Pop culture laugh tracks like Mystery Science Theater 3000 wouldn’t exist without fans' love affair with crappy movies. The Sharknado franchise is proof positive that even a ridiculous idea can make its way into the television-viewing world's collective consciousness. Fueled by social media and America’s bizarre adoration for Syfy's deliberately bad monster mash-up movies, the series has become a staple for the network.
With this premise in mind, Syfy’s made-for-TV monster-disaster camp series keeps churning out new entries. And just when you thought it was safe to venture near tornadoes (wait, what?), along comes more shark-laden twisters to wreck up the town.
Today, Syfy and The Asylum publicized the cast of their latest stormy shark franchise, Sharknado 4 (wacky subtitle unknown). The fourth film in the unlikely series will showcase franchise stars Ian Ziering (Lavalantula) as Fin Shepard, Tara Reid (Ravenous) as April Wexler, as well as David Hasselhoff (Baywatch) and Ryan Newman’s (The Thundermans) return as Gil and Claudia Shepard. The latest film will also feature a host of celebrity cameos and smaller roles, with Tommy Davidson (Black Dynamite), Gary Busey (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris), Cody Linley (Melissa & Joey), Masiela Lusha (George Lopez), and Cheryl Tiegs (The Apprentice) – with additional notable guests yet to be announced.
Currently in production, director Anthony C. Ferrante (Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!) is helming Sharknado 4 from a script by Thunder Levin (who also wrote Sharknado 3). The sequel starts roughly five years after shark-laced tornadoes ravaged the East Coast. In the interim, the cast has been enjoying life without swirling shark storms, but now the toothy creatures and their corresponding windstorms are about to make a return. Here’s the description from the press release:
"Fin, his family and the cosmos have been blissfully sharknado-free in the intervening years, but now sharks – and ‘nados! – are being whipped up in places (and ways) least expected…"
Naturally, Sharknado 4 ponders the question: how many times can you stretch a ridiculous premise for the sake of a few bucks and some notoriety. Hollywood, and Syfy ususally answer: as long as people keep watching them. Clearly, as long running horror franchises like Friday the 13th, Saw, and Insidious prove, there is always someone willing to continue a goofy premise until they run it into the ground. Of course, for so-bad-it’s-good films like the Sharknado series, whose tongues are firmly planted in their cheeks, the real issue is whether or not the film is diverting enough to even carry the ludicrous plot and goofy special effects.
As of Sharknado 3, though, even the silly fun seemed to be losing its enjoyment level. The third film couldn’t even manage the meager 59% rating of its predecessor on Rotten Tomatoes. But since the Sharknado series clearly isn’t in contention for any Emmys, it will probably keep on spinning as long as it maintains some degree of metahumor and stays a fun popcorn movie – and pads Syfy’s wallet.
Sharknado 4 is currently in production for Syfy. Screen Rant will keep you posted with more news as it is made available.