After watching some great movies and playing some great games, it’s time to get back into watching crap. And what better way to start watching it again than by seeing the most well known of the Terribly Good Syfy Movies. The 1 that not only got people interested in this series, but also caught my attention as well, when Doug Walker reviewed it with his friend Brad Jones on Channel Awesome.
The movie is simple – a number of tornadoes full of great white sharks are heading towards California and attacking people. That’s it. There’s no major plot twist or explanation needed, it is just an over the top movie that can be summed up into a sentence.
Much like other Terribly Good Movies, we see “the monster” within the first 5 minutes, and then it goes away for about 40 minutes in order for us to see what’s on the menu. To my surprise, this is probably the best cast of characters I’ve seen in the series, not only acting-wise, but star-wise. Which might not say much, but when compared to a film where that guy from Charmed is your biggest star, it’s something. Our film’s star is Fin Shepard (played by Ian Ziering, who before this was best known for his main role in Beverly Hills 90210, and voicing 1 of the Biker Mice From Mars.) He’s a surfer who runs a bar near the beach, is divorced, and has 2 kids he doesn’t see – he’s already much better developed than most protagonists in the series. Other cast members include Tara Reid (well known for her appearances in American Pie and The Big Lebowski) as Fin’s ex-wife April, John Heard (aka Kevin’s Dad in Home Alone) as George, the unhappy drunk who loves his barstool, Jaason Simmons (aka Logan Fowler from Baywatch) as Baz, Fin’s right-hand man, Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch) playing a school bus driver, and Cassie Scerbo (from the TV show Make It Or Break It) as Nova, the secondary protagonist who has a vendetta with all sharks. Seriously, compared to other terribly good films, this was an impressive cast.
Story-wise, this film was better (and funnier) than most disaster movies and even some monster movies. It remains stupid, rather illogical and over the top, but it still had substance to it. The only thing that would hold it back however was its CGI quality, which may add to the camp/crap factor, but also holds back some great potential. For a $2 million budget in the year 2013, they did a surprisingly good job with what they had. The music was fine, even going as far as having their own theme song by some local punk band. The characters were quite well developed, but the acting was up and down. Ian Ziering, Jaason Simmons and Cassie Scerbo were easily the best actors in this. The rest of the cast were a bit wooden, and Tara Reid was terrible. The death scenes were both funny and awesome at the same time, which include deaths involving a Ferris Wheel and a Chainsaw. Ian Ziering might never be Bruce Campbell or Nathan Fillion in cult action hero greatness, but he did enough to somehow cement himself as being much more than just a white-wash protagonist or wannabe Hans Solo that everyone is meant to slot themselves into the role of like some First Person Shooter (Although He’s way better than Jake Sully from Avatar!…Most characters are). The cinematography also wasn’t bad. Some nice close-up shots reminded me of Sergio Leone.
Would I recommend this film? Yes! Is it a great film? No! But it’s still quite good. It was funny when I saw it alone, and it would be even better with friends. Stupid, yet surprisingly well made. Now onto the sequel.
Overal rating: **1/2 out of 5