It’s almost here, the most anticipated sequel of the summer! No, we’re not talking about Jason Bourne, or Star Trek Beyond. We’re talking about the franchise-- the only franchise that has great whites and hammerheads rain down from the sky on unsuspecting victims as the chompy and swim through the air above American cities. We’re talking about the franchise that has golden and laser chainsaws, sharks flying through space, and people plunging themselves out of helicopters to blow up a hurricane from the inside. The franchise that has featured more celebrity cameos than an entire season of Entourage and more absurd explosions than a Michael Bay movie. We are, of course, talking about Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens.
Sure, Syfy’s Sharknado franchise has been relentlessly lambasted by critics, but why listen to critics? If you like some mindless entertainment that kills a couple of hours, then look no further than the Sharknado movies. Where else can you see a grown man leap head first into the belly of a shark only to have him cut his way out using a chainsaw? Nowhere. This B-movie franchise has been described as “so bad, that it’s good,” and we would have to agree. Honestly, we can’t wait until the fourth installment drops next weekend, as much as we are ashamed to admit it.
Here are 15 Things We Want to See In Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens.
15 Pro Athlete Cameos
As we’ve seen from way back when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s played a clueless airline pilot in Airplane! and more recently with LeBron James in Trainwreck, pro athletes can be just as comical as they are athletically talented. Athletes with comedic chops are always a blast to watch on screen. It should really be a kick in the pants to most comedians, whose only day job is to be funny. Even the roles that don’t quite work (anybody remember Kazaam?) have the chance of being unintentional knee-slappers.
Given their tendencies to feature every celebrity under the sun, the Sharknado franchise is the perfect stage to sport some hilarious pro athlete cameos. The third installment already had some amusing entries, even NASCAR’s Joey Logano, who had one line of dialog: “That.” With so many possibilities, who wouldn’t want to see John Cena shoot sharks full of lead, or see Shaquille O’Neal smash some sea creatures with a giant club?
Athletes vs. sharks, especially featuring O’Neal, could even lead to a possible spinoff series. We can see it now, Shaq-nado! The marketing practically writes itself!
14 Bigger and Badder Chainsaws
Every awesome action hero needs an equally awesome weapon to use as they fight evil. Rambo is never seen without his survival knife, the Bride vanquishes her enemies with her Hattori Hanzō sword, and Fin Shepard’s weapon of choice from Sharknado is his trusty chainsaw. Ever since he daringly went head-first into the mouth of a great white and sliced his way out of the belly of the beast, Fin has kept a mechanical saw close by, just in case more sharks ever rear their ugly heads. And, of course, they always do.
It's no bother to Fin however, because his chainsaw wielding skills are impeccable. Each mechanical blade somehow, against all logic, becomes bigger and meatier with each passing shark attack. It seemed that the ante had been upped to the max when a laser chainsaw was revealed in Sharknado 3-- the kind of weapon Dr. Evil would be proud to have. Of course, if history has taught us anything, the chainsaws in The Fourth Awakens will be the most outlandish ones yet. Say your prayers, space sharks!
13 Actor Cameos
While you would think that the Sharknado franchise has become famous for its cheesy dialog, second rate special effects, and overly bizarre plots (and you would be right), it has also become popular thanks to the enormous amount of celebrity cameos featured in each movie. The list of actors who have cropped up in these movies goes on and on, with names like Frankie Muniz, Andy Dick, and even Matt Lauer and Al Roker from The Today Show. Half the fun now of watching these movies is finding out which actor you might be able to spot before their head is taken off by a great white shark.
It seems that Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens is pulling out all the stops to bring us one of the most jam packed list of cameos we’ve seen yet. Among the list of names that have already been confirmed is Vince Neil, Corey Taylor, David Faustino, Lori Greiner, Jay DeMarcus, and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton. While most of the cameos have been revealed, Syfy could still be hiding something up their sleeve to really shock us. These movies need to have Adam West in them at some point, if only for how funny he would be in them. Also, given his cameo in Piranha 3D, ex-shark hunter Richard Dreyfuss could make an unexpected appearance as well. We also have another name that would make an awesome cameo, but you’ll find him further down the list.
12 Star Wars Inspired Scroll
Perhaps it's very subtly placed, but Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens title is actually a riff on the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens (don’t feel bad if you missed it). The poster art is also heavily inspired by Awakens, with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid taking the place of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, looking ready to take on this movie’s army of flying killer fish. Since the marketing is so gung-ho on poking fun at the most recent entry in the space saga, would it be too much to ask then that Sharknado 4 kicks off with a Star Wars inspired opening crawl of their own?
The floating crawl drifting through space has become a staple in Star Wars movies (even though Rogue One won’t be featuring one), and if Fourth Awakens is already lampooning the saga then why not start our story with a recap of the last adventure? We’d imagine it would go something like this,
“It is a time of peace. Five years have passed since the rebellion won their victory over the devastating Sharknado on the East Coast by blasting the evil fish from outer space.
National hero Fin Shephard and his family are enjoying a period of bliss, but that’s all about to change when the most devastating Sharknado anyone has ever seen hits harder than ever . . .”
