Great Whites and Rednecks: Your Complete Guide to the Preposterous New Syfy Flicks of Sharknado Week 2017
So many Discovery Channel viewers were hyped for what ended up being just Michael Phelps racing against a computer-generated shark. Silly “Shark Week” thinking it’s Syfy; underwhelming viewers as people on-screen interact with digital sharks is what “Sharknado Week” is for!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s almost that magical time of the year again when Syfy tosses out its “Imagine Greater” slogan for a full-blown week of schlocktacular F/X-driven shark flicks made for roughly the same budget as a Hallmark Channel movie about a big city career woman who returns to her small town, rekindles a romance with the old high school boyfriend she left behind, and learns the true meaning of (insert holiday here). Don’t ever say Syfy is the only network churning out cheap, hokey, formulaic features on weekly basis.
Syfy’s Sharknado Week 2017 begins this weekend, and I have your complete rundown.
The fourth annual “Sharknado Week” begins this Sunday, July 30th, with the 8PM premiere of the third installment in another ongoing mutant shark series from our friends at The Asylum: 5-Headed Shark Attack.
Shaped like a demented starfish, a monster 5-headed shark terrorizes the open ocean before invading the beaches of Puerto Rico, endangering the once peaceful island paradise. Starring “The Dead Zone’s” Chris Bruno (who also co-directed), Nikki Alexis Howard, Lindsay Sawyer, Chris Costanzo, and Jeffrey Holzman.
What the hell happened to 4-Headed Shark Attack? Hey, Asylum, you skipped a number! Will the next installment skip ahead a few more numbers and be 8-Headed Shark Attack, about a mutant octopus with sharks in place of its tentacles?
The finsanity continues the following night, Monday, July 31st, with the 8PM world premiere of a movie that was actually shot not far from where I live: Mississippi River Sharks.
Sharks attack a fish rodeo on the Mississippi River, and it is up to a group of locals, along with a visiting actor from a successful franchise of shark movies, to stop the sharks. Starring “Degrassi” alumna Cassie Steele, Marco St. John, Jason London, Jeremy London, Miles Doleac, and Dean West.
Fun fact: I was told Syfy noticed that last year’s “Sharknado Week” movies did really strong ratings in the Southeastern United States, particularly Ozark Sharks, whose director, Misty Talley, also helmed this latest Southern fried shark tale. This year Syfy decided to tailor several films to appeal specifically to that particular regional demographic.
What else explains the existence of the film debuting on Wednesday, August 2nd, at 8PM? Of course, I am speaking of none other than… drum roll, please… Trailer Park Shark.
American Pie alumni Thomas Ian Nicholas and Tara Reid reunite as white trash lovebirds in the newest maneater opus from noted “shaukteur” Griff Furst (Ghost Shark, Atomic Shark).
A tropical storm floods Soggy Meadows trailer park and forces a hungry shark upriver. Tara Reid, Thomas Ian Nicholas, “Saved by the Bell’s” Dennis Haskins, Lulu Jovovich, and Clint James star.
Another fun fact: I almost had a hand in creating this one. In fact, the more I find out about it, the more I begin to suspect I may have had even more of a hand in bringing it to life than I’ve been given credit for. Not sure if I should register a complaint or just keep my mouth shut and claim plausible deniability.
I did get to visit the set for a day. Let me briefly recap what I experienced: water and mud – lots and lots of mud.
You may have noticed Syfy skipped Tuesday. That’s “Face-Off” night. Just like “Sharknado Week” is also skipping Friday night because nothing preempts “Wynonna Earp,” not even b-movies about apex predators eating rednecks.
Not to worry; even on days when nothing sharktacular airs in primetime, the daylight hours leading up to it and the late night hours to follow will be filled with an endless movie marathon of toothy so-bad-it’s-goodness from this and previous Sharknado Weeks.
The one movie of the week I find myself more intrigued by takes its bow on Thursday, August 3rd, at 8PM: Toxic Shark.
A tropical singles retreat takes a terrifying turn when guests realize a poisonous shark is infesting the surrounding water. Not only will this toxic shark rip apart its victims, but it also uses projectile acid to hunt… in and out of the water! Starring Eric Etebari, Kabby Borders, Bryce Durfee, Sean Samuels, and Christina Masterson.
I’m curious to see how this concept works. I get it poisoning the water, but the hunting on land with projectile acid? I suspect we’re going to see a lot of scenes of screaming people with burnt skin wounds in this one.
