Sharknado: A Running Diary

If you were as unfortunate as I was on Thursday, you missed the television event of the summer, Sharknado on Syfy. It’s literally a movie about tornadoes filled with sharks. I’m finally watching the cinematic masterpiece on my DVR and thought I’d keep a running diary of the ensuing events.

*Disclaimer: I have suspended all semblances of “science,” but will inevitably say, “Wait, sharks can’t survive [enter scenario here].” Disregard said logical feelings.

Opening Scene: “Twenty miles off the coast of Mexico…”

Dastardly fishermen are cutting off shark fins for a devious Asian businessman to try a soup. Are these guys pirates? Do they cause the Sharknado? The captain of this pirate operation sounds like he’s been dubbed from Spanish to English to Spanish with an almost indiscernible accent. This is a big role for Antonio Banderas’ largely unknown brother, Kyle.

The sharks are angry at this boat and its seamen. They and the Asian shark fin purchaser are quickly eaten.

Opening Credits: Southern California Beach

I’m convinced that this movie was filmed in the Valley with gray and amber filters. All of this “beach footage” is probably just B-roll from CSI: Miami.

Typical L.A. beach scenery: Bikinis, butts, random volleyball/frisbee play. Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame (pronounced Eye-an, I was informed by my father) looks awesome for 75 and is shown surfing by alternating super close-ups of his face and long shots so that you can’t tell it’s not him.

The casting notes for this film must’ve been “Cast people with accents that aren’t their native accents.” Ziering’s friend is either Australian or from deep Florida, who knows.


Does Mexico even get hurricanes? Are they possible in the Pacific Ocean?


A bikini-clad waitress in apron only has a randomly-shaped scar on her leg that the 2 p.m. handsy drinker asks about. I doubt that her scar is talked about again. The writers aren’t that creative.

Bikini Waitress hates sharks. Why does she hate sharks? I want to know!

Back at the beach, the cameraman changed the filter from amber to gray, I mean the weather is getting bad. The surfer girl who took the entire opening credits to put on her wetsuit is finally ready to go surfing.

Fin races the rando surfer girl back to shore. Rando surfer girl TOTALLY cheats and shoves Fin down, but the joke’s on her because she gets chomped by a shark faster than Fin can say, “Get out of the water!”

There is apparently a lifeguard, and while Fin is yelling “SHARKS!” the carefree L.A. beach-goers that are stuck in slow-motion are totally defenseless. There are a few casualties. There is a shark next to Fin for 100 yards and he isn’t even remotely attacked, but his friend with the accent is attacked. Fin saves the two of them and they reach the shore. The bikini waitress runs towards the beach, the opposite direction of someone who “hates sharks” would run.

BREAKING: Fin’s friend is from Tasmania. And is named Baz, like the Moulin Rouge/Australia/Great Gatsby director. G’day, mate.

“Sharks don’t like Vegemite.” Worst line of the movie so far.

Back to the Bar, like nothing happened. Bikini waitress likes Fin (Ziering). Fin says that he’s her boss. Tasmanian friend has a big band-aid on his leg, but other than that, all is well.

“HURRICANE DAVID IS POISED TO BE THE FIRST HURRICANE TO HIT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.” – Illogical science solved by one simple line of dialogue. Well played, Sharknado writers.

Shouldn’t this movie be called Sharkicane?

Of course they blame global warming. Hashtag, social commentary.

Hey look, Tara Reid! Fin is being nice and checking in on his “wife” and Tara is probably waking up from a two-week bender and is irritable. Fin has to close up shop and send all of his bar patrons home. SHARK THROUGH THE WINDOW.

Best way to kill a shark: Bikini Waitress with a pool cue or drunk handsy bar patron with a bar stool. For a Santa Monica bar, they’re packing some serious heat. Tasmanian guy puts a scuba tank in a shark’s mouth and tells Fin to shoot it. (JAWS Rip-off No. 1.)

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel comes off its mounts and starts barreling towards the fleeing masses, only killing a few people and smashing into a parking structure. Coming from someone who has ridden this “ride,” I’m amazed it hasn’t come off its bolts in real life by now.

