Sharknado Longreads

Like most of Twitter, I watched Sharknado on Thursday night. I write about sharks pretty often, so I wasn’t going to miss it. The compelling, sciency thriller from SyFy was remarkable in its badness, but the people needed it. The people needed to experience something together and SyFy delivered. The movie was terrible, predictable, and suffered from poor acting, directing, and effects. Other than that, it was great. I think the most surprising thing about last night was I didn’t lose any Twitter followers. In any case, here are about 40 some odd Sharknado links.

io9’s preview predicted Sharknado’s brilliance. Well done!

SyFy is already talking about how to ruin the Sharknado magic by releasing a sequel. I’d probably watch. And I hope I remember to watch Blast Vegas.

And yes, a “Sharknado” sequel is already being discussed at the Syfy headquarters, though official plans have yet to coalesce. For now, the cabler is planning a rerun of the pic next Thursday at 7 p.m. to serve as a lead-in to Frankie Muniz-starrer “Blast Vegas.”

The Verge

If you were on Twitter at virtually any time Thursday evening, it was almost impossible to avoid mention of Sharknado. Celebrities like Damon Lindelof and Patton Oswalt spent much of the night tweeting sarcastic one-liners, headlining an online viewing party that included everyone from Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, to Mia Farrow. At its peak, the film was generating more than 5,000 tweets per minute — nowhere near record levels, but undoubtedly impressive for a low-budget cable movie about airborne killer sharks.

An interactive chart of the number of Tweets about Sharknado during the 9PM showing.

An interview with Sharknado director Anthony Ferrante.

CBS talked to Ian.

io9 interviewed Sharknado screenwriter Thunder Levin.

Why a tornado and not a hurricane? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

Actually, we have both. In the movie an unprecedented hurricane sweeps up the Pacific coast from Mexico towards L.A. driving all the sharks in this part of the ocean before it. The hurricane floods the streets of L.A., which is woefully unprepared for a hurricane. (Up to this point, it’s all fairly accurate and something we should be thinking about, disaster preparedness-wise). Naturally these floodwaters are filled with sharks! And then, as often happens, the hurricane spins off tornadoes over the ocean. As anyone would expect, the tornadoes suck up thousands of sharks. This all just seems like common sense to me…

Last year, Grandland wrote a profile of The Asylum, the studio responsible for Sharknado, and most of all the B movie knock offs these days.

Buy Sharknado on Blu-Ray.

Round up of celebrity Tweets. And one from Us Weekly. And E Online.

The LA Times.

And as television struts and preens with its new-found status as the hottest screen in town, it’s important to be reminded of its humble roots: play-acting in the backyard. It isn’t just the lowly production values (rubber sharks, Etch-a-Sketch storm clouds) or how the actors react to airborne sharks with the matter-of-fact casualness of porn stars stumbling upon a laundry room orgy (Oh, hey, watch your foot). It’s the whole over-the-top insanity of it all, the splendid and glorious belief that if you say even god-awful lines firmly enough, if you look hot while drawing some weapon with which you clearly have no familiarity, if you acknowledge the yawning chasms in plot by saying things like “This is crazy” and “Do you trust me?” often enough, your audience will stay with you.

EW on why we love Sharknado.

It’s scientific. ”Bombs. Instead of letting live sharks rain down on people, we’re going to get into that chopper, throw bombs into the tornado, and blow those bastards to bits!” Matt uses his flight school training to calculate a flawless solution to the shark-littered twisters wreaking havoc across L.A. Baz teaches his disciples that a tornado is just two winds blowing at different speeds that combine and rotate together. Fin, Matt, and Baz combine their masterful knowledge of nature and physics only to inform us that you can actually just throw a homemade bomb into the center of the cyclone to neutralize it, and the sun comes out immediately after detonation.

ESPN’s Twitter account tried to have a little fun with the San Jose Sharks. Oops.

Mother Jones poses a serious question.

The film raises a serious question: Could a sharknado happen in real life? Animals often get caught in the paths of tornadoes, but they typically die before they get the chance to harm Tara Reid. An Associated Press report from 1969 describes a Florida tornado that swept through Ocean World. Rather than emboldening the sharks and inspiring heightened, Tara Reid-related bloodlust, the tornado sent the startled animals diving for cover at the bottom of their shallow pool. “We haven’t counted the sharks yet,” the Ocean World president told the press as his team frantically checked up on the park’s valuable fish. In the end, his team had no sharknado to report. Furthermore, even if a sharknado were to somehow form and begin chasing Tara Reid, it is improbable that the whirlwind of shark would pose a danger to humans beyond accidental crushing. (Sharks rarely ever hurt people, and you’re more likely to get maimed by your own toilet than by any species of shark.)

How Sharknado explains the federal reserve.

Sharknado’s amazing political power.

James Poniewozik checked in from vacation to review Sharknado for Time.

Really, it’s a deceptively tough feat that the makers of Sharknado pulled off: making a movie that’s shlockily and campily hilarious without seeming to try too hard to make something shlockily and campily hilarious. (While I don’t want to make too many assumptions about the cast and crew’s intent, this delightful io9 interview with screenwriter Thunder Levin suggests they went in with tongue in man-eating cheek.) Oh sure, you’d think it’s as easy as casting Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, hiring a hobo to do the CGI, and letting the magic make itself. But it’s easy to see where a title like this could become self-serious or smirky.

Science!

But as a scientist, science communications professor, and strategist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, I’ve become much more open-minded about strategies to bring science to the public. You really can’t let these cultural phenomena pass you by, no matter how silly they might seem at the outset.

Regardless of however much merit their complaints might have, Flavorwire seems to be the only ones down on Sharknado.

Five movie ideas that studios can steal from ‘Sharknado’. Also, the five worst lines from Sharknado. Also, five things SyFy taught us last night. And also, six things Sharknado got right about LA and six things got wrong.

Inside the SyFy movie factory.

Today, Syfy averages 24 movies a year, each with around a $1.5 million budget, or about 1/130th of what it cost to make Michael Bay’s last Transformers movie. Syfy’s monsters are poorly rendered CGI characters that always look technologically out-of-date by at least a decade. But who cares? If you’re watching Sharknado, cinematic realism is probably not your top priority.

CNN, Mashable, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, USA Today, Telegraph UK, Politico, Vulture, MTV, Salon, Grantland, The Daily Beast.

The Sharknado trailer.

Sharknado Longreads

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