dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

February 10th, 2018 Movie – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

the texas chainsaw massacre 2

At the height of the slasher era, Tobe Hooper decided that it was a great time to make a sequel to his groundbreaking movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). However, Tobe decided to make a change with his sequel, focusing more on the comedy, which he felt was overlooked in the original movie, instead of on the actual terror. I remember seeing this years ago and honestly thinking it wasn’t as scary as the first one, which is what a lot of people thought as well. Well, let’s see if time allows me to view this in a different light as I watch today’s movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

The plot: After the events of the previous movie, Sally Hardesty tells the authorities about the Sawyer clan and what happened to Franklin and their friends before the stress from the events causes her to go catatonic. The authorities search for the farmhouse but find no sign of the Sawyers and, without proof of a crime, officially they declare that it never happened. However, over the next 13 years, reports of grisly murders committed by a chainsaw have persisted throughout the state of Texas, causing people to wonder if it will ever end. Two high school seniors, Buzz and Rick, are heading up to Dallas for the Texas/Oklahoma game, with Buzz driving while Rick is shooting a revolver out the window. The two have been drinking and decide to call Vanita “Stretch” Brock, a DJ in the Metroplex (Dallas/Ft. Worth area), and start harassing her, refusing to hang up. While they are on the phone, they decide to play chicken with a pickup truck heading the other direction, running it off the road. As night falls, the boys call Stretch again to harass her but as they come to a bridge, they are stopped by the pickup truck they ran off the road earlier. Still on the phone with Stretch, Buzz yells at the driver, who moves slightly so they can pass by them but the truck starts driving in reverse and keeps pace with them. Suddenly, a man holding up a corpse stands up in the pickup bed and grabs a chainsaw, then starts slicing into the car. Rick attempts to shoot the man, hitting the corpse, only to reveal Leatherface is controlling the corpse like a puppet. Leatherface continues his attack on the car and ends up slicing off the top of Buzz’s head, causing the car to crash and killing Rick. Back at the radio station, a horrified Stretch and her producer, L.G., heard the entire attack and wonder what happened. The next day, Lt. Boude “Lefty” Enright, a former Texas Ranger, arrives at the crime scene and is told off by the local sheriff but the D.A. stops him and then speaks with Lefty. He says that he was told that Lefty was coming and he knows what happened to his niece and nephew (Sally and Franklin Hardesty) but that happened down in South Texas and there is no way that this accident was related. Lefty asks that they put the story in the newspaper and ask for any witnesses to the accident to contact him, and the D.A. agrees to it. The next day, Stretch stops by Lefty’s hotel room and tells him that she has the recording of the attack from when the kids called her radio station and wants to help but Lefty dismisses her and says she will get in his way. Frustrated by Lefty refusing to listen to her, Stretch joins L.G. downstairs, where they cover the results of a Texas/OU chili cook off which is won by Dallas resident Drayton Sawyer, who says the secret to his recipe is the meat and he has an eye for prime meat. Lefty heads out to a cut-rite store and tries out some chainsaws, then heads over to the radio station and asks Stretch to play the tape on the air, hoping that people that listen to it will finally want to help him find the killers. Stretch agrees to do so and announces on the air that she will be playing the recording every hour. Meanwhile, Drayton is driving back home, singing happily about winning the competition, when he receives a call on his car phone. After answering the phone, he yells at the person that called, saying that they were never supposed to call him on that phone, when the person on the other end tells him about the radio broadcast. Drayton turns on the radio and as he hears the attack, he starts yelling about the boys screwing up again, pulling over onto the side of the road to continue yelling. As night falls, L.G. says that they are getting a lot of angry calls about them playing the recording and Stretch decides to stop playing the tape after midnight, as nothing seems to have come of it. L.G. goes for a coffee run, leaving Stretch at the station alone, and while he is gone, Stretch hears a noise coming from the outer office. When she goes to investigate, she finds a strange man, Chop Top, sitting on the couch in the lobby. Chop Top starts talking to her and tries to distract her so Leatherface can attack her but Leatherface misses and hits Chop Top by mistake, hitting the metal plate he has in part of his skull. As Chop Top reals in pain, Stretch runs back into the studio and locks the metal door, with Leatherface following and attempting to cut his way through. L.G. returns and finds Chop Top going through their albums but he is knocked down by Leatherface and Chop Top begins hitting him in the head with a