New Feature: Scruffy City Cinema Spotlite – Sharknado 2

If you somehow missed out on the diabolically goofy film phenomenon that was Sharknado, fear not. Sharknado 2: The Second One is on tap for July 30 on the Syfy network, and it’s showing on the state-of-the-art hi-def big screen at our very own Scruffy City Hall.

The event comes courtesy of local musician and horror-film buff William Mahaffey, who has been staging regular TV and movie showings at SCH. Mahaffey is also hosting Sunday night airings of the Guillermo del Toro [Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, et al.]-produced FX original series “The Strain.”

So for those who were MIA for the first Sharknado installment, here’s the scoop: The movie premiered as a Syfy original film back in July of 2013, starring Ian Ziering (the original “Beverly Hills: 90210” guy), and Tara Reid (the American Pie girl), supported by a standard made-for-TV second string of hopeful newbies, perennial C-listers, and journeyman character actors. The plot follows three co-workers at a local pub who band together on a frantic mission to rescue trapped friends after an Omega-level waterspout floods the streets of Los Angeles with seawater. (Seawater that just happens to be infested with: Man! Eating! Sharks!)

It all builds to a nutty, so-far-over-the-top-it-snaps-back-and-whacks-you-in-the-face climax, a delirious, cacophonic B-movie symphony of exploding sharks and chomped flesh.

But the story behind Sharknado’s rise to phenom status is almost as far-fetched as the movie itself. Upon its initial showing, Sharknado performed slightly below the level of the average Syfy original in its audience share. But thanks to a handful of fortuitous celebrity tweets and some serious trending action, the film caught a buzz that prompted Syfy to air it two more times in the same month.

Those subsequent showings saw viewership rise to record-setting levels, and led to an eventual midnight theater airing at select Regal Cinemas locations across the country.

The best buzz-builder for the original Sharknado? Late “Glee” thespian Cory Monteith tweeted about the film, hours before his death from a heroin overdose in a Vancouver hotel room. The last words Monteith is known to have expressed to anyone were, via Twitter: “What the crap is Sharknado”. (And no, I’m not going to reproduce the @#$ screen shot of his tweet. That’s a really pointless exercise in taking up too much space.)

Now Sharknado 2 is here, and though we’re not sure what the plot is this time around, we’re pretty sure it will involve more large airborne sea creatures, and plenty of loud munching sounds. We do know that our heroes return, in the form of Ziering and Reid, this time backed by a stronger bench, a roster that includes Vivica Fox (Copperhead from Kill Bill); Kelly Osbourne (spawn of Ozzy); Billy Ray Cyrus (procreator of Miley; Achy-Breaky guy); Mark McGrath (’90s relic; Sugar Ray frontman); and Kurt Angle (wrasslin’ superstar).

The Rotten Tomatoes film rating website (which tallies the reviews of movie critics nationwide) scored the first Sharknado at 82 percent, summarizing thusly: “Proudly, shamelessly, and gloriously brainless, Sharknado redefines ‘so bad it’s good’ for a new generation.” Will Sharknado 2 bring the awesome with the same sort of joyfully unhinged enthusiasm as its predecessor? Come out to Scruffy City Hall and find out.

Sharknado 2: The Second One will air at Scruffy City Hall on July 30 at 7 p.m.

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