11 An Absurd Amount of Other Star Wars References
Like Family Guy and Robot Chicken, and more recently Netflix’s Stranger Things, most TV shows and movies aren’t afraid to show their love for everything Star Wars. We’ve already mentioned (again, in case you missed it) that the title, poster, and trailer for this Sharknado sequel all go heavy on the Star Wars nods, and while we’re expecting an opening crawl, we’re also expecting a hefty amount of gags and references to George Lucas’ highly influential space opera.
We’ve already seen a laser chainsaw in the third installment, so it could be all but assured that we get a lightsaber chainsaw duel in Fourth Awakens. While there isn’t usually a human antagonist, it might be a cool idea to throw an evil bad guy into the mix and watch Fin go toe-to-toe in a chainsaw fight. Of course, if anyone is to represent the evil Empire in these movies it would be the sharks themselves.
For those who have stayed clear of the terrible shark movies of the past, let us introduce to you the concept of the mecha-shark. Half robot, half shark, and all killing machine, the mecha-shark is a cyborg-fish hybrid that is meaner, faster and deadlier than your average great white. With the Sharknado franchise being no stranger to science fiction, as the third movie even journeyed into the final frontier, a robotic shark is logically the next step for the series to take.
Every sequel needs to up the ante, and there’s no better way to do that than introducing a cyborg shark. Honestly, the series has already gotten away with goofier things than this, so a mecha-shark should be easy enough to whip up. For an explanation, we’re picturing that the government might try and weaponize a Sharknado, like they do in many sci-fi movies. In order to increase their strength, they make a string of cyborg sharks that they lose control of, and it’s up to Fin and his ragtag group of compadres to put an end to the madness. The possibilities of a mechanical shark are almost endless, with machine guns, motorized dorsal fins, and maybe even some frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads.
As we said before, every good sequel has to up the ante in some way. It’s going to be hard to up that ante from Sharknado 3, which had sharks in space, golden chainsaws, and David Hasselhoff himself piloting a space ship to blow up the biggest sharknado we’ve seen yet. Sharknado 4 is going to have to live and die by the code "bigger is better," and what could be better than a shark of mammoth proportions?
Giant creature features are always a way to grab an audience’s attention. Needless to say, everyone is already frothing at the mouths with the Godzilla vs. King Kong announcement from Warner Bros., and even more so after that awesome Skull Island trailer recently dropped at Comic Con. We love to see towering movie monsters go full beast-mode, smashing buildings and stomping on cars, so the Sharknado franchise could take a page out of that book by making the biggest sharks we’ve ever seen: mega-sharks.
8 Lots of Gary Busey
With his kooky performances as a befuddled cop in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a psychopathic criminal in Lethal Weapon, Gary Busey has certainly made a name for himself as an actor who has taken some unsettling roles. In Sharknado 4 he’ll certainly be continuing this trend by playing Wilford Wexler, April’s father and a lead scientist at the mysterious Astro-X. We can only speculate on how important Busey’s role is to the plot, but we’re hoping, due to how much fun he is on screen, that it’s pivotal.
Ever since the first Sharknado, it seemed that Busey would have been a perfect fit for the franchise given his sporadic behavior and even more erratic facial expressions. Picturing the actor wielding a chainsaw or flamethrower as he rips sharks apart is enough to make us grin, so when we actually see it on the small screen it should be a dream come true. Not to mention that in this movie, he’s going to be playing a scientist. A scientist! If there’s anyone who has the brilliant idea to weaponized a sharknado, it would be none other than Gary Busey.
7 Sharknadoes Explained
As we watched the absolute carnage and mayhem as sharks rained down on unsuspecting victims in the first movie, one terrifying thought crossed our minds: could a sharknado really happen? The short answer is: of course not, at least not to the extent that they do in these movies. The only threat that flying sharks would really have would be accidentally crushing us, because there’s no way these things survive that long without water. The mere notion of great whites and hammerheads living long enough inside of a tornado and transporting them inland is absurd in and of itself, although it does make for a terrific B-movie.
While the sharknadoes don’t exactly obey the laws of science, the franchise has never really offered a concrete example of why these crazy storms are just starting to crop up. There are brief mentions of global warming being the cause, but it doesn’t necessarily explain why these storms have the ability to capture sharks and keep them in the eye of the storm. It’s probably a pipe dream, but maybe The Fourth Awakens will finally provide a concrete answer for why sharknadoes exist in the first place, as ridiculous as the reasoning might be.
6 Las Vegas Destroyed
In the first Sharknado, Los Angeles was torn apart by terrible winds and great whites raining down into rain storms and backyard pools. In Sharknado 2: The Second One, New York City was demolished and devastated when a sharknado, bigger than before, hit the Big Apple. Then Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! provided the biggest storm yet, reaching all the way from Washinton D.C. to Orlando, Florida. Every city that gets hit by one of these things gets blown to smithereens, and the next one on this list is Sin City itself, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Already having been demolished by both Godzilla and the goofy big-headed aliens in Mars Attacks!, Vegas is frequently stomped upon and blown up, especially in B-movie creature features. Sharknado 4 looks like it’s cooking up the biggest storm yet, and planning to unleash it on everyone’s favorite gambling hot-spot. If there’s one thing we know about these movies, it's their undying love for gratuitous destruction. That means we’ll probably see the Bellagio getting blown up and the Palazzo getting picked apart as angry sharks tear up unsuspecting weekend gamblers. As if it’s not bad enough losing your life’s savings, you cap it all off by getting eaten by a shark. Not the best vacation.