hammer. Leatherface heads back and cuts through a wall to get to Stretch but when she starts talking to him, she manages to calm him down and instead of killing her, he trashes the studio and then leaves. When Chop Top asks if he killed her, Leatherface nods yes and then they drag L.G.’s body outside and load it into the truck. As they leave, Stretch heads outside and, cursing Lefty for being late, follows after them. Stretch follows them to an abandoned amusement park and as she gets out of her car to proceed on foot, a second car appears and starts chasing her. As Stretch runs through the park, the car stops and Lefty gets out and calls out to her. Stretch stops running but as she turns to face him, a trap door opens up underneath her and she falls into a tunnel. Stretch grabs onto some roots to keep from falling and as Lefty tries to help pull her up, he apologizes for using her to lure the killers out of hiding. Lefty unknowingly grabs a skeleton arm to use to pull her up but the hand snaps off and Stretch ends up falling down the tunnel and Lefty heads back to his car and grabs the chainsaws that he bought and then heads inside the building looking for Stretch. Making his way inside, he notices blood coming from a wall and when he kicks a hole in it, a massive pile of entrails pours out of the hole, causing Lefty to snap and start using the chainsaw on the nearby support beams, screaming “Bring it all down!” Meanwhile, Stretch comes too and, hearing voices approaching, quickly hides as Leatherface, Chop Top, and Drayton appear and tell Leatherface to start carving up L.G.’s body. As Leatherface starts carving the skin off of the body, Stretch accidentally knocks over some meat hooks, causing Leatherface to rush over with a cleaver. Stretch convinces him not to kill her and when Chop Top and Drayton appear, Leatherface hides her from them, then places L.G.’s face on her and starts dancing with her after they leave. As Lefty continues to destroy the place, it causes the roof to start collapsing in the butcher room. Leatherface quickly ties up Stretch and leaves and as she tries to get away, L.G. suddenly sits up. As Stretch recoils in horror, L.G. tells her not to be scared and then cuts her free before he dies from his wounds. Stretch puts L.G.’s face back on him and then leaves the room and attempts to find a way out of there. She comes to a large chamber and sees the Drayton yelling at Chop Top and Leatherface, and as she tries to find a way out of there, Drayton sees her run into a sewer pipe and sends them off to find her. Meanwhile, Lefty’s path of destruction leads him to discover the skeletal remains of Franklin, which further increases his madness and desire to get revenge on the people responsible. In another part of the tunnels, Leatherface finds Stretch and starts chasing after her but as she runs, Lefty unknowingly causes a cave in that traps her. Stretch pleads with Leatherface to let her go but he refuses as Drayton and Chop Top show up. Chop Top knocks out Stretch and when she regains consciousness, she finds herself tied to a chair as Chop Top and Leatherface brings Grandpa Sawyer into the room. Drayton has Leatherface bring Stretch over to Grandpa, so that he can kill her and he hits her repeatedly with the hammer before Drayton grabs the dropped hammer and strikes Stretch over the head. Suddenly, Lefty saws his way into the room and Drayton, thinking he is from a competitor, attempts to bribe him. Stretch regains consciousness and calls out to Lefty, who sees her and quickly attacks the Sawyers, slicing Drayton in the ass with his chainsaw. Lefty frees Stretch and tells her to run, then begins fighting with Leatherface while Chop Top takes off after Stretch. As Lefty and Leatherface fight, Drayton grabs the corpse puppet, which is actually the body of his brother Nubbins (the hitchhiker from the first movie) and grabs a grenade that Nubbins had with him but as he pulls the pin, Lefty stabs Leatherface in the stomach with his chainsaw, causing Leatherface’s chainsaw to accidentally cut through the table Drayton is hiding under. Drayton drops the grenade and it explodes, seemingly killing Lefty, Leatherface, Drayton, and Grandpa. Meanwhile, Chop Top continues chasing after Stretch, slashing at her with his knife as he chases her. Stretch makes her way to the top of a mountain and finds a shrine dedicated to the Sawyer’s grandmother. Stretch grabs the chainsaw that is in her lap and manages to start it up and attack Chop Top with it, slashing open his stomach. Chop Top staggers back and ends up falling off the mountain, as Stretch screams out and begins swinging the the chainsaw around.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most felt that even though there was an increase in the gore, the additional comedy took away from the terror of the first movie. The Cannon Group, who were in charge of distributing the movie, wanted the movie cut down to 90-100 minutes so they could have more showings per day, and hopefully making more money. This resulted in several scenes being cut, including a scene featuring the two brothers going out hunting for meat by attacking movie patrons and a group of rioting fans from the game. The movie was a modest box office hit, earning $8 million off of a $4.7 million budget and would end up garnering a cult following after it was released on video.

Even looking at it with fresher eyes, this was honestly a step down from the original. That being said, I don’t think it is as bad as most people think. The acting was ok, with Bill Moseley really stealing the show with his portrayal of Chop Top. I also liked Caroline Williams (Stretch), while Jim Siedow did a good job reprising his role as Drayton, but I felt like Dennis Hopper (Lefty) was under utilized and his role could have really been played by anyone. The story was interesting, but as funny as some of the scenes were, I still felt that the emphasis on comedy really hurt the movie. The end scene with Stretch flailing about with the chainsaw was meant to be an homage to Leatherface’s doing the same at the end of the first movie but it honestly just looked stupid, especially when she was just spinning in circles. The special effects were definitely improved on from the previous movie but even though there was more gore, it just wasn’t that scary of a movie. Kind of a let down of a sequel to a great movie but a decent watch none the less.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

January 7th, 2018 Movie – Leprechaun 3

leprechaun 3

So everyone’s favorite homicidal leprechaun has found himself relegated out of theaters and in the video stores. To be honest, I am not that surprised about that, because that seems to be the way for many horror and sci-fi movies that spawn multiple sequels. What does surprise me is that this was the highest selling direct-to-video movie of 1995. That absolutely blows my mind and actually makes me curious to see just what I am getting with today’s movie, Leprechaun 3.