For a woman that sees Fin everyday, the Bikini Waitress knows almost nothing about him. She had no idea that he had a wife or daughter. The scenes of the L.A. flooding and rain was clearly B-roll from news stations covering Southern flooding. Due to the water level, there are sharks swimming around in the streets; a big change from the sharks that work in Hollywood, AMIRITE!?

“Take the 10 to the 405 to Beverly Hills.” – the most accurate road directions from a movie or show based in L.A. that I have ever heard other than the Californians. 

“I hate the 405.” – Bikini Waitress with another accurate take.

“It’s a just a little water!” – typical arrogant transplant to L.A. from New York who yells back in an “I’m walkin’ here!” fashion to Bikini Waitress. He is promptly eaten by a shark. SERVES YOU RIGHT, NYC.

Drunken handsy bar patron uses his bar stool shark killer to bust a dog out of a car, is then eaten by a shark. His sexual harassment of Bikini Waitress will be sorely missed. “Ow!” – he says, as he’s eaten.

“If it’s one thing I know, it’s timing waves.” – Fin is able to drive his SUV through waves (on the 405, apparently) and manage the roads.

I think this film had the same special effects budget as a 30-second Coca Cola commercial.

Rodeo Drive is in soaked tatters. This bastard storm has flooded Nate ‘N Al’s Deli. I hope Fin kills the shit out of it.

Tara Reid is apprehensive to let the wayward travelers of Fin, Tasmanian guy and Bikini Waitress into her house until a shark skyrockets from a manhole and is perfectly shot down by Bikini Waitress – enough of a dangerous situation to convince Tara to let them into her house.

“Every time it rains in L.A. people claim it’s the ‘Storm of the Century.’ And even if it is, Beverly Hills Emergency Services (Not a real thing) are second to none,” says the stepdad who the audience is immediately led to dislike. He steps up to Fin and tells him that Tara Reid and Fin’s daughter are “his” now. I really hope he gets eaten by a sharTHERE IT IS.

Bikini Waitress (her name is Nova, but calling her Bikini Waitress is more fun) shoots the shark who killed the stepdad. She seems to be the only one capable of actually killing these things. Remember, she hates sharks. And I’m pretty sure she used up all of her ammo killing one measly shark.

“Looks like it’s that time of the month.” – the Tasmanian guy says, off screen. This was clearly a snide comment that was added in post-production. While inane, the Tasmanian guy should yell SCOREBOARD every time he cracks a joke because he’s killing the rest of the cast in witty comments.

Fin wants to go inland to “the desert” but has to retrieve his son (Bikini Waitress didn’t know he had a son either) from flight school in Van Nuys, an activity he had not been informed of before the Sharkicane. (No tornadoes yet).

How is the house flooded up to the second floor but the driveway isn’t flooded at all? Why is Tara Reid’s house the only house on her block that crumbles under the floodwater pressure? Must’ve been poorly built.

“Always thought that an earthquake would be the end of Los Angeles.” I always thought it’d be one big movie flop. Those affect everyone.


Fin is angry that his daughter hangs out in Hollywood, but is thankful that she knows a shortcut to Van Nuys (which doesn’t exist) to help get his son from flight school.

Fin has to play hero and wants to rescue a bus full of hypothetical school children. Tara Reid reprimands him for being too selfless and says that he should care more about his own daughter than a bus full of hypothetical tiny children about to be devoured by ravenous sharks.

Fin has enough time to set up an elaborate repelling system and repels from the 6th Street Bridge (it’s in tons of stuff, like T-Mobile ads). For a speedy escape plan, this kid-by-kid rescue is taking forever. Every child has been saved and now it’s the creepy bus driver guy who needs to be saved.

“I hate sharks, I’m from Wyoming!” – bus driver before he’s rescued. He came to L.A. to become an actor.

Sharks can apparently grab onto ropes with their teeth and climb upwards by jumping. Bikini Waitress hugs Fin as he successfully saves all of the formerly hypothetical frightened school children that Tara Reid didn’t care about. Tara is clearly unhappy that her man has traded up from her to someone who doesn’t sound like an 84-year-old chain smoker.

The winds kick up and the aspiring actor from Wyoming is killed by the H from the ollywood sign.

“My mom always told me that Hollywood would kill me.” A close second for worst line of the movie. Hollywood sign is now just L Y O.

Tara Reid has never seen a water spout before. 

