Fin the Sharkchaser


Did we really need another Sharknado movie? Yeah, no, probably not, but we got six of ’em, all of varying degrees of badness. Today, though, we’re only interested in 2016’s Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, because the number four is obviously a thing for our So Bad It’s Good extravaganza this year.

Amazon’s description of this film makes me chuckle: “Five years after the sharknadoes wracked the east coast, our heroes are living a quiet life in the middle of the country–as far away from sharks as possible.”

Heh. Famous last words.

Before we start, here are some randomly choice phrases to keep in mind:

  • Stay on target. Stay on target.
  • Nature always finds a way.
  • I’m going to get you, Fin Shepard, and your little chainsaw, too.
  • Come with me if you want to live.
  • She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.
  • I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

They look familiar, right? Of course they do. They’re all lines from Sharknado 4.

The film kicks off idyllically…with a text crawl about how wonderful life has been since Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) invented Astro Pods, which generate sonic energy or something and blow anything tornado-like to pieces. They seem to work, and he’s gotten filthy rich off of his enterprise. He’s even been able to send people to the moon.

After five years, though, it’s time for something bad to happen. Seeing as Aston Reynolds has built a swanky hotel in Vegas called Shark World that features a multi-story wraparound shark tank, things are almost begging to go wrong.

Meanwhile, Fin and his son, Little Gil (Christopher and Nicholas Shone) are living on a farm in Kansas with his niece, Gemini (Masiela Lusha) and his mom, Raye (Cheryl Tiegs). Since April (spoiler alert) perished in the third film, the farm is called “April’s Acres.”

It’s a charmed life, but Fin and Gemini are off to Vegas to meet Fin’s older son, Matt (Cody Linley), who’s on leave from the Air Force and has a surprise for them. Vegas being Vegas, Fin and Gemini’s Uber driver to the Sky Tower is Carrot Top and they’re greeted by a Chippendale bearing flyers. Wayne Newton, of course, is right in the middle of the casino floor crooning about sharknadoes.

Things are brewing in the sky as Fin and Gemini hit the pool. Matt and his new wife, Gabrielle (Imani Hakim) quickly take their vows just before jumping out of a helicoptor. On the way down, though, they get caught in a sandstorm that just happens to suck all of the sharks out of Shark World.

Uh huh. Another sharknado.

Naturally, chaos ensues. A lot of people are sitting ducks on the various rides. A Chippendale successfully repels a shark with a vigorous pelvic thrust because why not? Carrot Top isn’t so lucky, though–he becomes shark kibble straight away.

Once everyone is safely on the ground (and after a wild ride on the Treasure Island pirate ship), our group hops on a train back to Kansas. Then they have to leave the train because it gets pummeled by sharks, so they rent or steal a bright shiny SUV and drive the rest of the way. They run into more sharks. They get chased by Cawker City’s giant ball of twine, only with sharks stuffed in it. They collect Fin’s daughter, Claudia (Ryan Whitney) and David Hasselhoff, who plays Fin’s dad, Colonel Gilbert Shepard. They get back to April’s Acres to find the house smashed and plenty of sharknado energy left to go around. Then the group heads up to Niagara Falls, where poor Little Gill is accidentally sent over in a barrel.

While this is going on, the press is having a field day. Most of them seem to be on Fin’s side, but they’re baffled by everything that’s going on. Then there’s Mayor Mansfield (Stacey Dash) of Chicago, who has a hate-on for Fin for some reason and it makes her like a combination of Howard Beale and the Wicked Witch of the West. Fittingly, she gets taken out by a house dropping on her from one of the sharknadoes, leaving only her striped stockings and shiny red stilettos showing.

Glued to the TV is April (Tara Reid), who’s not as dead as she seems. She’s not exactly alive, either–her dad, Wilford (Gary Busey) revived her as a droid who looks and acts human in most respects. Most humans don’t have rocket propulsion in their feet and a chain saw in their arm. It’s a good thing, too, because Fin and the gang need help and the body count will inevitably climb.

This might be dangerously close to spoiler territory, but I’m going to say it anyway: In Sharknado movies, getting swallowed by a shark isn’t an automatic death sentence. Anyone who gets it in midair seems to come out relatively unscathed, usually rescued by a chainsaw-wielding Shepard male. Those who are pummeled on the ground, though, are generally dead as the proverbial doornail. Yes, it defies logic and physics, but hey, it’s Sharknado’s world and we’re just living in it.

Well, for the most part, anyway. Sharknado 4 was clearly the result of sticking as many film tropes and cliches as possible into a blender and hitting the puree button. I’m firmly convinced they asked Stacey Dash to be in this movie just so we could hear her say, “Hello, that was a stop sign,” while riding in a Hummer with some soldiers. Predictably and cringingly, a private answers, “Sorry, I totally paused.”

And no, the private looks nothing like Cher Horowitz, He’s not even blonde.

On one hand the never-ending pop culture references are effective distractions from the thin plot and Asylum’s hilariously poor filmmaking, but on the other hand, the film as a whole just doesn’t engage. Would we expect anything less? No, we probably wouldn’t.

Yet this movie is strangely confident in itself. The opening credits don’t roll until twenty minutes in, and everyone plays it all so seriously, gazing firmly at the franchise’s navel. Fin tries to outrun his fame but those danged sharknadoes keep turning up like bad pennies. Even though Sharknado 4 doesn’t need to exist, it somehow reminds us why we keep coming back despite the franchise’s side-splitting awfulness.

For more Day Two badness, please click here. Thanks for reading, all, and see you tomorrow with my Day Three post. Oh golly, it’s a doozy…

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon, and is also free to stream for Prime customers.

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8 thoughts on “Fin the Sharkchaser

  1. Great review of a ridiculously bad film, rebecca!

    I confess that I have seen all of the Sharknado films. I’m not sure why but I guess I had to keep watching to see what in the world they would do next. I’m not necessarily proud of this. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how you do it, Rebecca. I love watching so-bad-it’s-good movies but I can’t sit through the Sharknados. They are the perfect example of movies made to be bad and those rarely work. So, thanks for the fun review. It means I’m up-to-speed on the Sharknado franchise without having to watch another one. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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