The plot: In Las Vegas, a terrified one-armed, one-eyed, one-legged man enters a pawn shop with a large sack and tells the shop owner, Gupta, he needs money to get out of town. Gupta opens the sack to reveal a strange statue with a medallion around it’s neck. The man tells Gupta the statue is a “good luck charm” and warns him not to remove the medallion. Gupta pays the man $20 and after he leaves, Gupta takes the medallion off of the statue and examines it. Thinking it is cheap junk, Gupta puts the medallion around his neck and turns around to find the statue is gone and a pot of gold is sitting on his counter in it’s place. As Gupta goes to examine the gold, the Leprechaun, which had been imprisoned in the statue, jumps on his back and bites his ear. Claiming Gupta to be a greedy thief after his gold, the Leprechaun knocks him down and bites off one of his toes but when he goes to kill Gupta, Gupta holds up the medallion and the Leprechaun backs away. Telling Gupta to keep it away from him, the Leprechaun grabs his pot of gold and heads down into the basement, not noticing one piece of gold falling out of the pot as he leaves, and Gupta quickly locks the door behind him. Meanwhile, Scott McCoy is driving into town and as he stares at all of the lights, he almost hits a woman named Tammy Larsen, who was trying to hitch a ride to work due to car trouble. After checking to see what was wrong with her car, Scott offers her a ride to the Lucky Shamrock casino where she works and the two start talking. Back at the pawn shop, Gupta looks up leprechauns online and decides to try and kill it and keep the gold for himself. As he heads to the basement, he finds the shilling and pockets it, missing the computer saying that he gets a wish for each piece of Leprechaun gold he possesses. In the basement, the Leprechaun realizes he is missing a shilling and hides his pot inside Gupta’s safe, then makes plans to find his missing gold. When Gupta enters the basement, the Leprechaun uses a statue to attack him but when he goes to finish him off, Gupta shoves the medallion in the Leprechaun’s mouth, then makes his way out of there as the Leprechaun recoils in pain. Back at the casino, Tammy thanks Scott for the ride and he asks her to help sneak him inside, as he is not 21 yet, and she reluctantly agrees. As Scott wanders around the casino, Tammy gets ready for work as a magicians assistant but when the magician, Fazio, says he wants to try a new act involving setting the box Tammy is in on fire, the casino owner, Mitch, nixes the idea and then demotes Fazio, wanting Tammy to end up being the headliner. Back in the casino, Scott gets dazzled by all of the gambling going on and decides to take his cashier check for tuition and housing and use it to start gambling. Back at the pawn shop, Gupta tries to make a bargain with the Leprechaun, giving him the medallion in exchange for half of his gold, but when Gupta relinquishes the medallion, the Leprechaun kills him. Back at the casino, Scott loses all of his money and Loretta, the table runner, tells him to go to the pawn shop and pawn his grandfather’s watch so he can try to win his money back. Scott heads to the pawn shop only to find it a mess and Gupta lying dead behind the counter. Scott calls the police and as he hangs up, he notices the shilling on the computer and picks it up, waking the computer from sleep mode. When the computer talks about getting a wish from a piece of gold, Scott wishes he was back at the casino on a winning streak and he is transported back there, just before the Leprechaun can kill him. At the casino, Scott is confused but finds himself on a winning streak, despite Loretta’s efforts to rig the table against him. Eventually, the owner shuts the table down and comps Scott a room at the casino, hoping to win back some of Scott’s money later that night or the next day. Scott runs into Tammy and tells her what happened and she is upset that he gambled but when Scott says he wants to split his winnings with her, she tells him to head up to his room and she will meet him after her show. The Leprechaun tracks down Scott and enters the casino, playing a trick on Fazio as he passes by him. When Fazio goes to speak with Loretta, she points out Scott and tells him his winning streak and asks that he steal the gold coin he uses as a good luck charm. In his room, Scott is getting cleaned up when Fazio sneaks into his room and steals the shilling, then punches Scott when he tries to stop him before quickly leaving. As Scott stares at the doorway, the Leprechaun appears with Scott’s room service order and demands his shilling. The Leprechaun proceeds to bite Scott and Scott grabs a knife and stabs the Leprechaun in the head, then throws him out the window. Unfortunately, some of the Leprechaun’s blood mixes with Scott’s blood and begins turning him into a Leprechaun. Back in the casino, Fazio meets up with Loretta and tells her he got the coin but didn’t get the money and Loretta grabs the coin from him as Mitch shows up and tells Fazio to get to work. Seeing the gold coin, Mitch grabs it from Loretta and they start arguing, Mitch wishes that Tammy would sleep with him. Tammy, who is nearby, is suddenly overcome with lust and approaches Mitch, saying she wants to sleep with him, and Mitch quickly leaves with her and heads to his room. Realizing that the coin’s powers work by wishing for something, Loretta sneaks up to Mitch’s room and steals the coin from him, then quickly leaves the room. With the coin no longer in his possession, Tammy comes to her senses and attacks him, then quickly gathers her clothes and leaves as Mitch fires her. As Mitch tries to comfort himself, the Leprechaun sneaks into his room and uses his magic to make a dream girl for Mitch, which comes out of the TV and starts seducing him. Meanwhile, Scott begins randomly speaking in random limericks and craving potatoes. When Scott spots Loretta and asks if she has seen Tammy, she tells him she is in Mitch’s office and a jealous Scott starts to head up there only to encounter a crying Tammy in the elevator. Scott asks her what’s wrong and she says nothing that hasn’t happened before only she was fired and asks him to forget it but Scott refuses, saying that if they don’t do something then Mitch will just do it again to someone else and Tammy goes with Scott up to Mitch’s office. Back in the office, Mitch realizes the girl he is making out with is actually a robot and he is electrocuted. When Scott and Tammy enter the office and see the body, they are confronted by the Leprechaun but Scott throws a bust at it and they escape out the fire escape just as two mobsters that Mitch owes money too enter the room. The mobsters go to confront the Leprechaun but the Leprechaun quickly kills them, then senses his shilling and smells Loretta’s perfume, heading off to find her. Outside, Tammy asks what they are going to do about everything but Scott begins going through some more changes and asks Tammy to help him. Back at the casino, Loretta wishes that she had her younger body back and once her wish is granted, she goes to show it off to Fazio. Explaining what happened to him, Fazio quickly grabs the coin and runs out of the room, then wishes for himself to be the world’s greatest magician. Back in the dressing room, Loretta continues to admire her new body when the Leprechaun appears and begins inflating her chest, lips, and butt. Loretta tries to escape but her widened proportions cause her to get stuck in the door and she ends up exploding. Scott and Tammy head to the pawn shop to see if there is anything there to help them deal with the Leprechaun. When Tammy picks up the medallion, Scott recoils in horror and tells her to put it away. Scott then tells her something is calling out to him and he finds the pot of gold. Tammy says they should destroy it so they can kill the Leprechaun but Scott, becoming more like a Leprechaun, tells her they can’t destroy it. Tammy manages to slap Scott to his senses just as the Leprechaun appears and tries to kill them but they manage to get away and Tammy takes Scott to the hospital, stopping to grab the medallion on the way out. In the hospital, Scott begins changing more and more and is placed into isolation as doctors try to treat him. Sensing Scott turning into another Leprechaun and not wanting any competition for his gold, the Leprechaun makes his way to the hospital to kill him. Tammy gets paged down to the morgue and when she gets there, she finds the mortician dead and is captured by the Leprechaun. Meanwhile, the doctors discover Scott’s money and decide to spend order more needless tests on him but Scott comes too and uses his magic to subdue the doctors and as he gathers his money, he senses the Leprechaun and heads out to confront him. In the morgue, the Leprechaun asks Tammy about his shilling and when she says she doesn’t have it, he threatens to cut off her nose but Scott stops him and the two confront each other but Scott manages to free Tammy and she chases off the Leprechaun with the medallion. The Leprechaun heads to the casino to get the shilling from Fazio, as Scott told him who took the shilling, and Tammy and Scott follow to try and stop him. Fazio is in the middle of an act when the Leprechaun appears and traps Fazio in a box and proceeds to saw him in half. Scott and Tammy show up and tell the crowd to get out of there and Tammy tries to grab the coin but the Leprechaun grabs her. Scott threatens the Leprechaun with a flamethrower and the Leprechaun tries to reason with him, offering the pot of gold if Scott will join him. Tammy pleads with Scott not to listen and Scott turns the flamethrower on the gold, destroying it and causing the Leprechaun to burst into flames and be killed. Scott is returned to normal and Tammy kisses him and as they leave, she reveals that she had grabbed the last shilling, Scott says it is her call if she wants to use it but Tammy says she already has everything she could want and tosses the coin away as the two embrace and head out of town.

