The Syfy channel’s original programming is famous among fans for two things. One is the quality of their original series. The second is their B horror movies. The channel is known for creating top notch original series like Face Off, Ghosthunters, Helix, Stargate and many others. But it also has brought back the B horror movie by commissioning many B horror films that are beloved by the channel’s fans for their hokey premises and bad acting. Many of the films that the channel has created are worthy of being shown during an episode of MST3K but one of Syfy’s recent B horror films has topped them all and is now the most famously awful B horror movie in recent history. Sharknado started out as just another typical B movie on the channel that has made a real art form out of creating new B movies. But thanks to the power of social media and one of the worst plots in film history the film has gone on to achieve cult status. It was even shown in theatres for a one night only event to capitalize on the buzz generated by Twitter and social media.
Sharknado is a modern B horror movie classic that is written on the premise that a freak hurricane hits Los Angeles and creates waterspouts throughout the city. But it also deposits live man eating great white sharks in the waterspouts, creating man-eating sharknados that kill people throughout the city. The movie centers around a man, Fin Shepherd, as he tries to save his estranged wife and family from the sharkandos filling the city. Fin is played by Beverly Hills 90210 alum Ian Ziering. Ian is famous for having a great sense of humor and being able to laugh at the downfall of his own career. He played himself in another campy film, Domino, with his fellow 90210 alum Brian Austin Green and Keira Knightly where both former castmates poked fun at their careers. His wife is played by Tara Reid who is also considered a dubious celebrity.
Sharknado is one of the rare B horror films that celebrates its own kitchiness. No one takes the film seriously, especially the actors and the Syfy channel. The movie is a gleeful celebration of what people love about B Horror movies. The over the top premise is what sent viewers to Twitter to excitedly tell their friends that they had to see the movie to see just how bad it really was. Even celebrities like Olivia Wilde and geek legend Whil Wheaton were mentioning Sharknado in their tweets. Glee actor Cory Monteith posted a tweet about Sharknado just before he died, which only added to the growing buzz about the film on social media.
When Syfy first showed the film it actually had fewer viewers than most of the original movies that run on the channel. But, after seeing Twitter and other social media outlets swarmed with comments about the film the channel ran it again and saw over a 30% increase in viewers. The social media buzz got stronger and the third time that Syfy aired Sharknado it had over 2 million viewers. The record breaking audience for Sharkado led to even more buzz about the original film that was so bad it was brilliant and the production company teamed up with Regal cinemas to show Sharknado in movie theatres for one night only. Tickets sold out at many theaters and theatres had to add second and third showings to accommodate the demand.
Because of the interest in Sharknado generated largely by social medial Syfy commissioned a second Sharknado film. The sequel will be set in New York City and will feature Fin and friends trying to save New York City from certain disaster and death at the hands of sharknados. In a nod to the impact that social media had on the film fans were asked on Twitter to come up with the title for the film. The winner that was chosen from all the Twitter submissions was “ The Second One”. Sharkndo: The Second One is filming now and is slated to be released in summer of 2014.