5 Donald Trump
“Making America Shark Free Again.”
Like we’ve already mentioned, the Sharknado franchise has become famous for two thigs: flying man-eating sharks and gratuitous celebrity cameos. We’ve already discussed the possibility of different pro athletes and guest actors getting their share of screen time, but we thought that, given his new political status, Trump himself deserve a special entry on this list. He’s no longer just a celebrity, but a presidential candidate. Whether that’s a good thing or not, we’ll leave up to you, but one thing can be agreed upon: a cameo by him in one of these movies would be absolutely hilarious.
After business tycoon Mark Cuban’s cameo as the President of the United States in the last movie (who wields a machine gun as he blasts sharks in the White House, mind you), everything was on the table for celebrity cameos. How funny would it be then to see Trump actually play the President in this movie, while he’s actually nominated in real life? It’s a long shot, sure, but let’s all remember that Trump had a reality show starring himself at one point. Given their knack for featuring every celebrity under the sun, a Sharknado role isn’t out of the realm of possibility even for a presidential candidate.
4 Time Travel / Dinosaurs
It seems that the Sharknado franchise is hitting all of the big tropes when it comes to the genre of science fiction. The last movie had our protagonists journey into space to defeat the evil sea creatures, and as absurd as that sounds, these movies aren’t about logically explaining science. How is it possible for sharks to breathe in space? It isn’t, but who cares? These films are about making things as bombastic and outlandish as possible at this point. It seems like just the right time to introduce the concept of time travel, and maybe even some dinosaurs into the mix.
Like we’ve seen with Men in Black, time travel is kind of like a last-ditch effort when you’ve run out of ideas to do. The creative team behind Sharknado's creative juice has to be running dry by this point, so the next logical step would obviously be time travel. Perhaps Gary Busey’s scientist character creates a time machine to stop the Sharknadoes from ever happening. By mistake, Fin and his team travel back too far to the prehistoric era, where there aren’t just sharknadoes, but megalodon-icanes! Now that’s an idea for a sequel.
3 Space Themed
Given that the series has already gone to space once, it should be all but assured that the franchise takes us back there for the fourth installment. It should be even more assured given all of the Star Wars influences that we’ve seen so far, and the fact that the Hoff’s character, who sported some pretty handy spacecraft piloting skills, is back in the mix.
We know that the majority of the movie takes place in Las Vegas and we’re still amped about seeing some sharks tear apart casinos from the inside out. That being said, we’d be a little disappointed if the movie didn’t dip back into outer space. It’s easily the most enjoyable part of Sharknado 3 because it was so unexpected. Even though we’re already anticipating it for this movie, it would still be a fun ride so see Fin, April, and the rest of the gang suit up to laser-fry some nasty space sharks.
2 Other Animal Storms
It’s been parodied and hinted at by the media since the first installment: if there are sharknadoes, what other devastating animal storm might we eventually see in these movies? Certainly sharks inside tornadoes (which are really more like tropical storms) is a deadly prospect, but it opens the doors for other catastrophes we’d never thought possible as well. Surprisingly enough, the idea was never considered for the many sequels, but that could all change with The Fourth Awakens.
Audiences of these movies have been clamoring for a different animal storm since the franchise's inception in 2013. Given the franchise’s keen ability to not take itself too seriously, we have a world where we could get a "bear-icane"-- huge gusting winds that carry grizzly bears, black bears, and even polar bears. Or how about a "wolf-alanche"-- a huge avalanche of white wolves somewhere in the arctic. Perhaps the bear-icanes, wolf-alanches and sharknadoes all meet up, and they do battle with one another. The ideas are almost limitless in this crazy world that Sharknado has set up, so why not take advantage of it?
1 Sharknado 5 Cliffhanger
It’s no secret that Sharknado has become one of Syfy’s most valued properties, as crazy as that might sound. Everyone from your next-door neighbor to your grandmother has heard of these movies, and every time a new one is released, even if you told yourself that you didn’t want to watch it, you end up watching anyway. And that’s perfectly fine. You shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying Sharknado, it’s just a piece of mindless, entertaining fun.
In fact, so many people are enjoying this franchise that The Fourth Awakens is already the third sequel produced in just three years thanks to the bizarre concept’s popularity. And if enough people tune in watch this newest one, which they surely will, a fifth movie won’t be too far behind. Like the third installment, we’re banking that The Fourth Awakens ends on a cliffhanger that inevitably sets up the next chapter in the franchise. What that will be is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it ends with the team going back in time prevent the sharknadoes, or maybe it ends with a race of alien sharks gearing up to invade Earth. Whatever cockamamie plot that they choose, you can bet we’ll probably tune in to watch that as well, just for the pure mindless fun these movies are so good at providing.
Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens debuts on Syfy on July 31st, 2016.