The phenomena that is Sharknado has entertained me on various different levels across its run of films. The cult classic so bad its good again disaster franchise tapped into a certain vein of pop culture and embraced its craptastic ways. How best to sign off a franchise like this? Stuff as many cultural references and crazy setups into 90 minutes as possible! Sharknado 6 is a glorious end to the series but if so-bad-its-good cinema isn’t your jam – this will not change your mind.
The disasters faced
Following Sharknado 5’s cliffhanger ending, we join Finn diving back through time to visit different key moments in history. In each period is a Sharknado about to wreak havoc and change the course of history. So aside from sharknados, time travel and timeline issues – we have the usual awkward acting, cameos and CGI abominations.
Without spoiling too much of Sharknado 5, things ended on a bad note with most of the cast in peril or dead. Finn and April’s son Gill comes from the future to send Finn back to various points in history to stop sharknados changing the timeline. The idea is if they can stop the first one, others won’t happen and therefore not everyone needs to die. To be honest, I lost the plot as it makes up its own rules and then decides when to break them to suit the narrative arc. What it does mean is that we can visit the dinosaurs, Merlin’s castle, American wars, the swinging 60’s and indeed the future to see how life with and without sharknados would be have been.
Much more than before, Finn takes a backseat and this is much more April’s show. Tara Reid plays lots of versions of herself but they are all the same which itself is hilarious. Many of the plot points and visual gags revolve around April and its nice to see her have her time to shine. The only emotional plotline in the whole movie is set aside for Nova. Often used as the kickass girl throughout, her tragic backstory actually finally gets its moment to shine when she decides to try and stop the shark attack that kills her grandpa. In doing so her life changes, but then what other dramas does that bring along? There’s a superb moment during this section that made me chuckle and realise that it takes a lot to write something so delicately on the line between good-bad and bad-bad.
The film runs at a breakneck pace and eventually moves towards a final sharknado where moments of time collapse in on each other. It is one of the stupidest and utterly enjoyable pieces of trash cinema ever made and firmly cements Sharknado 6 as one of the best in the franchise and the franchise itself as a one of a kind mental explosion.
Why is it worth watching?
This is difficult as trash cinema is really down to whether or not you actually enjoy badly made cinema or not. Sharknado 6 won’t change your mind, and it’s the worst entry point into the series as it starts immediately from the final scene of Sharknado 5. Where Sharknado 6 does pull its weight over previous entries is in how self-aware it become over the franchise. This entry, in particular, is set up around historical and pop culture references. The cameos are that little bit better placed. The one-liners are that little more eye-roll inducing. It has all the heart of an 80s action movie but with all the perceived budget of a TV movie.
If I were to be critical with Sharknado 6, its that the sharknados themselves take a backseat to all the time jumping and character pop-ups. This is far more a sci-fi movie rather than a disaster movie. Aside from the finale, the sharknados bring very little new to the table. At Merlin’s castle, I was hoping to see some crazy dragonsharks since they had the opportunity to play with magic but it was a little bit of a missed opportunity. That being said, the characters here were the strongest so far. The main trio – with swapping fourth cast member Skye and Bryan were all bang on point. By far the best cameo is Alicia Thunderfuck as Morgana. Each moment Morgana is on screen is utterly inspired and delightful. I’d not seen Alicia on Ru Paul’s Drag Race but ‘Byeeeeeee’ is now going to be a staple phrase.
At a tight 86 minutes, the action comes thick and fast. Whilst the story ties itself up in knots at times, its because the film is trying to pull you straight to the next cameo or time period. It’s easily the most CGI and expensive looking Sharknado to date whilst retaining its campy, low budget roots. I’m so glad they didn’t abandon it and try to take it seriously.
Whilst the Sharknados from afar look like they’ve received quite a big visual upgrade, the sharks themselves look just as awful as ever. There’s also some really ropey green screen, most notably in the dinosaur sections where people aren’t sitting on the creatures properly. There’s also a laugh out loud section where Finn and Skye are pulled across the water by a shark in a perfectly straight line like someone doing a PowerPoint arrow. On the complete flipside – the pop art opening credits are fantastic! Well done to whoever came up with that idea.
It was lovely to see most of the cast return including characters from earlier films. Morgana is still superb as best newcomer, but April and Skye have the best comedic moments this time around for me.
‘It’s a timenado!’ (Finn)
‘Let’s do the time warp again!’ (Bryan)
Three memorable moments
- April holding her robot head version of herself roughly and hearing robot April continuously saying ‘ouch’.
- Morgana’s ‘Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee’
- The final true loves kiss moment at the end. What the actual fuck?!
The obligatory weird moment
The entire movie is weird but the whole Planet of the April’s section is superb.
The drinking game
This can either be for every movie or pop culture reference quote, every cameo, or simply an onscreen death. Any of these three games will ruin you – combined you’ll be hospitalised.
As you can tell, I love the Sharknado series and although I know it is a highly acquired taste, if you just let it take you along for the ride, Sharknado 6 will cap off the entire franchise perfectly. Newcomers are best to kick off at the beginning however – this is not the entry point you need. Now… can we have Dogenado?
Rating: X/5 – So Bad It’s Good (1 or 5 personal taste)
If you liked Sharknado 6 then you may like…
- Sharknado – The original one that started the cult franchise
- Big Ass Spider! – Similar in tone and comedic value. Embraces what it is.
- Lavalantula – Completes my triple threat of truly awful but amazing monster films.
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