Just as quickly as a real tornado can form and overtake its surroundings, so too did the social media storm that erupted around the Syfy Original Movie Sharknado last week. Somehow it ended up being a perfect storm that sucked in snarky Twitter commenters from all walks of life, although the movie’s title and premise really weren’t particularly unusual given their pedigree (really, was Sharknado any sillier than Mansquito or Sharktopus?).
Perhaps Sharknado simply marked the point at which Syfy Original Movies broke through to a wider audience, even though they have been popular among their traditional young adult base for years in their usual Saturday night time slots, and in their temporary Thursday night spots this summer.
Or it could have been social media peer pressure, folks feeling compelled to contribute to something that was trending so mightily and that sounded so fun and ridiculous and seemed ripe for a sarcastic comment or two. Comparing the explosion of conversation on Twitter about Sharknado with its actual viewer ratings, it ended up being reminiscent of sex-talk in a high-school boys’ locker room — some people had apparently not actually experienced what they were talking about so confidently.
There will be no excuses this Thursday, however, when Syfy re-airs Sharknado, ahead of the Frankie Muniz-starring premiere film Blast Vegas (an update last Friday announced that Sharknado is replacing a re-air of the movie Sand Serpents, so sorry, fans of that movie). Was the Sharknado craze a one-time fluke, or can Shark-ning strike twice? (Hey, if Syfy can make up words, so can I.)
(UPDATE 7/16/13: A Syfy update says that this re-airing of Sharknado will be a “special Social Media version.” Not sure what that fully entails just yet, but the trailer below says it is “featuring the best Sharknado tweets.”)
If you missed it the first time, you can see Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and John Heard in all their C-movie glory (along, of course, with flying sharks). If you did see it the first time, you can watch again and tweet out those jokes you wish you had thought of earlier.
And if you think Sharknado has lost its force and been played out, stay tuned for what’s next in the Syfy shark movie forecast — Ghost Shark (yes, it’s the ghost of a shark that kills people), coming Aug. 22.
And still no word on when that other Syfy “-nado” movie — Stonados – will finally air, if at all, after being pulled from the schedule in April. Perhaps, at this point, it will be forever doomed to live in Sharknado‘s social media shadow.
UPDATE 7/17/13: Unsurprisingly, a sequel to Sharknado – Sharknado 2, set in New York City — has been greenlit for production, with an expected 2014 debut. Syfy is soliciting feedback from fans via Twitter for an appropriate subtitle to this follow-up film. Submissions can be given to the Twitter handle @SyfyMovies, using the #Sharknado hashtag.
UPDATE 8/5/13: Syfy will be re-airing Sharknado for a third time leading into Ghost Shark on Aug. 22. Sharknado will air at 7pm ET/PT, and Ghost Shark at 9pm ET/PT, on Aug. 22.
Syfy re-airs Sharknado Thursday, July 18, at 7pm ET/PT.
Sharknado photo: © 2013 Syfy Media, LLC