I don’t think the luck of the Irish could have helped make this movie more entertaining. The good news is that it isn’t any worse than the last movie, but that really isn’t saying much. Warwick Davis did a really good job in his role this time around and really seemed to be having fun with the character. Unfortunately, John Gatins (Scott) and Lee Armstrong (Tammy) were both kind of boring as the leads in the movie, with Marcelo Tubert (Gupta) and Caroline Williams (Loretta) making for much more intersting characters. The story was kind of interesting and I liked having it set in Las Vegas, as there is probably no better symbolic location of greed than Vegas. I will say that the whole bit about Scott turning into a leprechaun seemed stupid and honestly felt like it was basically a way to add some more time to the movie. The special effects left a lot to be desired and I am going to chalk that up to the fact that this had a limited budget due to being direct-to-video. It is a bit of mindless time killing entertainment but there are probably better things to wast your time with.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 18th, 2017 Movie – Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens

sharknado 4

I have to admit, I am having a hard time focusing on writing today’s blog. Marvel’s The Defenders just debuted on Netflix today and I really want to start watching that. But that will be my reward so let’s finish the task at hand. It has been a whole year since the cliffhanger ending of Sharknado 3, and I don’t know about everyone else but I have been dying to find out if April lived or died. So when the time came, I did what I normally do in these situations and

