When the original “Sharknado” ripped through the summer of 2013 on Syfy, many viewers no doubt thought that its climactic scene, the greatest in made-for-TV B-movie history, would never be topped.
They were wrong. But don’t worry; the ending of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” which premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday, will not break the Internet. Because it will leave everyone who sees it speechless.
Yes, it is once again the season when sharks rain from the sky. Last year’s first sequel to “Sharknado” was kind of meh, but “S3” cranks up the absurdity level to hilarious proportions. In the first two movies, Los Angeles and New York were left in ruins. Here, Washington suffers the same fate, but that’s just an appetizer; soon the entire East Coast is in jeopardy.
Ian Ziering is back as Fin Shepard, the hero who at the end of the first “Sharknado” dived into the maw of a giant shark, chain saw in hand, and then cut his way out of its innards, saving his friend Nova (Cassie Scerbo), who had been swallowed minutes earlier. That made him the go-to savior whenever a tornado sucks sharks out of the ocean and drops them by the dozen onto heavily populated areas, which in Syfy’s version of reality happens rather often.
As “S3” opens, Fin is receiving a presidential medal for his efforts in “S1” and “S2,” even as a sharknado is bearing down on Washington. He does what he can to mitigate the catastrophe there, but his real interest is in getting to Florida, where his former and current wife, April (Tara Reid), is hanging out with her mother, May (Bo Derek). April is pregnant, and yes, they’re debating whether to name the baby June.
The movie is shameless in a lot of ways, and one is product placement, with the Universal Orlando Resort and its theme-park rides receiving star treatment. Another is in its use of cameos and goofy casting of bit parts.
So be prepared to say hello to President Mark Cuban and Vice President Ann Coulter. Ever wonder what the star of “Malcolm in the Middle” would look like if he were just, um, middle? Ever wonder about the real reason that a certain fantasy author has fallen behind in cranking out the books on which a popular HBO series is based?
There are sports figures, real-life newscasters and Vine and YouTube stars. Why has Reddit been having some turmoil lately? Maybe because one of its founders, Alexis Ohanian, has been fiddling around making this movie. There are so many cameos that if you yourself aren’t in “Sharknado 3,” shame on you.
The meteorology is a little muddy, but apparently storms are converging in such a way that the entire seaboard from Florida to Maine will be doomed if Fin can’t do something about it. The urgency of the situation has prompted Syfy to go into promotional overdrive, including formidable mailings of swag to television critics: sharknado socks, a sharknado car air freshener, sharknado bumper stickers (“A Shark Ate My Honor Student”), a sharknado bobblehead.
Unfortunately, the mailings also included a list of plot points that critics were asked not to spoil, and while there was not an overt threat that violators would have a ravenous shark dropped on them from the air, that was certainly implied. So we will now stop talking about “Sharknado 3” and instead turn our attention to the ridiculous collection of other movies Syfy is unveiling around its main attraction.
You’ve already missed the premieres of “Roboshark” and “Megashark vs. Kolossus,” which were Saturday.
And, “3-Headed Shark Attack,” which is just what it sounds like, as well as “Zombie Shark” aired Monday.
Then this coming Saturday, poor Los Angeles, the city that was the site of the first “Sharknado” in 2013, gets walloped again, this time by “Lavalantula.”
“Zombie Shark” and “3-Headed Shark Attack” are pretty generic as mutant shark movies go. The zombie sharks are a result of some sort of scientific research gone awry, and the three-headed shark apparently was generated by all the trash we dump in the oceans. In both movies, skinny dippers pay the ultimate price for their wickedness, and, in general, characters have an inexplicable tendency to go into boats or the water when they learn there are horrific killer sharks around.
The standout among these secondary offerings, though, is “Lavalantula,” if only because it represents one of the weirdest cast reunions in history. It stars Steve Guttenberg, Leslie Easterbrook and Michael Winslow, all of the 1984 comedy “Police Academy.” It also features special effects worthy of a video game from the same year.
In any case, volcanic activity rattles Los Angeles and spews giant, fire-breathing tarantulas all over the place. For some reason only Guttenberg’s character, a washed-up action-movie star, has any success battling the creatures. There’s never a tarantula-eating shark around when you need one.