Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

They're Back

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

They're Back

Article excerpt

Sequel to absurd, campy 'Sharknado' touches down Wednesday

When it comes to "Sharknado" it's best not to ask too many questions.

Like, how is it possible to have swirling, shark-infested tornadoes descending first on Los Angeles and now New York City?

What's behind the relationships of the main characters?

Or, why did the original Syfy Channel movie about a massive storm of sharks become a social media phenomenon?

When the original "Sharknado" first aired last July, the Twitter response reached levels normally reserved for shows like "Game of Thrones" and major news events. Though the initial ratings were somewhat light, the film still generated up to 5,000 tweets per minute near the end of the first airing.

It even prompted a tweet from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who wrote "Looks like a great L.A. day today. Unless of course #Sharknado is coming. Fingers crossed ..."

The media attention led to a theatrical release and a DVD of "Sharknado," which were more popular than the creators ever anticipated.

Which of course has now led to the inevitable sequel, "Sharknado 2: The Second One," which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Syfy.

"You try to make the best project possible and what happened with this thing, it was like lightning in a bottle," said director Anthony C. Ferrante.

Ferrante, who has been involved in projects with such twisted titles "Haunted High," "Leprechaun's Revenge" and "Headless Horseman," said the creators wanted to "amp up" what viewers saw in the first film for the sequel.

"We did a lot for the first movie for this budget and schedule. That's why it stood out," he said in a conference call with reporters. "We pushed the budget to the maximum, trying to do twice as much as we did on the first one. We did a lot of heavy lifting to make things look fantastic."

The original title was a giveaway that this was to be a light- hearted film, and Ferrante, along with returning stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, appreciates the humor mixed with the horror aspects. Both actors were ready for the sequel.

"Because I'm a fan of the genre, and a fan of the movie, I laughed at it as much as every one else did because it's a really good movie," said Ziering, best known for his long-running role as Steve Saunders on "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Fin: reluctant hero

In the new film, Ziering once again plays Fin Shepard (get it?), who almost single-handedly saved Los Angeles from destruction from the sharks that were emerging from the Pacific Ocean and flooding into swimming pools and up drain pipes, eating unsuspecting victims or crushing them when they crash-landed from the sky.

As the new film begins, Fin is seen flying to New York with April (Reid), his ex-wife with whom he is apparently reconciled. (Those are details barely touched on). They are going to a reunion with Fin's sister and her family and for a signing session for April's book "How to Survive a Sharknado. …

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