Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is a 2015 American science fiction action comedy horror film sequel to the first two Sharknado films. It was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante and Thunder Levin returned as the scriptwriter.
The cast includes Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, Cindy Margolis, Brittani Cox, Cassie Scerbo and David Hasselhoff. There are cameo appearances by former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as herself, Jedward, Jerry Springer as a tourist, NFL player Tom Compton as a reporter, *NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick as a pool lifeguard, and ex-wrestler Chris Jericho as a roller coaster ride operator.
What’s amazing and admirable is that even though the franchise has now become an international phenomenon, Sharknado 3 stayed true to its SyFy roots. It tells a story that will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched any SyFy original movie.
The world is threatened by a flamboyant threat, in this case, a bunch of tornadoes that happen to be full of sharks. Only one man (Ian Ziering as Finn) can save the world but first, he has to deal with skeptical military jackasses.
As always seems to happen in these films, he’s separated from his wife (Tara Reid playing the role of April and sporting a truly badass robotic hand). Meanwhile, their teenage daughter (Ryan Newman as Claudia) has gone off on her own and finds herself right in the centre of the disaster.
It’s a plot that has been used in thousands of SyFy and Asylum films but director Anthony C. Ferrante directs with a lot of energy and writer Thunder Levin provides so many clever one liners that it doesn’t matter if the storyline is familiar.
Ignore all the hype and you’ll discover that Sharknado 3 is still a wonderfully fun film that features everything that we love about SyFy movies.
Of course, one thing that distinguishes Sharknado 3 from other Asylum films is that it is full of celebrity cameos. Usually, I am weary of excessive celebrity cameos because they’re distracting and the celebs often turn out to be terrible actors.
That said, the celebs in Sharknado 3 all do a wonderful job. (Add to that, the majority of them get eaten, as well.) Then again, the same could be said for the entire cast. Regardless of what they’re asked to do or say, Ian Ziering and Tara Reid both full commit to their performances. Casting director Gerald Webb is indeed one of the unsung heroes of the entire Sharknado phenomena.
The film opens with a shark attack on Washington D.C. and it’s during this time that we meet President Mark Cuban and Vice President Ann Coulter. And, oh my God, how certain heads on Twitter exploded when Ann Coulter showed up. But you know what? After seeing Sharknado 3, I would totally vote for a Cuban/Coulter ticket. I don’t care what their platform is, they know how to fight sharks and they seemed far more believable than anyone who is currently running for President.
At first, I assumed that Mark Cuban was supposed to be playing himself and I thought that Sharknado 3 had somehow managed to predict the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. However, I then checked with the imdb and I discovered that Cuban was playing President Marcus Robbins.
The same people on Twitter who were bitching about Ann Coulter weren’t much happier when Michele Bachman showed up, playing herself. However, the political cameos in Sharknado 3 are bipartisan. When the action moves down to Orlando, noted Democrat Jerry Springer shows up as a tourist and promptly gets eaten.
And then Carlos Danger himself, Anthony Weiner, shows up as a heroic NASA guy. Eventually, for those of us who lean towards the libertarian side of the political spectrum, Penn Jilette and Teller eventually show up. Personally, one can suspect that Teller knew how to stop the sharks but, of course, he wasn’t going to say anything.
As for the cameos from various media personalities, Sharknado 3 never manages to top the moment from Sharknado 2 where Kelly Ripa stomped a shark with her high heels. But no matter — it’s still fun to watch Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda get drunk while sharks fall around them. And then Matt Lauer gets eaten by a shark so yay for that!
(Incidentally, whether intentional or not, the film was full of former contestants from The Celebrity Apprentice, with Ian, Penn, and Lou Ferrigno all showing up. Personally, I would have enjoyed seeing Piers Morgan get eaten by a shark.)
However, of all the celebrity cameos in Sharknado 3, nobody could top the Hoff. When David Hasselhoff first showed up as Finn’s father, it felt like a funny but obvious joke. Of course, Finn’s father would be David Hasselhoff. But you know what? Give credit where credit is due. The Hoff actually gave a pretty good performance and, during the film’s interstellar climax, he managed to do a pretty good impersonation of George Clooney as he looked out into space and said, “It’s a beautiful view.”
So yes, Sharknado 3 does go into space. How could it not? The film may have started out as a homage to the classic weather disaster films but, by the end of the movie, it turned into a delirious combination of Jaws, Gravity and Interstellar. By the time Finn was exploring the stomach of a shark while it floated through the starry sky, Sharknado 3 had achieved a definite state of grace.
Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens
“I know I’m supposed to feel some swell of pride or at least amusement when Ian Ziering grins up at the impaled shark and breathes, “God bless America,” but the neo-con fantasy of it all is too distracting. Sharknado and Sharknado 2 were many things, often all at once, but they were never this blatantly manipulative.” Caroline Framke, AV Club
“While it’s still Asylum at its core — goofy mistakes galore, rushed and low grade special effects — the series at least understands that it’s nothing but camp of the highest order and plays to the absurdity. There’s no better example of “wink and a nod filmmaking” out there, and kudos to the Sharknado team for embracing it. ” Martin Liebman, Blu-ray.com
Cast and characters:
Ian Ziering … Fin Shepard
Tara Reid … April Shepard
Cassandra Scerbo … Nova Clarke (as Cassie Scerbo)
Frankie Muniz … Lucas Stevens
Ryan Whitney Newman … Claudia Shepard (as Ryan Newman)
David Hasselhoff … Gilbert Grayson Shepard
Mark Cuban … President Marcus Robbins
Bo Derek … May Wexler
Blair Fowler … Jess
Michael Winslow … Brian ‘Jonesy’ Jones
Jack Griffo … Billy
Michelle Beadle … Agent Argyle
Ne-Yo … Agent Devoreaux
Chris Jericho … Bruce the Ride Attendant
Mark McGrath … Martin Brody
The Asylum production debuted on the Syfy channel on July 22, 2015. Kaleidoscope release the film on DVD on August 24, 2015.
Faux poster artwork above courtesy of MonsterZero NJ