws for years, there was a small revival in 1999's cult classic Deep Blue Sea which saw Samuel L Jackson face off against genetically-enhanced people-eaters. For genuine scares, try the more tense thrillers Open Water or The Shallows or if you like your B-movies then you'll probably enjoy scaling down a size or two for Pirahna 3DD.
© 2015 Benjamin Cox