Words by Matt Poe

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Netflix Star Rating: ★★½☆☆☆☆
Poe’s Star Rating: ★★☆☆ (It’s so bad, but so good, but so bad.)

A single mother struggles to raise her troubled son, who claims a mysterious entity named the Babadook has settled in their home.

Category: Horror, Independent, Thriller

Not rated

Starring Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman / Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

A massive tornado forms off the East Coast, launching thousands of man-eating sharks into Washington, D.C., and only one man can save America from becoming fish food.

Category: Action, Adventure, Horror

Rated TV-14 for intense to strong violence and destruction

Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo and Frankie Muniz

Written by Thunder Levin/ Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante

Welcome back to another edition of Poe’s Picks. We’ll keep this section of the blog a little shorter than usual, as I will explain in just a second. Now, some of you may be wondering how in the hell a film like “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” is appearing in the soon-to-be award-winning blog that is Poe’s Picks, so let me divulge some information. Heartbreaking information, at that.

The massive, wooden wheel that was used to pin movie genres for my ninja star hurdling pleasure was destroyed. (Moment of silence.) Evidently, some of my roommates thought it would be fun to destroy it one drunken night, simultaneously destroying all my hopes and dreams with it. With my livelihood threatened, I had to retreat to just picking a movie on Netflix for this edition via random searching with the Xbox controller, like my granddad before me. I promise you, I will have my vengeance, and the ninja stars or something even more awesome will be back.

leaf graphic
Photo Courtesy of IMDB.

So this, my friends, is how we got to “Sharknado 3.” So far, I’ve reviewed some pretty good films on this blog, but I felt I needed to give the underdog a chance; so, I purposely picked a film with a low star rating to see if the rating was a good representation of the movie. And there she was: “Sharknado 3,” starring back at me in all her glory, both of us knowing some indescribable cosmic entity had led us to one another. Fate, as some might call it. But I digress. Let’s dive in, but not without a shark cage.

“Sharknado 3” picks up right where “Sharknado 2: The Second One” ends. Our hero, Fin Shepard (get it, Fin), played by Ian Ziering, is in route to the White House after receiving a distress signal that another impending Sharknado is forming off the coast of Washington, D.C. He arrives to warn the president, a great cameo by billionaire Mark Cuban, that he and everyone else in the capital are not safe. And from there, right on cue, the sharks come raining down, eating everything in their path. Ziering and Cuban, equipped with shotguns, chainsaws and assault rifles, rip through shark after shark in an awesome scene that defies everything in the rulebook. But the madness doesn’t end there; it’s just getting started.

Soon thereafter, Fin establishes connections with old friends who had helped fight off the first series of Sharknados that engulfed Los Angeles and New York. He assembles his crew, and they make their way down to Florida, where his pregnant wife (Tara Reid) is at Orlando Studios with their teenage daughter. Needless to say, more hell breaks loose before Fin can arrive to prevent the entire theme park from turning into chum.

Here on out, the movie becomes a whirlwind of sharks and madness, with all plot and logic, if there was any to spare, thrown into a maelstrom of ridiculousness. Basically, Fin realizes he needs to go into space to stop the Sharknados from forming into one massive Sharkicane MUAHAHAHA. The final 15 minutes of this movie are as preposterous as anything ever put on screen.  

The movie is a walking disaster, but it’s farce and knows it’s farce. I counted over a dozen cameos along the way, featuring the likes of Lou Ferrigno, David Hasselhoff, Chad Johnson, Ne-Yo, Chris Jericho, Frankie Muniz and many more. What makes this movie work, on some level, and for that matter all the “Sharknado” movies, is that the actors play their characters straight. They, along with the audience, know how ridiculous these movies are, but by playing the film so over-the-top, it actually works. The visual effects are something out of a cheap video game but create some great laughs and some gory fun. And the dialogue; my god, the dialogue…

Movies like this are almost impossible to review; the only way to paint a vivid picture of this film is to watch it for yourself. You may recall that during the first edition of Poe’s Picks, I told you that through good movies and bad, we’re in this together. I love a great drama or serious film, but sometimes you just need to watch a movie that throws the rulebook out and unleashes all hell on the viewer. This movie does that, tenfold. It doesn’t just ignore the guidelines: it swallows them whole. Sharknado is garbage, but it’s fun, over-the-top garbage; and that I can appreciate. I only wish I had been in the room with all the writers when they came up with this idea.

Until next time.

In Good Films We Trust,

Matt “Roger Ebert wishes he was half the film critic I am” Poe