The makers of the Sharknado franchise are missing a trick if they don't get Henry Winkler on a pair of waterskis to make a knowing cameo - because not only does the franchise appear to be critic proof, it's so over the top already that I don't see how it could ever jump the... er... shark!
Paul and I settled in at the weekend to see Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (in a double bill with Digging Up The Marrow) and we were both rather surprised how - in its own, bizarre, gonzo way - the Sharknado series is actually getting "better" with each episode.
The film-makers at The Asylum clearly realise that a film series about sharks-in-a-tornado isn't high art and fully embrace the idiocy of the conceit and run with it.
There is no unnecessary establishing sequence - or exposition - in Sharknado 3, as it kicks off with franchise frontman Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) getting a prestigious award from the President Of The United States in Washington when another sharknado hits (and that's dispatched by the time the opening credits roll).
The minimal story then involves Fin - now teamed-up with Nova Clarke (Cassie Scerbo) from the original film - getting to Universal Studios in Orlando to save his gal, April Wexler (Tara Reid), and family (including Bo Derek as April's mum, May) from a massive gathering of sharknados sweeping the Eastern seaboard of the United States.
With the power of the storms growing - and real science long ago abandoned for the weird kind found in pulp magazines and the best B-movies - Fin realises that the only way to save everyone is to enlist the aid of NASA and create a giant column of fire from the Earth to outer space.
Luckily, Fin's dad, Gilbert Grayson Shepard (David 'The Hoff' Hasselhoff), just happens to be a retired member of NASA's astronaut program.
Yes, the final act sees April, Fin and The Hoff in space, fighting sharks!
Of course, it's nonsense, but it knows this and doesn't care ... so why should we? Haters gonna hate, but Sharknado 3's not insulting the audience by trying to be anything it's not.
As ever, there are plenty of celebrity cameos (from Penn & Teller to George RR Martin) and in-jokes, as people are queuing up to get eaten by the real stars of the franchise: the sharks.
With Sharknado 4 already greenlit, I, for one, can't wait to see where The Asylum takes the franchise next. Paul's hoping for some monstrous cross-pollination with the various other bonkers shark franchises that are currently doing the rounds.
The power of the Sharknado brand has also engulfed Riverdale in another of Archie Comics outré crossovers, in the Archie Vs Sharknado one-shot out last week.
It's not the greatest of Archie's recent outings, but written by Sharknado director Anthony C. Ferrante it still captures the over-the-top, gory silliness of the film - yet drawn in the house style by Dan Parent (much like the Archie Vs Predator mini-series which also wrapped up last week) for a slightly surreal experience.
The story effectively runs parallel with that of Sharknado 3 as it kicks off with Betty and Veronica in Washington before moving the focus back to Riverdale, where the unnatural weather is threatening to disrupt the school dance (where Josie And The Pussycats are playing a rendition of the Sharknado song).
|One of many blood-splattered moments in Archie Vs Sharknado|