Cleaning up in the social networks. Scary whirling air. Boo. We’re fans.
So we watched the Sharknado sequel, having missed the first one. My wife hates gore, but having started we couldn’t stop watching. Repeatedly, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe I’m watching this movie.” I explained that it was my blog duty to keep up with what’s “trending.” We both laughed throughout. A lot. Blood colored cotton candy.
Imagine my surprise that there could be anyone so humorless as to consider the Sharknado franchise sinister. But here’s the proof (h/t Hotair):
Last year, Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey argued that Sharknado is bad for people who love bad movies. “For those of us with a genuine love for bad movies, who seek out treasures of terribleness,” he wrote, “the Sharknado social media storm was kind of like when everybody discovered rap music via Vanilla Ice.” Bailey made the case that the appeal of so-bad-they’re-good gems like Manos, Miami Connection, or The Room is that they weren’t deliberately manufactured to be bad. Those cult hits came from people who truly believed they were making good art, and the gulf between their visions and the reality of their work was what made them enjoyable. The same cannot be said of the Sharknado films — “a plastic, artificial, manufactured substitute” made with “snickering, ironic snark-viewing in mind,” Bailey wrote.
But that doesn’t get to the bottom of why Sharknado is so pernicious. Imagine that you’re a top Hollywood executive — the kind that calls shots and greenlights projects. If you’re searching for the Next Great Box Office Smash Hit — especially one that’s cheap and likely to put butts in seats — you’d be crazy not to see the cultural phenomenon of Sharknado as an instant money-making opportunity. Hire some washed-out, B-movie stars on the cheap; attach a no-name director; commission a hastily written screenplay; and don’t break the bank on your cheesy, cheap special effects. If it’s half as successful as Sharknado, it’s a recipe for some serious cash money.
But what kind of precedent does that set? If studios succeed by making bad movies, other studios will follow suit. Social media buzz becomes more important to Hollywood every year, and it won’t take many more Sharknados before studios, filmmakers, and writers race to the bottom, creating terrible lowbrow art for the sake of irony (the one thing that we do not need more of these days).
If you read the comments, there are few additional points to be made. My own unique observation is that no other movie could make Snakes On a Plane look, comparatively, like Citizen Kane.
And there’s another link between these two titanic productions. Behold:
As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes fun is just fun.
Have yourselves a fine day. But keep your eyes peeled for sharks. You can never tell where they might be lurking.