Sunday, 19 October 2014

31 Days of Horror: Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and Vivica A. Fox
Running Time: 90 min

  The Asylum has been around for years, creating low budget "mockbusters" and B, maybe C rated creature features for the Syfy network and I think they were just as shocked at the success and social media frenzy of the original "Sharknado" as everyone else.  So how does one capitalize on the success?  Well, a sequel of course but will it have the same bite that the first one did?

  Fin Shepard and April Wexler are on a flight to New York to promote April's book, "How To Survive a Sharknado" and while they're there, to visit Fin's sister, Ellen and her family.  While on the plane, the plane flies into... you guessed it, another Sharknado! Luckily, Fin is able to take control of the plane, when the pilots are eaten by flying sharks and land the plane safely! But sadly April only loses a hand during this shark melee and she is taken to the hospital.  Fin tries to convince the New York officials that a Sharknado is coming and the must evacuate the city!  But of course, nobody listens to him, so he leaves April in the capable hands of the hospital and takes off to save his sister and her family.
  Unfortunately they have split up, Ellen, her daughter, Mora and some friends have gone to see the Statue of Liberty and Fin's brother in law, Martin and his nephew, Vaughan are at a Mets game.  Fin rushes to the Mets game but just as he arrives at the game and convinces them to leave, the stadium is bombarded by snow and sharks! They just manage to escape but the news is reporting that there are not only two Sharknados but an electrical storm coming as well!  Can Fin, April and his sister's family survive this downpour of shark terror and reunite safely or are they doomed to be beaten by this shark infested storm front!

  This is a surprisingly good sequel, director Anthony C. Ferrante (Boo, Headless Horsemen) and writer Thunder Levin (American Warships, 200 M.P.H) have created a great follow up to a now classic B-Movie.  Right from the beginning, they are hitting you with culture references, cameos, nostalgic nods and best of all action. You are bombarded with visuals throughout the film and there is never a dull moment.
  There is also more story in this film, if anyone cares, Ian Ziering's (90210, Tyrannosaurus Azteca) character Fin, not only has to save the Big Apple from being destroyed by a sharkspolsion but he has to make things right with his ex-girlfriend, Skye, played the beautiful Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Batman and Robin) and mend his relationship with his former best friend and brother in-law, Martin, played by Mark McGrath (Uptown Girl, Scooby-Doo).  So, there is some interesting development in his character but, more importantly, it doesn't take that much time away from people being killed by sharks.
  Also, Tara Reid's (American Pie, The Big Lebowski) character April also comes into her own.  She is done with screaming about sharks and is on the warpath.  Even with only one hand she is out to cut down those sharks and help Fin save New York City.  They also give a nice nod to the "Evil Dead" films with her character near the end, I just wish she said "Groovy", when she killed a shark.
  Speaking of sharks, the effects team did a fantastic job with them.  Much better than in the original and there are some great scenes with closer looks at the sharks flying and crushing people on the street.  Good stuff!

  What's bad about it,'s suppose to be bad right, isn't that the fun.  The only thing that might be wrong with this sequel is that it's become harder to distinguish the camp aspects of the film and the attempts to create a good picture/product.  This must be a difficult line to walk for the team, seeing that no one wants to make a crappy movie but at what point does something go from fun and campy to just a terrible film?  I think, Ferrante and Levin know their audiences well enough to know that if they keep the material light and at times ridiculous, with the right amount of gore that they can stay balanced and on the right path.  Godspeed you! Shark Emperors!

  The DVD, probably the same as the Blu-ray, of this film looks great and it has some decent features.  Like, a Cameo featurette that discusses how they were able to reign all the great people who pop up in the film.   There are so many great cameos, like Robert Hays as a pilot, Judd Hirsch as a cab driver and even Al Roker, as weather man!  But seriously, Ferrante and the casting director talk about how they tired to make each appearance into an experience and really make the cameo pop.
 As well, there is a Look Behind The Scenes at the production, which looks like it was a blast to make this film.  As well as a short on the amazing effects team and how they put together the sharknados on the screen.  And there is also a great gag reel and a Chum bucket of the cast and crew flubbing lines, being silly and just having fun.

For a TV movie sequel, about a tornado full of sharks attacking New York City, this is a pretty fun movie.  This movie knows what it is and makes no apology for it.  It's got some laughs, lots of action and tons of gory scenes with people being eaten, crushed, and attacked by sharks!  So c'mon,  what more could you ask for?  Basically if you liked the first one, then you'll probably dig this one 2.

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