Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)

Sharknado4At this point you kind of have to accept the “Sharknado” movies will never be as good as the novels, so going in to “The 4th Awakens” means embracing it as a movie, and a media experience. It has a slew of appearances and cameos from notable internet personalities like Andre “The Black Nerd” Benjamin, to character actors like Gilbert Gottfried. Yes, even the Chippendales dancers appear to thrust against some sharks. “Sharknado” is a virtual side show of a genre offering that holds its tongue firmly in cheek, even when turning hero Fin in to a basic rip off of Ashley Williams from “Evil Dead.”

Ian Ziering is back as Fin, a hero who has enjoyed peace and quiet in Kansas for five years after doing battle in “Sharknado 3.” Leaving his young son Gil (ugh…) to be at his oldest son’s wedding in Las Vegas, Fin and sexy sidekick/cousin to Fin, Gemini travel to the city. As Fin’s son Matt prepares to wed his new wife while skydiving from an airplane, a sandstorm is suddenly whipped up in the middle of the city bringing with it a brand new wave of killer sharks of all kinds. Said sharks always happen to land at just the right spots, taking off victims’ heads and arms, all the while delivering a new foe for Fin and his rag tag group of aquatic heroes to battle. Besides Fin, there’s David Hasselhoff as Sharknado fighter Gilbert Shephard and scientist daughter Claudia, played by Ryan Newman.

There’s also Sharknado expert and space fighter Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) on the team, and the return of heroine April Shephard played by Tara Reid, who is bionic–or something. And did I mention Masiela Lusha as sidekick Gemini? If for no other reason, “Sharknado 4” deserves watching for Lusha, who steals literally every scene she’s in. “Sharknado 4” knows exactly what kind of movie it is; Asylum and Syfy haven’t invested in a stern science fiction series. They understand why these movies are relevant, and try to take the mythology to new levels of absurdity. This includes introducing new types of “nados,” fighting mech robots, and there’s even a huge battle with a giant ball of yarn.

Granted, “Sharknado 4” is pure stupidity, but it revels in the schlock and demands nothing but the utmost scene chewing from its entire cast. Even if you hate these movies, you have to at least kind of admire the mythology it’s tried to carve since the “Sharknado.”

Premiering on Syfy, Sunday, July 31 at 8PM ET/PT.

Visit Sharknado Online and on Facebook.