‘Sharknado’ Phenomenon Returns for a Second Bite


Fans of the surprisingly successful television movie, Sharknado, will be treated on July 30, 2014, to the phenomenon’s return as the second film, Sharknado 2, which is certain to take a great bite, is aired. The film will premier on the Scyfy channel and there is already much anticipation. The stars of the first feature, actors Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, return in the roles of Finley “Fin” Shepard and April with the addition of celebrity cameos. Portraying Fin’s best friend is Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, while reported appearances will feature Kelly Osbourne and country music star Billy Ray Cyrus.

It was only a year ago that the Sharknado frenzy began. Scyfy aired the first movie three times over one weekend. It brought a wave of laughs and over five million viewers, becoming a social media smash hit. When the movie aired, over five thousand tweets per minute erupted. It was mainly due to social media that it became a cultural phenomenon.

In the first movie, a storm hits a crew of men who are shark fishing illegally off the coast of Mexico. When the captain and a man who offers to pay for the sharks go to investigate, the sharks jump on deck and eat everybody alive. As the storm picks up and swirls aggressively, the sharks get caught  up in it and make their way to Los Angeles, California.

At the Santa Monica Pier, we meet Finley “Fin” Shepard, portrayed by Ziering, a former champion surfer who now runs a bar on the pier. Fin is excited about the news that a storm brewing in Mexico will soon reach their shores, which means great surf is on the way. A little later, while Fin is walking down the beach, he witnesses a fellow surfer being attacked by a shark. Fin tries to get the attention of the other people in the water, screaming that there is a shark. Soon many sharks appear, and chaos erupts as the people in the bar hear the commotion and run out, the folks on the pier panic, and the people in the water experience various shark injuries.

As the sharks continue their attacks, Fin manages to make contact with his former wife April, portrayed by Reid, to make sure that she and their daughter, Chloe, are safe. The family gets together and manages to get themselves caught in the “sharknado” that is tearing up Los Angeles.

For the second film, it is pretty much the same plot, except this time the storm of sharks hits New York City. Director Anthony Ferrante, who invented the concept of sharks attacking in the form of a tornado, and screenwriter Thunder Levin believed that the plot of the first one was good enough that there was no need to mess with it.

The film not only became a hit, but it also gave actress and model Reid the Hollywood comeback for which she had been struggling. Though her comeback came in the most unlikely way, she is proud that fans no longer know her as the girl from American Pie. She first took notice of Sharknado’s success when, on a plane to Los Angeles, the flight attendant told her how much she loves the movie. The second bite from the Sharknado phenomenon will surely bring more success for the returning actress.

Aside from changing the location for the second film, the writer and director had to find a way to top the epic scene from the first one in which Ziering’s character makes his way out of a shark’s belly with the use of a chainsaw. The two talked and finally came up with a solution, but they kept it under wraps from producers for over a month. What they came up with will be seen on the Scyfy network’s premiere of Sharknado 2.

The return of the Sharknado phenomenon is expected to create an even bigger frenzy on social media, with the second bite airing on July 30. Though this is not the first time that a movie has been made about sharks attacking humans, it is possibly the first to present them in the form of tornadoes. There may be no logical explanation of how a film like this became a smash hit, but it did nonetheless and from what it looks like, the success will not be ending anytime soon.

Opinion by Andrew Cerecedes