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Monday, August 5, 2013

Prelude to Interview With 'Sharknado' Scribe Thunder Levin



Learning last week of a chance to interview "Sharknado" screenwriter Thunder Levin was fanboy manna. Only a sit-down with David Tennant would have been more exciting.

[Editor's Note: This interview is now up.]

Obsessive thinking about the upcoming interview resulted in deciding to show restraint regarding asking Levin if "The Neptunes" of the '70s Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon "Jabberjaw" were commissioned to write and perform the theme song for "Sharknado II."

This multi-hour musing also led to concluding that diluting the post, which will run later this week, on the interview with a discussion of Levin's insights would partially steal his thunder. On a related note, anything that seems to be a pun in either post is one.

For the benefit of folks who have been living non-stop in a shark cave the last month, "Sharknado" is the latest low-budget Syfy channel original movie. Its legacy includes "Piranahaconda" and "Sharktopus."

Unlike the other hybrid-theme films, "Sharknado" conducted a phenomenal social media campaign that is garnering that tale of a fish out of water epic mini-series level ratings. This buzz also resulted in showing "Sharknado" in movie theaters this weekend.

The titular freak-of-nature results from the perfect storm of massive Hurricane David and a plain ole freak who has pooled a large gaggle of shark for fun and profit. One spoiler is that said sharks take a large bite out of that windfall.

The action then shifts to the daily life of the Sam Malone (Google it millenials) like washed-up professional athlete and current bar owner Fin Shepard, played by the original "Beverly Hills 90210's" Ian Ziering. Shepard's bar even has a laid-back curly-haired barfly named George. (An actress named Diane Chambers playing a "bit" role truly requires shouting "Cheers" regarding this aspect of "Sharknado.")

The shark-infested water flooding southern California prompts Fin and his best chum Baz to head out to collect Fin's teen daughter and get her to safety despite the objection of Fin's ex wife, played by Tara Reid. Reid does not have split enz but has learned that love's got teeth and she bites so hard. (Yeah, that's something else to Google.)

Having Santa Monica take the brunt of the action makes one wonder if Levin has a grudge against "Three's Company."

Wonderfully absurd elements of "Sharknado" include the fact that the water is deep enough for the sharks to swim in but is still below the doors of most vehicles. Similarly, the emergency door of a school bus full of children is above the water despite the kids seeing the sharks swim past the bus windows.

The hilarious finale is another great moment that teaches us that high school biology teachers do not know the first thing about a shark's digestive system.

The bottom line is that all the cool kids are into "Sharknado" and anyone who does not watch it is a real clamhead (Google it.)

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Sharknado" is welcome to email me. Taking a cue from Syfy, I also invite you to follow me on Twitter under @tvdvdguy.