TV review: Sharknado, SyFy

Love/Hate, Channel 5

The premise behind US Twitter sensation Sharknado was a simple one: a freak hurricane (curse that global warming) hits Los Angeles, causing killer sharks to flood the streets of Hollywood. For most people that would be disaster enough, but this was a film from the kings of schlock, Asylum Films, and thus things swiftly escalated.

Not long after the first beasts were sighted ("Sharks in the swimming pool? Don't be ridiculous," scoffed one poor fool), the hurricane spun off into a tornado that promptly sucked up the sharks, making them fly through the air, fall out of the sky and kill innocent bystanders in all manner of increasingly awesome ways.

There was a brief attempt at an actual plot beyond "Look! Sharks! Sharks falling out of the sky! Help! Run!", but in all honesty it was difficult to care whether laidback surfer Fin (Ian Ziering from the original Beverley Hills, 90210) and his ex-wife April (Tara Reid, answering the important question, "What does Tara Reid do when not hanging out with Jedward?") survived to love another day because... Look sharks! Sharks plunging out of the sky with their jaws conveniently open, ready to chomp people to death!

As for the dialogue, it was the standard mix of corny one-liners ("They took my grandfather. So I really hate sharks"), references to other, more serious, shark movies ("We're going to need a bigger 'copter") and blind panic ("Go, go, go", "Help, run, run, run", "What the hell is that?")

How high your tolerance for such things is probably depends on how early in your life you were exposed to bad 1970s disaster movies. Fortunately, having been raised on them, I thrill to implausible scenarios, cornball dialogue and large casts dying in wacky ways. And while Sharknado didn't quite match the memorable moment in The Poseidon Adventure when a game Shelley Winters recalls her days as a competitive swimmer and frees Gene Hackman from certain death only to keel over herself, it's also the case that you probably don't need pathos when you have sharks.

For no one could ever accuse Sharknado of failing to understand its selling point. This wasn't a film that could simply be content with remembering to include a scene where a busload of innocent children face death by shark, nor the type of movie that would rest on its laurels after shooting a sequence where a shark falls out of nowhere before devouring its hapless victim. No, this was a drama that wanted to go the full Ahab. OK, so Melville's big beast was a whale, but do you think that's the sort of minor detail that bothered the makers of a film called Sharknado?

Thus, the deliriously camp finale saw winsome waitress Nova plunge out of a helicopter and into the rapturous jaws of a happily waiting great white shark, just minutes after she'd bonded with Fin's daring son Matt. Poor Nova, stuck for ever in the belly of the beast.

Luckily, Fin clearly took a keen interest in his son's putative love life and followed her in armed with a chainsaw. Yes, that's right, Sharknado's climax featured our hero cutting his way out of a great white shark with a chainsaw and dragging his son's potential girlfriend out alive after him. There aren't the words to describe how singularly brilliant an idea that is.

Meanwhile, increasingly addictive Irish crime-drama Love/Hate provided a brutal dose of reality as Darren bared his heart to Rosie, who in turn found herself hospitalised by Stumpy, while the unhinged Hughie did little to repair his reputation as a loose cannon by battering hapless accomplice Martin to death, before confessing to brother John Boy that he'd killed Robbie. Frankly, you'd have a higher chance of survival facing the flying sharks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury


Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas


Arts and Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7


Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary


Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions