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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Sharknado Film Of The Year: The Last Sharknado - It's About Time (2018)


Continuing the story of Fin Shepard's hunt for errant son, Gil, from the last movie, The Last Sharknado: It's About Time goes gangbusters, balls-to-the-wall, over-the-top, gonzo from the get-go, exploding onto the screen like a nuclear-powered crazy train and not giving a shit what anyone thinks.

This is the last one in the franchise, right? So why not see how far they can push things?

The Last Sharknado is production company The Asylum sending up their own iconic brand in a 90-minute avalanche of full bore, carefree, lunacy.

Where else are you going to see eminent scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, as Merlin, riding a pterosaur?

Ian Ziering's Fin Shepard begins his adventures arriving in the age of dinosaurs, accompanied only by the robotic head of his great love, April (Tara Reid).

There he meets a gang of former comrades he'd thought dead: the non-robot April (Tara Reid), the gorgeous and feisty Nova (Cassandra Scerbo) and comic relief Bryan the teacher (Judah Friedlander).

They had actually been plucked from the timestream, just before they died, by the time-hopping Gil.

From there they travel to a distorted Hollywood Arthurian Britain where wicked witch Morgana (drag artist Alaska) is locked in battle with Merlin for the power to draw Excalibur from the stone (or something).

Star Trek: The Next Generation's Marina Sirtis turns up as Merlin's assistant, Winter, and was one of the few cameos - which this franchise is famous for - that I actually recognised.

There are fire-breathing sharks and, as I've said, Neil deGrasse Tyson gets to ride a freaking pterosaur!

Continuing their pursuit of Gil through time, our heroes move on to The American War of Independence, then Billy The Kid's Wild West (where they are reunited with Vivica A. Fox's Skye), and then onto a 1950's beach party, where Fin meets younger versions of his parents.

Of particular note is Ziering's former Beverly Hills 90210 classmate Tori Spelling as Fin's future mum Raye.

During their travels, discontent has been brewing in our team of heroes; Bryan has already jumped ship and Fin and Nova have clashed over Nova's attempts to warn her grandfather about his destiny to become shark food.

Nova hijacks the group's journey through time to meet her grandfather (Christopher Knight), but things don't go according to plan, a lot more end up dead and Fin finds himself 20,000 years in the future on The Planet Of The Aprils.

The Last Sharknado: It's About Time is a work of insane genius. Sure there's a heap of crappy special effects along the way, but if you've stuck with this franchise through the previous five movies you should realise by now that that's pretty much par for the course.

It's all about rewriting history to prevent the sharknados from ever occurring, but it's also about getting families back together.

The picaresque madness of the plot reminded me, in part, of Waxwork II: Lost In Time, but that vintage classic now seems tame in comparison.

As well as numerous cameos, The Last Sharknado is also peppered with homages (blatant rip-offs) from numerous sci-fi films, from Star Trek and Star Wars to Aliens, with huge chunks lifted directly from the Back To The Future franchise (seriously, it's not even subtle).

And you know what? It works.

A blissfully craptacula wrap-up for a genuinely unique movie franchise, The Last Sharknado is, genuinely, the perfect ending to this six-part epic.

It's a gleeful mess, full of nonsensical weird science and random plot twists, but it has such a confidence about its delivery that, if you're already immersed in the story, you'll be swept up in the uniqueness of the Sharknado concept.

There's a reason the man in the street knows the word 'sharknado' - even if they've never even seen one of the movies.

Many film-makers have tried to copy this formula (including The Asylum themselves, I'm sure), but none have been able to recapture that elusive shark-shaped lightning in the bottle.

Whatever secret sauce Thunder Levin used when he conjured up the original Sharknado in 2013, I hope he's been suitably rewarded for creating one of the 21st Century's most-unexpected cross-media pop culture phenomena.

2 comments:

  1. As Tolstoy famously said. "There are only three ideas for a story. A man leaves town. A man comes to town. And Sharknado."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Say what you want, but that Tolstoy knew his Sharknadoes.

      Delete

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