A shark somehow gets on top of Fin’s SUV. Bikini Waitress (also the driver of the SUV at the time) is still the only person who can kill sharks. The gang smells gas and the car blows up. No sparks or anything. Just blows up.

The gang goes into a convenience store (Seriously, with a SharkPocalypse happening, there is a severe lack of looting) to buy random stuff. Tara Reid starts stockpiling drugs: Cinema mirrors society.

“Apocalypse my ass, this is the government” – conspiracy theorist convenience store clerk, thinks the government controls the weather.

The Tasmanian and the gang steal a Hummer and they blow through a police checkpoint. Yeah, like the LAPD would block some roads and miss an opportunity to shoot stuff (like Sharks, for example) without any paperwork to fill out. I’ll believe that when I see it. But the gang eludes the cops in pursuit with a NOS button stolen from the set of Fast 7.

“Why is there a retirement home next to an airport?” “Because old people can’t hear.” Worst conversation in the movie thus far.

Ok, now it’s officially a Sharknado. 

After Fin and the gang find his son at the Van Nuys airport, a Sharknado hits and destroys every plane, yet a lone helicopter is completely unscathed. Luckily, there’s a hardware store across the street where the gang can assemble shark-fighting weapons. Fin grabs a chainsaw. AWWW YEAH.

“Instead of letting live sharks rain down on people, we’re going to get in that chopper and throw bombs into the tornadoes, blasting those bastards to bits.” – Mike, Fin’s son, who is already impressing Bikini Waitress. She could never seduce Fin so she might as well go after his son.

BREAKING: Bombs can disrupt tornadoes. How come tornado tracking planes don’t just drop bombs into them? The damage that they could prevent would be enormous.

Oh, Bikini Waitress wants to help him bomb the tornadoes? Tara Reid doesn’t like that one bit.

For someone who is self-conscious about a scar, Bikini Waitress doesn’t wear enough clothing for people to not ask about it. But the foreshadowing finally came to fruition. Sharks ate her grandfather and ruined her leg modeling career.

“They took my grandfather. It’s why I really hate sharks.”

“Nice work kids, but THIS is a bomb.” – Tasmanian Baz with an ode to Crocodile Dundee.

Mike and Bikini Waitress go up in the chopper and Fin starts shooting sharks down with his pistol. Not quite sure that a helicopter could withstand the wind-power of an F5 tornado, but then again, science has no place in this film.

Fin slices a shark completely in half with his chainsaw, Baz gets bitten again in the same leg (which is getting pretty re-Goddamn-diculous) and is sucked up into a Sharknado with a shark clamped on his gammy leg.

“We’re gonna need a bigger chopper.” – Bikini Waitress with the second JAWS rip-off of the film.

Mike and Bikini Waitress blow up tornado after tornado with tactical efficiency, until the final Sharknado bomb doesn’t land in the middle, which means (in Sharknado logic) that it won’t properly disrupt the Sharknado. A hanging shark throws Mike’s chopper out of control, flinging Bikini Waitress out of the cockpit.


Fin is pissed now and takes the bomb-rigged Hummer that Baz situated before he died and drives it right into the heart of the final Sharknado. He lights the big bomb, hits the NOS button, gives the hang ten surfer hand symbol and bails out right as the Hummer is heading towards the swirling seafaring cyclone, successfully dissipating the final Sharknado but hurdling the remaining airborne sharks down to the ground.

This next part needs to be in all caps due to the severity of the events:

(GIF: Vulture)


“I really hate sharks,” Bikini Waitress says upon being revived by her new lover, Mike, Fin’s son. Bikini Waitress/Nova reveals to Mike that her real name is Jenny Lynn: a disappointment.

Oh, and these assholes have the audacity to end the movie with “fin.”

I can’t wait for Sharknado 2.

The ordeal is over. Los Angeles can go back to being its good old self. Somebody needs to squeegee Nate N’ Al’s so Larry King can eat his breakfast tomorrow. And rebuild the Hollywood sign while you’re at it. This is the type of movie that’s perfect for a Thursday night in July. You know going in that it’ll be terrible. The acting wasn’t great, the special effects were even worse, but what else is there to watch on a Thursday in mid-July? Baseball? I don’t think so.


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