Category Archives: 1941
Sharknado ~ It’s a tornado. Made of sharks. Sometimes when I hear the concept of a movie, I can’t help but think what the pitch for it was like. I see a boardroom sometimes, filled with executives in suits. And in this case, one stands up, clears his throat, and says… “It’s a tornado, made of sharks.”
The Syfy Channel has made The Asylum’s movies famous. Whereas the company used to make its money making rip-offs of major blockbusters, now they are chiefly known for their giant reptile epics starring washed up 1980s and 90s stars. Syfy Saturday nights have made things like Dinocroc, Supergator, and Megashark the stuff of legend. Sharknado, on a Thursday night, is an epic landmark.
If you were paying attention to the Twitter and the Facebook the night it was airing, you would think the entire world had divided up between folks who were watching it, and folks who were refusing to watch it – but everyone was aware of it. I had to watch it. How could I resist what very well be the worst film ever made?
Did I mention it’s a tornado? Made. Of. Sharks. Might as well be made of awesome. If you didn’t see it, you surely missed something.
Tara Reid was supposed to be in this but I couldn’t find her, or maybe I just couldn’t recognize her after all that plastic surgery. But yes, yes, that is cousin Oliver himself, Robbie Rist, as the heroic bus driver. No, Ray, it was not me.
Did they really steal the Ferris wheel scene from 1941? And a bit of the drive-in scene from Twister? And even a twisted hybrid of Phoebe Cates from Gremlins and Robert Shaw from Jaws… wow. Cool bit with the Hollywood sign though. I gotta say though, the shot continuity (day to night, sunny to rainy to overcast, all randomly) was driving me a bit nutty.
Okay, reality check, there is a plot. A freak hurricane has brought sharks in droves up onto the now flooded land. There are sharks in the streets, sharks in the sewers, and yes, it’s even raining sharks.
An hour into this flick, The Bride commented, “They must have spent five, ten minutes, working on this script…” That genius screenwriter is Thunder Levin, who was also responsible for the Battleship clone, American Warships, and some flick called… sigh… Atlantic Rim.
Yes, folks, it’s true, global warming causes sharknadoes. And you can stop a tornado with a bomb. Riiiight.
1941 ~ Infamously known as Steven Spielberg’s only notable box office flop, this movie about the hysteria that strikes California days after the attack on Pearl Harbor is not really as bad as its reputation suggests. It rolls on with a madcap flair similar to that of Animal House and Meatballs and has many of the Spielbergian elements that would reappear in his later more successful films.
The best scene in my opinion is the opening, which is a parody of Spielberg’s own opening of Jaws. In this age of Scary Movies and other movie satires, it’s ironic that Spielberg may have been the first person to throw that spin on his own work.
While pushed initially as a Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi flick, they are barely in it, but what little they do do is entertaining. The real stars here are Slim Pickens and Nancy Allen who are just hilarious. Also good are the performances of Toshiro Mifume and Christopher Lee is surprisingly comedic roles in the Japanese sub lost offshore finding their way with a Crackerjack compass. Good stuff.