The plot: Since Fin Shepard stopped the last sharknado that threatened the East Coast, a company called Astro-X has risen to prominence, using their space ship to rescue Colonel Gil Shepard from the moon while also preventing sharknadoes from forming by using their weather control pods to disperse tornadoes before they form. Fin Shepard now lives on a farm in Kansas called April’s Acres with his son Gil and his mom Raye. Fin’s cousin Gemini picks Fin up to go to Vegas, where they are meeting Fin’s son Matt, who is on leave from the military. At the same time, Astro-X founder Aston Reynolds is in Vegas for the grand opening of his new shark-themed hotel. As they wait for Matt in their hotel, Matt calls them from a plane overhead, where he is in the process of marrying his fiance Gabrielle before they parachute onto the hotel roof. As the plane flies over Las Vegas, a sand storm forms and the Astro-X pods are unable to stop it. Matt and Gabrielle jump out of the plane but are caught by the twister and separated. As the sand storm hits Aston’s hotel and sucks the sharks into it, forming a “sandnado”, Fin rescues Gabrielle while Gemini rescues some of the other guests. They make their way to the street and go looking for Matt but when they encounter a flood, they quickly hop onto a hotel’s pirate ship and use it to navigate the flood towards Matt. Matt is eventually able to make it onto the ship, where he hugs Fin and then kisses Gabrielle, while the sandnado leaves the city. As the news comments about the incident and Astro-X’s failure to stop it, Aston contacts his headquarters in San Francisco to have them tell Colonel Shepard that he needs to finish work on his mech suit. In San Francisco, Gil, or Colonel as he prefers to be called, is testing a flight suit for Wilford, a scientist working for Astro-X who also happens to be April’s father, when he is approached by Claudia, who also works there, and is told Aston’s message. Back in Vegas, Fin refuses to give an interview, wanting to hurry back to Kansas to be with Gil but the only way Gemini could find out of the city was by train so they all board the train and head out. Unknown to anyone else, April is still alive, having been remade into a cyborg by her father, who comments on the results on her latest tests as she is recharging. The sandnado makes it’s way through the desert and destroys Hoover Dam, picking up the boulders and debris into it and becoming a “bouldernado”. Gemini sees the bouldernado approaching the train and they work to save as many people as they can while Fin makes his way to the engine and stops the train. Meanwhile, Aston blows up part of the Grand Canyon in order to stop the flood from the Hoover Dam destroying the nearby cities. Aston has Fin and the others brought to see him and asks Fin for his help in reassuring the American public but Fin refuses to be Aston’s mouthpiece. They get a car and make their way to Texas but the bouldernado follows them, where it hits an oil field and becomes an “oilnado”, which quickly becomes a “firenado” when the oil ignites. Fin uses a trencher loaded with fire extinguishers to get close to the firenado, then blows it up in the hopes of putting out the fire. The plan works  and the sharknado changes course but it hits a power plant and becomes a “lightningnado”. Meanwhile, another Sharnado appears in San Francisco while a “lavanado” forms in Yellowstone. As Aston works out a way to take out these new sharknados, April sees a news report and learns that Fin is still alive. She confronts Wilford as to why he lied to her about her family, and Wilford tries to keep her in the lab but she breaks down the door and leaves. The sharknado in San Francisco is heading towards Astro-X, having transformed into a “hailnado”, and as the Colonel and Claudia try to escape, their car is picked up by the storm but they are rescued by April, and they are all surprised to see each other alive. The three head to Wilford’s lab to confront him about what he did, and he claims to have done it to protect them all, then shows the Colonel a completed Mech Suit to use against the sharknado. Meanwhile, Fin’s car gets a flat as they enter Kansas and he calls his friend Colton, who loans him a car named Christine. As they head towards the farm, the lightningnado follows after them and they quickly abandon Christine before it is run over by a shark infested ball of twine. With only a mile to go to the farm, the make a run for it, while Gil and Raye head into the storm shelter. The lightningnado picks up a herd of cows, becoming a “cownado”. Fin and the others reach the farm, where they head to the barn to get some weapons. Matt and Gabrielle head to the shelter but Gabrielle is killed before she can make it in while Gil runs out of the shelter to find his dad. With the storm fast approaching, Fin and Gil head back into the house, while Gemini holds onto the outside as the house is picked up by the storm. Fin is able to rescue Gil and Gemini makes it inside before the house crash lands in Chicago, landing on the mayor who had blamed Fin for the disasters. April, Claudia, and the Colonel learn about Fin’s location and they head there, where April rescues Fin and Gil from the debris, and Fin is shocked to see his wife is still alive. Meanwhile, Astro-X uses their new isotopes to destroy the hailnado and lavanado, but the lightningnado proves resistant and hits a nuclear power plant, becoming a nuclearnado. In  their plane, Fin and April are talking about what happened and April tells him that what her father did was temporary, and they have no idea how long she will live. Fin says he doesn’t care and hugs her, then goes to introduce her to Gil, but Gil says April isn’t his mom. Aston talks with Fin and Gil about the nuclearnado and, along with Wilford’s help, they come up with a plan to stop it. They head towards Niagara Falls, where Aston uses a squirrel suit to fly down to a camp that is set up there and set off a quantum box that will turn the nuclearnado back to a normal sharknado, so the pods can disperse it. Aston turns on the box but it isn’t powerful enough to work and he ends up falling off the cliff when the weakened ground collapses into the falls. When Fin tells the others what happened, the Colonel says that they have another battery in the mech suit they can use so they head to Niagara Falls with it. As the Colonel gets ready to use the mech suit to reach the quantum box, he is swallowed by a shark and the suit ends up falling down the cliff. Fin goes to retrieve it, and he and April head to the quantum box, telling the others to get to safety but Matt and Claudia get swallowed by sharks while Gil, who was placed in a barrel for safe keeping, ends up getting sucked up by the storm and falling into the falls. Fin is able to reach the quantum box and use the mech suit to power it enough to change the nuclearnado back into a regular sharknado but before they are able to disperse it, Fin is knocked off the cliff and swallowed by a shark, which is then swallowed by three more sharks before being swallowed by a blue whale. April manages to rescue Gil, who pulls his little chainsaw out of a rock and proceeds to climb into the whale and cut open the shark inside, rescuing Claudia, then repeating the process with the other sharks, freeing Matt and the Colonel but Fin is unresponsive, April cuts an opening into the whale so she can free the others and then attaches some cables from her power supply to a pair of small shark to serve as a makeshift defibrillator in order to revive Fin. Aston had managed to survive his fall and is alive at the bottom of the falls while the Shepards celebrate surviving another storm when they suddenly see the Eiffel Tower fly through the air before landing nearby, with Nova, who had been vacationing in Paris, standing atop it.

