The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time – USA, 2018

‘History’s biggest disaster comes to an end’

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time is a 2018 American action science fiction horror feature film directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (Sharknado franchise; Hansel & Gretel; Headless Horseman, Boo), based on a screenplay by Scotty Mullen.

The Asylum production stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, La Toya Jackson, Dee Snider, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Alaska and Darrell Hammond.

Heroic Fin (Ian Ziering) has battled sharks all over the globe, but in this last instalment he will tackle the final shark-tier — time travel.

In the ending moments of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, Fin was seen wandering alone on Earth after it was destroyed. Now he must travel back in time to stop the Sharknado that started it all. Will Fin and the gang be able to set everything right and save the world once and for all?

All is lost – or is it? Fin unlocks the time-traveling power of the sharknados in order to save the world and resurrect his family. In his quest, Fin fights Nazis, dinosaurs, knights, and even takes a ride on Noah’s Ark. This time, it’s not how to stop the sharknados, it’s when…

Review:

Is it true? Was The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time truly the final Sharknado? Perhaps. But somehow, I have a feeling that the flying sharks will return someday. Critics have always underestimated the production savvy of The Asylum and I wouldn’t be shocked if, after a year or two of nostalgia, we saw Sharknado 7: A New Beginning.

However, if The Last Sharknado was truly the final Sharknado, then it can be said that the franchise truly went out on a high note.

The plot – well, usually, the conventional wisdom is that the plot of a Sharknado movie really doesn’t matter. Usually, it’s assumed that all a Sharknado film needs is a lot of shark mayhem and snarky humour. And that’s true, to an extent. And yet, I still found myself getting caught up in The Last Sharknado‘s storyline.

The plot deals with Fin (Ian Ziering), April (Tara Reid), the head of a robot version of April (again, Tara Reid), Nova (Cassandra Scerbo), and Skye (Vivica A. Fox) traveling through time, hopping from period to period. Fin and April’s goal is to stop the first Sharknado and to save the life of their son, Gil. Nova wants to save the life of her grandfather, even though that might change history to the extent that she would never become a great shark hunter. As for the robot head … well, she develops an agenda of her own, one that really has to be seen to be believed.

The film has a lot of time travel and, of course, the journey from period to period allows for several celebrity cameos. When Fin ends up in Arthurian Britain, Neil deGrasse Tyson pops up as Merlin. During the Revolutionary War, a somewhat sarcastic General Washington is played by Darrell Hammond. Dee Snider plays a sheriff in the old west. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott show on the beach in the 60s. Touchingly, the film even finds a way to include the late John Heard in the action (he played a key supporting role in the first Sharknado). Being a history nerd, I enjoyed all of the time travel. I especially enjoyed the film’s portrayal of Benjamin Franklin as a rather bitchy eccentric, largely because it’s often forgotten that Franklin was, in real life, a bit of a bitchy eccentric.

(Add to that, how can you resist a film the features both dinosaurs and flying sharks?)

The film takes a surprisingly dark turn during the second hour, as Fin and Skye spend some time in a dystopian future and Nova tries to change history by saving her grandfather’s life.  When Fin points out that doing so will change history and that, for Nova to become a great shark hunter, her grandfather has to die, Nova calls him out for being self-centered. To their credit, both Cassie Scerbo and Ian Ziering play the argument totally straight and both give heartfelt performances. Amid all of the comedy and the shark-related mayhem, the film develops a real heart.

That heart is at the centre of The Last Sharknado. To a large extent, the sharks are superfluous. They’re carnivorous MacGuffins. Instead, the film is about celebrating not only the bonds between Fin, April, Nova, and all of their friends but also the bond that’s been developed between the characters and those of us who have watched them over the course of six films. Towards the end of the film, when Fin talks about what his friends and family mean to him, it’s clear that he’s also speaking for the filmmakers. Just as Fin thanks his friends for sticking with him, the filmmakers take the time to thank the audience for sticking with them. It was an oddly touching scene and it was the perfect way to end The Last Sharknado.

To those who do not celebrate Sharknado Day, it may seem strange to say that I got emotional while watching the final scene of The Last Sharknado on Sunday night. Then again, is it any stranger than the idea of a franchise about a bunch of sharks flying through the air, spinning around in a funnel, becoming a major pop cultural milestone?

It’s a strange world and we’re all the better for it.

Lisa Marie Bowman, HORRORPEDIA – A version of this review is on Through the Shattered Lens

Other reviews:

” …it’s again a hodge-podge of movie and pop-culture references, with the uninspired nature of the cameos suggesting even talent agents have gotten wise to the notion placing their clients in shark’s way isn’t likely to yield the exposure it once did […] But the action is even drearier than usual, despite the ocean of possibilities baked into the premise, and the buffet of historical figures at their disposal (literally, as often as not).” Brian Lowry, CNN

“The novelty of Syfy leaning into its purposefully schlocky Saturday night monster movies with this go-for-joke franchise, featuring a who’s who of people who haven’t been “who” in a while, wore off years back and all that’s left is a lot of noise. The Last Sharknado is almost non-stop cluster-chaos.” Matt Fowler, IGN

” …it commits the worst sin that any self-respecting exploitation film can make—it is profoundly and paralyzingly boring […] By the end, even the most dedicated fans of the franchise—I have to assume that such people are still out there—are likely to come away this one feeling more exhausted than entertained.” Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

” …The Last Sharknado is simply a collection of images and noises loosely cobbled together in a way that somehow makes them barely suitable for ironic viewing. There is, however, an attempt to establish some rules to the characters’ time travel, but because the movie’s internal logic is so shoddy and inconsistent, you immediately wonder why it was brought up at all.” Kevin Yeoman, ScreenRant

Cast and characters:

  • Ian Ziering … Fin Shepard
  • Tara Reid … April Shepard
  • Tori Spending … TBC
  • Dean McDermott … TBC
  • La Toya Jackson … TBC
  • Dee Snider … TBC
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson … TBC
  • Alaska … TBC
  • Darrell Hammond … TBC
  • Vivica A. Fox … Skye
  • Cassandra Scerbo … Nova Clarke
  • Charles Hittinger … Matt Shepard
  • Alexandre Ottoni … TBC
  • Roxanna Bina … 1950’s Beach Girl
  • Raine Michaels … Girl in Bikini

Filming locations:

  • Castel Film Studios, Bucharest, Romania
  • Valenii de Munte, Prahova County, Romania

Release:

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time was unleashed on August 19, 2018, on Syfy.

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