We then head into the future for yet another Asylum sequel on Saturday, August 5th, at 8PM, with the follow-up to last year’s Waterworld meets Deep Blue Sea-esque Planet of the Sharks from writer-director Mark Atkins. This time the post-apocalyptic survivors are treading water to survive the Empire of the Sharks.
Set in a future where most of Earth is covered by water and the only land left is controlled by a warlord who rules with an army of hyper-intelligent sharks, unlucky humans are used as shark food. But when two friends risk their lives to rescue a trapped prisoner, those imprisoned decide to rise against their captor and his legion of bloodthirsty sharks. Starring John Savage, Jonathan Pienaar, Joe Vaz, Camilla Waldman, Brandon Auret, and Philip Tan.
Finally, “Sharknado Week” 2017 concludes on Sunday, August 6th, at 8PM with the main course, the fifth installment of the motion picture that launched a thousand memes: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.
As shark-infested storms grow stronger and more complex, the world braces for the inevitable – a global sharknado. This year, the mission gets personal for chainsaw-wielding leader Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and his bionic wife, April (Tara Reid), when their young son gets trapped in a sharknado and is transported all over the world.
Hold up. The kid is within the sharknado? Is-is he dead?
As has become the case with this franchise since the happy accident that was the original film, the movie is really less about the plot than it is the sheer number of C/D list celebrity cameos they can cram into the running time.
• Fabio (Model) as the Pope
• Tony Hawk (Professional skateboarder) as a masterful weapons operative strategist
• Clay Aiken (Musician) as Llewelyn, a cutting edge technology genius
• Olivia Newton-John (Musician) and daughter Chloe Lattanzi as Orion and Electra, two brilliant scientists who help defend Australia from a looming Sharknado
• Bret Michaels (Musician) as a visiting artist that gets trapped in the storm
• Margaret Cho (Comedian) as a fussy bride whose honeymoon is interrupted by sharks
• Charo (Musician, Comedian) as the Queen of England
• Gilbert Gottfried (Comedian) as storm chaser Ron McDonald
• “Today” hosts Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb as themselves
• Olympic diving medalists Greg Louganis as Zico, a high-end art thief, and Tom Daley as himself
• Olympic freeskiing medalist Gus Kenworthy and NBC News investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen as themselves
• Porsha Williams (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”) as Andromeda, an archaeologist and member of the elite “Sharknado Sisterhood”
• Tiffany “New York” Pollard (“Flavor of Love”) as Vega, a Brazilian black market artifacts dealer
• Chris Kattan (“Saturday Night Live”) as The Prime Minister of England
• Cat Greenleaf (“Talk Stoop”) and Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as themselves
• Ross Mullan (“Game of Thrones” White Walker) as Dr. Wobbegon, a scientist who has made breakthroughs in meteorological studies to track Sharknado storms
As well as the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Pinder, Katie Price, Samantha Fox, and David Naughton (fully expect one howler of An American Werewolf in London joke).
Five-time Sharknado director Anthony Ferrante may be back, but four-time Sharknado screenwriter Thunder Levin is MIA for this fifth go-around. Not sure why. Perhaps he finally ran out of famous movie quotes and Wizard of Oz references to shoehorn in. Replacing him is writer Scotty Mullen. Earlier this year, Mullen penned an Asylum King Arthur mockbuster that took place in modern Thailand and ended with the Knights of the Round Table shooting machine guns at a giant flame-spitting robot. In other words, he is more than qualified for the job of scripting a Sharknado flick.
Kind of funny that the tagline for part five is “Make America Bait Again” because, well, I actually pitched a Syfy producer an idea for what I was sure would be a guaranteed “Sharknado Week” ratings bonanza. Seriously, I actually pitched this:
MAKE AMERICA GREAT WHITE AGAIN: When Donald Trump’s plan to build the wall falls apart, a back-up plan is initiated to prevent Mexicans from illegally entering the United States by filling the Rio Grande with genetically-engineered Great White sharks. The sharks go berserk, making chum out of American citizens and illegal immigrants alike, forcing a rugged right-wing Border Patrol agent and an undocumented senorita from south of the Border to put aside their differences and experience unlikely romance as they set about to stop the sharks before the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on the water becomes a bloodbath.
Alas, Syfy chose to hard pass on that one, and for that reason alone I am taking a page out of the President’s #FakeNews playbook and initiating the new Syfy hashtag: