Syfy’s ‘Sharknado 3’ tears through DC, smelling too strongly of dead fish | News Entertainment

Syfy’s ‘Sharknado 3’ tears through DC, smelling too strongly of dead fish

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sharknado 3’ Star Ian Ziering on Acting Naturally “When the Shark Hits the Fan”.

Syfy’s “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” rolls through Wednesday night with a noticeably weakened potency and very little camp potential left in its twirl. When the Syfy channel first announced an upcoming movie about a monstrous tornado filled with sharks, two of the film’s stars felt less than confident about how the ratings would turn out.The third installment of Syfy’s campy summer franchise “Sharknado” makes landfall on TV screens tomorrow night and promises to up the ante of the first two in a few different ways.Thanks to Syfy’s summer Twitter sensation Sharknado, the Beverly Hills, 90210, alum has evolved into an action hero as Fin Shepard, a man whose focus is always on his family, even when he’s fending off flying sharks.

On Tuesday Ian Ziering, 51, and Tara Reid, 39, confessed during a visit to the Today Show that they had no idea Sharknado would do so well when it debuted in 2013. ‘I wasn’t talking about it before it aired,’ shark slayer Ziering admitted. ‘I thought it would be a bomb. True, “Sharknado” hits Washington this time (the previous two iterations of the bad-on-purpose disaster movie about shark-filled funnel clouds depicted attacks on Los Angeles and New York), but the sharknado visits the capital city only long enough for us to discover that Mark Cuban is president and Ann Coulter is the vice president — a horrific premise that doesn’t last nearly long enough. The original Sharknado movie ignited a social-media storm in 2013, and Sharknado 2 became Syfy network’s most-watched original movie with 3.9 million viewers. As with most trends, Washington gets its turn at the “Sharknado” phenomenon about five minutes too late, after most of the fun has already been had.

The third movie promises to be an even crazier, cameo-filled romp that’s “rated awesome,” says star Ian Ziering, whose heroic, chain saw-wielding Fin impossibly — and repeatedly — saves his family from wind-blown sharks in the B-movies. These movies are rated awesome, and they’re not intended for overthinkers, so when I first approached this script, I didn’t know the rating and I overthought it, and I was averse to doing it.

Then it blew up, and then I talked about it.’ ‘I had no clue,’ Reid commented about the Sharknado’s potential. ‘I was in Mexico on vacation and I get this phone call, “Oh, my God! Fin first took on the unique weather pattern in Los Angeles, relocated in Sharknado 2 to New York, and in Oh Hell No!, fishy weather follows Fin to Washington, D.C., where he’s receiving a Medal of Freedom (for saving the nation from sharknadoes, of course), but winds up fending off fresh sharks with a grenade-throwing president played by Mark Cuban. (Cuban is fed lines such as, “They used to call me a shark, but now I’m looked upon as a beacon of hope.”).

Jason Lynch of Adweek blasted the movie’s tie-ins for parent company Comcast and its properties: “Syfy has essentially assembled two hours of branded content for its parent company, added some fake sharks and gore, and called it ‘Sharknado 3.’ Given all of its screen time, Universal Studios Florida should rightfully receive top billing over Ziering and Reid.” He adds: “The film spends lots of time in a certain Florida theme park owned by NBCUniversal, which results in ‘Sharknado 3’ serving less as a comedy than as a travelogue for Universal Studios Orlando. Once the nation’s capital has been destroyed, he gets picked up by shark-chasers Lucas (Frankie Muniz, in a cameo as a Malcolm in the Middle-esque genius) and Nova (Cassie Scerbo, whom Fin saved by sawing her out of a shark’s belly in Sharknado). Can you believe it?” I’m thinking, “What?” “Sharknado’s getting a million hits per minute on Twitter!”‘ It was only one week ago that she shared a group shot of her new romantic comedy castmates for the upcoming movie Tie The Knot with the Instagram caption: ‘It’s a wrap! The film even jams in a NASCAR event, with which Comcast has a sponsorship deal.” The cameo list is longer than usual, too, and features Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kim Richards, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Engvall, Ann Coulter, Mark Cuban, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Chris Jericho, Chris Kirkpatrick, Harvey Levin, Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson, Jackie Collins, Jerry Springer, Lou Ferrigno, Mark McGrath, Michele Bachmann, Anthony Weiner, Ne-Yo, Penn and Teller, Rick Fox and Frankie Muniz.

It’s really captured the imagination of sci-fi fans. … When Sharknado 2 hit the small screen, it generated such a shock wave that it reverberated over a billion Twitter impressions around the world. The storm is now bigger than ever (“Today” show weatherman Al Roker declares the East Coast to now be the “Feast Coast”) and the sharks are more vicious, but who really cares anymore? Of course, there are pit stops along the way, This shark-killing go-round requires swords, handguns, tanks, clever placement of fire and a variety of chainsaws including a golden version (bestowed upon Fin along with his presidential medal) and one that “works in outer space,” says Ziering, who also reveals that Fin’s father, Gilbert (a late cameo by David Hasselhoff), gets to join in on some “out of this world” methods for stabilizing the deadly storm. It is as if the most talented guys at Google’s brain trust had decided to stop working on the self-driving car and turn all their attention on Frankensteining the worst disaster movies of all time.

I was very flattered that I had “Fin Shepard,” “Ian Ziering” and “Steve Sanders” all in that category. (Laughs.) Nowhere in any parallel universe did I ever think that would happen. There’s very little work for a TV critic to do here, except to seek shelter from a hailstorm of reader comments (see below?) assaulting him for not knowing how to lighten up and have fun.

By appealing to the entire family, and striking a chord on social media, “this movie accomplishes something that major motion picture studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars” to do. From there, after all shark has hit the fan, it becomes a road-trip movie where Fin heads south to protect his wife and daughter from the sharknado that’s descending on Orlando. Tara Reid: We can’t wait to read them, because we’re like, “Where are they gonna go with this?” And you read them and it’s like, “They did it again.” IZ: In “Sharknado 2,” when I read that script I thought, “This is a $100 million blockbuster.” But knowing these budgets are fractions of what they spend on major motion pictures, I just had to have faith that they were going to accomplish what they set out to. It’s a huge impossibility — Mother Nature says this could never happen — but with a little bit of popcorn and some friends, you’re able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the movie.

Still, there’s half a theory clanking around in my brain that “Sharknado” might be a nifty metaphor for the Internet itself — how it rewards hype for hype’s sake; how it destroys everything in its path; how it randomly devours one celebrity while allowing others to thrive; how there’s really no difference between shark bait and clickbait . . . eh, nobody’s listening. Ziering dishes about some of the craziest — and goriest — kills in the world of what he calls “tornado disaster movies with teeth.” Fin (Ian Ziering) is engulfed by a shark while trying to protect April (Tara Ried) and Claudia (Aubrey Peeples), but with chain saw in hand, he miraculously manages to survive. (Photo: Syfy) In the first Sharknado outing, fans learned Fin’s weapon of choice when the character chain-sawed himself through the belly of a giant shark. It’s almost like it’s its own genre, where everybody’s in on the joke except the actors within the movie! (Laughs.) I love the fact that this movie is grounded in family. It’s the television equivalent of “The Purge” — one night of utter and improbable lawlessness without fear of punishment, the freedom to make (and watch) a program that is as crass and stupid as it can possibly be.

Still, one of the highlights involved a simple saw: Fin, rallying New Yorkers, stands atop a fire truck on Broadway and performs a behind-the-back shark fillet. And from there, that’s when the shark hits the fan. (Laughs.) He’s thrust into these situations that really turn him into a fish-out-of-water type of action hero. Anyhow, back to the story: A panicked Fin realizes that his pregnant wife, April (Tara Reid), his mother-in-law (Bo Derek) and teenage daughter (Ryan Newman) are all visiting the theme park, where no one seems terribly concerned about all the carnage up in Washington.

Guest stars: David Hasselhoff as Fin’s father, Bo Derek as April’s mother, Frankie Muniz as a shark chaser, Mark Cuban as the president, and a host of NBC Universal products “We had some amazing ideas for some kill moments,” says Ziering. Joining forces with the tough-as-nails Nova (Cassie Scerbo) and her geeky sidekick, Lucas (Frankie Muniz), in their heavily-fortified, sharknado-destroying Winnebago, Fin gets to Florida too late: Several sharknados have coalesced — it’s a “sharkicane,” someone says, in a failed attempt at savvy coinage — that will wipe out everything and everyone. (Nice knowin’ ya, Savannah Guthrie.) Underestimating the size of its britches where “Sharknado” publicity is concerned, Syfy asked critics not to reveal that the whole thing leads to a certain legendary TV lifeguard piloting a certain decommissioned NASA spacecraft into orbit in an effort to destroy the super-sharknado. I’m sure it’s second-nature for you now, but when you started out in the Sharknado franchise, was it difficult for you to avoid winking at the material, so to speak?

Anytime I see one of these type movies, anytime I feel that the actor falls out of character, where they’re thinking they’re too good for the material, it all falls apart for me. It had its lightning-in-a-bottle moment on Twitter and set off a real-time viral storm of free hype that any network or media company would love to replicate. While the chainsaw is the go-to weapon, we have expanded the arsenal to contain other lethal instruments that really make the story more layered and interesting.

After [director] Anthony Ferrante was done with his directions with everyone and was ready to do the scene, I just wanted to impress upon the newbies that it was important to keep the stakes and not to let the wind out of the sails, basically saying, “There are sharks, and they are coming for you. I mean, we shoot these movies so quickly that, quite often, we’ll even shoot the rehearsals, because when people show up on set, there’s no time to really workshop scenes.

Over my career – certainly “90210” stands out as something that put me on the map – but there were other projects that were targeted to other demographics. So I got little girls saying, “Oh my God, it’s McKenna’s dad!” I got grandmas coming up to me from “Dancing With the Stars” saying, “Oh, you shoulda won!” “Sharknado” has a very wild demographic. He lets a lot of self-deprecating humor fly, which takes the curse off of any missteps he may have had in the past, and you just can’t help but love the guy.

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