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SYFY's Sharknado Turns 10: Your Guide To The Sequels, Biggest Celebrity Cameos & More
Are you ready to enter the eye of the Sharknado storm?
God bless that magnificent bastard who forever changed the course of pop culture history by combining the words "shark" and "tornado."
Precious few film franchises have the ability to emulate the effects of an LSD-infused drug trip, and SYFY and The Asylum's Sharknado series wears the badge proudly — totally unabashed of its own giddy ridiculousness. With the first movie celebrating its tenth anniversary today in honor of its original July 11, 2013 premiere, SYFY WIRE put together a breezy primer of the schlocky saga that ushered in a new age of "mockbuster" exceptionalism.
The original Sharknado (2013)
The premise was super simple: a cyclone full of swirling sharks begins to kill people in Los Angeles. No logic, no reason; no muss, no fuss. Sharknado is as stripped-down as it gets. Simplistic insanity might be a sufficient enough descriptor. "Proudly, shamelessly, and gloriously brainless, Sharknado redefines 'so bad it's good' for a new generation," reads the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (helmer of all six installments), the original film introduced the franchise's long-running heroes: surfer turned bartender turned shark slayer Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and his equally badass wife April Wexler (Tara Reid). The late John Heard (Home Alone, The Sopranos) rounded out the principal cast as George, a regular patron of Fin's alcoholic establishment.
Sharkando 2: The Second One (2014)
How do you up the ante on something that's already — and we've never intended a pun more in our lives — jumped the shark? Well, you simply acknowledge just how demented things were in the first place with an intentionally lazy title like "The Second One."
Sharknado 2 brings the story to the East Coast for an adventure in New York City, delivering appearances from disaster movie veteran Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. Fox played Skye, a former classmate of Fin's, while McGrath tackled the role of Fin's brother-in-law, Martin Brody (his surname being an obvious nod to Brody of Jaws fame).
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)
"Oh Hell No!" is absolutely right. The Sharknado trilogy capper finds Fin and April tracking a deep-sea predator storm from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida. McGrath returned as Martin, followed by even more celebrity guest stars this time: Frankie Muniz, Ne-Yo, Mark Cuban, Michael Winslow, Chris Kirkpatrick, David Hasselhoff, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Bo Derek, Rick Fox, Anne Coulter, Anthony Weiner, Lou Ferrigno, and the late Jerry Springer. We dare you to find an ensemble like that in any other franchise.
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)
What's worse than a Sharknado? How about a Sharkando and a Cownado? "What's a Cownado?" you're probably asking yourself right now? Why, it's a tornado with cows in it. What the hell else could it be?!
Set five years after the events of Oh Hell No!, The 4th Awakens (the title being a parody of Star Wars) recruits the likes of David Hasselhoff, Caroline Williams, Gary Busey, Al Roker, Cheryl Tiegs, Carrot Top, Steve Guttenberg, Wayne Newton, and the late Gilbert Gottfried.
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017)
AKA the one where Sharknado goes international! Global Swarming sets Fin and April on a global adventure across England, Italy, Egypt, Brazil, and more. The fifth entry gives us such iconic images as Al Roker bashing a shark with a baseball bat on live television, as well as Fin riding a bucking shark down a staircase at Buckingham Palace. Need we say more?
The celebrity guests this time around include: Dolph Lundgren, Geraldo Rivera, Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Bret Michaels, David Naughton, Chris Kattan, Fabio, and the late Olivia Newton-John.
The Last Sharknado: It's About Time (2018)
As in: "It's about damn time you ended this thing already!" The sixth and final (at least for right now) Sharknado goes balls-to-the-wall with the introduction of — what else? — time travel!!!
That's right, Fin and April have to go back in time to prevent the first Sharknado from ever happening. It's basically the Avengers: Endgame of the Sharknado franchise, except with dinosaurs and Neil deGrasse Tyson playing the wizard Merlin.
The entire Sharknado saga is now available to purchase via digital platforms like Vudu. Head over to Peacock for even more shark-related antics, including the Heart of Sharkness and Feeding Frenzy documentaries, as well as all four Jaws movies.