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens met was pretty much panned by the critics, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens loses the ridiculous charm of its predecessors, leaving only clumsy social commentary and monotonous schtick that’s lost its bite.” While the previous movies had a lot of references to Jaws in them, this movie had numerous references to the Star Wars franchise, with the title itself being a spoof of the recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. While The Asylum and Syfy never made public the results of the twitter poll, the trailer for the movie kind of spoiled it by showing April in her training montage while the post credits scene set up a fifth movie, which was announced shortly after the 4th one premiered.

Every time I watch this movie, I find myself going back and forth on how much I like it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie as much as the others, but it’s hard to tell if it was just that I liked certain parts as compared to the movie as a whole. The acting was good, with Ian Zeiring (Fin) and Tara Reid (April) doing good jobs in their roles. David Hasslehoff (Colonel) and Ryan Newman (Claudia) did a good job reprising their roles, while I loved the addition of Gary Busey as April’s dad and Masiela Lusha as Fin’s cousin Gemini. The story was interesting and I loved the fact that they set it 5 years after the last movie, to help explain whether April lived or died, but I honestly felt like there were other aspects of the plot that felt like they used various cultural references to joke about the fact that the main plot was pretty weak. The special effects were pretty good and they did have some very funny scenes in it, with the scene where Fin gets swallowed by a shark and the whole shark swallowing shark aspect until one gets swallowed by a whale still makes me laugh. All told, this is fun to watch but the sum of the various parts don’t quite add up to a great movie.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard