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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

January 9, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Last Sharknado

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #492: The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that will actually miss the Sharknado movies and hopes that both the fine folks at The Asylum and the Sci Fi Channel come up with another worthwhile B-movie franchise for cable TV because it’s something the world desperately needs more of, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and ninety-two, I take a look at the final movie and fifth sequel in the Sharknado franchise, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel back in mid-August of 2018.

Now, like the previous five Sharknado movies, I’m going to review the version that aired on television and not the “unrated” version that was released on DVD. I’d imagine that those “unrated” versions have more blood and violence in them, but, truthfully, I can’t imagine what more we would actually see. The Sharknado movies have gore scenes in them, but, in the end, are they really gore movies?

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

TheLastSharknadoDVD

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, directed by Anthony Ferrante (he also directed the other five Sharknado movies), is a confusing mess of a movie, mostly because it’s about time travel. I’ve always had issues with time travel stories as they rarely make any sense, especially when you start to actually think about them. The Last Sharknado is no exception. However, as long as you just go with the time travel aspect of the story and accept, out front, that what the characters are doing makes sense, The Last Sharknado is entertaining and fun. The characters do seem to understand/believe in what they’re doing, so why shouldn’t I?

Basically, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time has franchise star and hero Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) travelling through time and dealing with various sharknados, including the very first sharknado that appeared during the time of the dinosaurs. Fin is also trying to catch up to his son Gil (played by various people, including the Sherminator hisself Chris Owen), the person who created the time travel capacitor thing in the first place. Along with Nova (Cassandra Scerbo), Bryan (Judah Friedlander and Debra Wilson) and shockingly still alive wife April Shepard (Tara Reid), Fin goes from time period to time period, dealing with the sharknados, trying to keep his team alive, and trying to keep the team from altering history in any major ways. See, Nova wants to alter the past so her grandfather doesn’t die at sea, something that Fin can’t allow because who the hell knows what that will do to time and space? Nova is pissed at Fin’s “rules,” but she doesn’t try to do anything major until later in the movie because, well, she has to survive the sharknados in order to meet up with her grandfather again.

Now, Gil, somehow, used the time travel capacitor thing to save several people who have died in previous Sharknado installments, including, eventually, Skye (Vivica A. Fox, who was killed in the second movie). And Gil takes everyone back to the dinosaur times so they can all start there killing the sharknados. That’s why Fin is sent there, too, and why the movie starts with some shockingly good looking dinosaurs. I mean, they’re not Jurassic World good looking, but for a movie that cost the catering budget on Jurassic World, the dinosaurs in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time look amazing. Even the pterodactyl that April flies around on looks great.

So Fin’s team starts killing sharknados and then, when they’re done doing that, travelling via some sort of portal that the time capacitor thing creates, end up in a new and different time period to, once again, kill a sharknado. On top of the flying killer sharks, Fin and his team also have to deal with, on occasion, “local” people that are, well, bad guys. There’s an evil sorcerer in the medieval times (Morgana, as played by Alaska Thunderfuck), the British during the American Revolution, a sheriff played by heavy metal legend Dee Snider and a guy who happens to be the notorious Billy the Kid (Jonathan Bennett), 1950’s America (maybe. It could be the early 1960’s, too), San Francisco in 1997, and, amazingly, a dystopian future where the cybernetic head of April rules what’s left of the world (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that Fin had the cybernetic head of April in a burlap bag that he had been carrying around but then lost at some point in the past). Fin’s team loses members as the story progresses, with Fin eventually having to save the day at the end with the help of the “real” April. I think.

There’s a lot of stuff going on in the movie and, as I said, the movie’s time travel storyline is confusing as hell. On top of that, I’m not entirely sure why Fin’s team has to kill all of the sharknados through time since all killing one seems to do is breed another one “in the future.” I’m also confused by how “altering time” is only a bad thing when Fin decides it’s a bad thing. Shouldn’t it always be a bad thing? And how does destroying sharknados, especially the very first one, not alter time?

See? It’s all very confusing. It’s best not think about any of it. As long as the characters seem to believe in what they’re doing, the audience should, too. Even if you don’t understand the rules, what difference does it make? It was always going to be confusing no matter what. It’s a time travel story.

The special effects look a little better than they did in the last Sharknado. Again, the dinosaurs look fabulous, and the CGI time portal sequences look decent enough. The sharks, unfortunately, look about the same. You’d think they would look a little smoother, a little more refined by now, but they look the same as they did back in 2013. The tornado special effects are about the same, too. Why the heck don’t these two things look amazing and fantastic and beyond reproach? You’d think they would after six movies. Now, don’t get me wrong, the special effects, in an overall sense, look fine and work and serve the story. I just wish I knew why the sharks don’t look better. That’s what tends to happen with movies that are special effects driven. The effects eventually get better. There is one cool newer shark, though, a robotic one that flies on its own. We only get to see it for a few seconds but it’s pretty terrifying. A full on metal robot shark? Jesus Christ.

Director Ferrante once again does a great job keeping the story moving and entertaining. Since he has fewer celebrity cameos to squeeze in this time around he focusses on Ziering and Reid and their story and relationship along with Scerbo’s Nova. Ferrante should be commended for sticking with the movies and the franchise and seeing the whole thing through until the end. He didn’t wimp out on us, didn’t go artist on us, and he didn’t get thrown off the project. It will be interesting to see what he does next as a director. Does he have another low budget franchise in his future?

Ian Ziering kicks ass once again as the hero of the story, Fin Shepard. He’s got the part down pat at this point in time and he has become Fin Shepard. He’s a little more stoic this time, a little more responsible and not as openly “in on the joke.” Fin even has two sweet and moving moments towards the end of the movie. Years from now, I hope Ziering looks back at this character as a good and worthwhile thing. Yes, he was the star of a ridiculous B-movie franchise, but he did a good job with it for six straight movies and, really, how many people can say they’ve starred in a low budget B-movie franchise?

Tara Reid does a shockingly good job as April. It’s weird how there are times in the movie where April looks thin and haggard and there are times where she, well, doesn’t look thin and haggard. Reid also seems to be completely committed to all aspects of her character, including the cyborg head in a bag. Perhaps she decided to give more than her all this time because it’s the last one in the franchise and she wanted to go out strong? Reid also had more chemistry with Ziering in this one than usual. What the heck is she going to do next?

Cassandra Scerbo does a fabulous job as Nova. She’s kicking shark ass and whatnot, but she’s also worried about finding a way to see her grandfather again and alter his future. You feel for her way more than in the past. Too bad that The Asylum and Sci-Fi didn’t try to do a spin-off with the Nova character and the Sharknado sisters. I would watch that movie.

Vivica A. Fox looks like she’s having the time of her life as Skye. I loved her in the second one and was annoyed when her character was killed off. It’s good to see her back in It’s About Time. Ferrante and The Asylum should have found a way to keep her around throughout the other movies despite Skye dying.

And then there are the cameos. As I said, It’s About Time doesn’t have as many as previous Sharknado entries, but they’re there and, as in past entries, they’re hit and miss. Neil DeGrasse Tyson as Merlin the magician is pretty funny. Alaska Thunderfuck is hilarious as Morgana. Darrell Hammond as George Washington and Ben Stein as Alexander Hamilton probably worked better on paper than it does on screen (they’re both terrible). Dee Snider looks cool as a badass Old West sheriff, but he looks lost and bored in his scenes. Tori Spelling is okay in her part as Fin’s mother Raye, although I’d imagine that her interaction with Ziering will matter more to you if you’re a fan of Beverly Hills 90210. Christopher Knight actually looks like he’s happy to be in the movie in his bit part. Gilbert Gottfried got screwed. And Al Roker once again appears and does a good job as himself.

And then there’s John Heard. Yes, Heard’s George returns, briefly, at the end, despite Heard being very dead in real life. Do you think the archival footage Ferrante uses works here or is it kind of creepy and off putting?

So, is It’s About Time really the end of the Sharknado franchise? Maybe. For right now, yes, it’s the end of the franchise. But, could Sci-Fi and The Asylum want to do more in the future? Could the franchise get a reboot of some sort? I don’t see why it can’t be rebooted in some form. And, heck, if someone has a good idea for another one, why not do it? If the Saw franchise can return after the seventh one, why can’t the Sharknado franchise? Or why not a spin-off? Or what about some other kind of natural disaster/killer animal movie? That could happen, right?

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time is an entertaining end, for now, to the Sharknado franchise. It features a confusing time travel story, but the cast seems to be having fun, and that’s why we all watch, isn’t it? I don’t think anyone involved in the first Sharknado ever thought there would be five more after it. I know I didn’t. I’m glad that the franchise happened, though. The world doesn’t have enough low budget genre franchises, as far as I’m concerned.

See The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Lots.

Explosions: Several, big and small.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Space, low budget dinosaurs, a burlap bag with a cyborg head in it, a T-rex, a giant shark eating a T-rex, a flying dinosaur, a massive meteor strike, meteor eating, a sword fight, sorcery, someone attempting to explain time travel, medieval armor hooey, a sword that’s also a chainsaw, serious face melting, catapult hooey, big ships in the sea, the American Revolution, the Old West, bloody arm removal, a shark that somehow shoots a gun, train car unhooking, laser gun hooey, a shark on a surfboard, a tour boat, an old note, reef hooey, a shark feeding frenzy, robot sharks, cyborg hooey, a weird as hell fist fight, thump gun hooey, M60 hooey, a fight inside of a sharknado, kitchen sink to the head, and multiple people are back to end the series.

Kim Richards?: Probably off screen.

Gratuitous: Space, low budget dinosaurs, Ian Ziering, a Back to the Future reference, a The Flintstones reference, Tara Reid, Tara Reid riding a pterodactyl, time travel bullshit, an awesome animated opening titles sequence, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Tara Reid holding her own head, talk of sword in the stone, a Wilhelm scream, Leslie Jordan as Benjamin Franklin, Darrell Hammond as George Washington, Ben Stein as Alexander Hamilton, multiple Ben Franklin and his key references, Ben Franklin saying “To infinity and beyond!,” Dee Snider as an Old West sheriff, Vivica A. Fox, Dee Snider “I’m not gonna take this anymore,” Gilbert Gottfried, Tor Spelling, a Beverly Hills 90210 reference, Christopher Knight, Bernie Kopell, a post-apocalyptic future, a Deadpool 2 call back, Tara Reid fighting Tara Reid while multiple Tara Reids watch, the Sherminator, a return to the first movie, Bo Derek, Gary Busey, John Heard, and Al Roker.

Best lines: “What are you looking at?,” “April on a dinosaur? Huh,” “Is it really you, April?,” “Your kid’s awesome,” “There it is. The first sharknado. I’m going to need a bigger chainsaw,” “We’ll use the meteors to destroy the sharknado,” “First time ever on a pterodactyl? Yeah. Scared? Nah,” “It’s a time-nado!,” “Holy cosmos,” “You’ve had an unhealthy obsession with that bag ever since we destroyed the dinosaurs,” “I hope that hurt,” “There’s going to be a throwdown now because that head is jealous,” “Get out of their way! There’s a sharknado coming!,” “Stand back! This is a she-mergency!,” “Dragon sharks? Good luck with that,” “I didn’t think this is how I would meet my end,” “Who needs science when you have a dragon!,” “The sharks are coming! The sharks are coming! The sharks are coming!,” “The British are throwing flying sharks at us!,” “How do you know all this? Because I’m a history teacher, dammit, and you’re my history,” “God bless America,” “The British are retreating! Suck it you red coated ninnies!,” “No one messed with Sheriff Rod!,” “Bad weather’s coming,” “What the hell is going on in my town?,” “I didn’t know I could do that!,” “Well, that sucks,” “Tornado! Shark! Sharknado!,” “Hey! You’re Rand McDonald! From TV!,” “You look so familiar. Did we go to school? I would have remembered that,” “Have you really thought out what you’re about to do?,” “My name is Nova Clark. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” “Skye, we don’t have time for this,” “It’s planet of the Aprils!,” “I wonder what Deadpool movie we’re on,” “So this is what happens when you don’t save your wife?,” “What has she done to you, April?,” “Titanium,” “Get away from him you bitch!,” “Do you catch fish with these? Sometimes,” Too late! I control your fate now!,” and “Ready to blow my mind?”

Rating: 7.5/10.0

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Things to Watch Out For This Week

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Killers Within: I saw this badass Irish action/horror flick at the 2018 Scareacon Film Festival and it was, without question, one of the best movies I saw in 2018. Every aspect of the movie sings, with top notch production values, a well told story, and scary as hell monsters that, once they’re revealed, will freak you the hell out. I also want to commend the car crash sequence and the terrific explosion scene that give this movie an edge in terms of excitement when looking at other low budget action-horror flicks. Be sure to see this movie and spread the word about just how awesome it is. I oh so want to see a Killers Within 2. The world needs it.

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Hell Fest: I saw this horror flick on the big screen when it came out in the fall of 2018 and thought it was pretty good. It’s a great idea (people stalked by a masked killer at a travelling horror themed carnival thing) but it needed a better approach to the material. There are just too many jump scares in the movie caused by the haunted house attractions the kids walk through that it’s difficult for the movie to generate suspense. It was cool to see Tony Todd in a theatrical release again. We probably won’t see a part 2, which is a shame. The world needs more horror franchises. Anyone out there see Hell Fest?

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The Car: Road to Revenge: This is some sort of sequel to the 1977 cult classic original The Car. This new one seems to take place in the future and looks like a low budget, direct-to-video sequel to something. That’s not a bad thing, though, really, why has it taken over four decades to get a sequel to The Car? The great Ronny Cox is in this sequel, providing a sort of link to the original. Probably worth renting first, just to see if it’s any good. I think it looks okay. Decent, even.

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Asher: The great Ron Perlman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Famke Janssen star in this lowish budget action flick about a hitman, set to retire, dealing with some hairy shit when his last job goes badly. The movie’s imdb page shows that it’s a shade under two hours, which seems way too long for this kind of movie, but then for all we know those two hours just fly by. The cast is reason enough to see it, so rent it and see if it’s worth owning/watching again. That’s what I plan on doing at some point.

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Nemesis Collector’s Edition: This low budget sci-fi/action classic from the incomparable Albert Pyun finally hits Blu-ray via the fine folks at MVD and the MVD Rewind Collection. Starring Olivier Gruner, this hard to follow but still mesmerizing and entertaining movie also has Tim Thomerson and Brion James in the cast, which is just awesome. This MVD release is a Blu-ray/DVD combo thing and contains two versions of the movie (the original cut and the director’s cut) plus a bunch of special features. This movie has been out of print on easily accessible home video for a long, long time, so this release is an absolute must have for action nerds, sci-fi nerds, and, well, good movie nerds. Check out my review of Nemesis here, and then pick it up. You won’t regret it.

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The 1970’s TV thriller Kolchak: The Night Stalker is first up! Check out what I think about the show with the links below!

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… and coming soon: Street Hawk!

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B-Movie News

DoubleImpact

Upcoming Blu-ray release of Double Impact to include multiple versions?: Yes, apparently that is happening with the upcoming Blu-ray release of the Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick Double Impact, the one where JCVD played two different characters. According to story I saw over at The Action Elite, the movie is getting a Blu-ray release via the fine folks at MVD Entertainment, as part of the company’s MVD Rewind Collection series. On top of the theatrical cut of the movie, there are two more versions of the movie that director Sheldon Lettich has managed to uncover for the release. And one of the versions has an alternate ending. What the heck is that going to be?

Now, the story makes it clear that these alternate versions of Double Impact are from VHS tapes that Lettich had in his possession, so they’re not going to be as clean looking as a full on HD transfer. The VHS versions have been digitized, so they’ll probably look and sound decent, but, again, they won’t be as pristine as a transfer from the original film negative. The Pulse Pounders releases that Full Moon did for The Evil Clergyman. and Trancers: City of Lost Angels were both good looking despite coming from a VHS source, so there’s hope that these new versions will work out. And I’m fairly certain that MVD will spend more on this than Full Moon spent on the two Pulse Pounders releases.

So who else besides me is jazzed for this release? Any Double Impact fans out there?

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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

Ian Ziering– Fin Shepard
Tara Reid– April Shepard
Cassandra Scerbo– Nova
Vivica A. Fox– Skye
Judah Friedlander– Bryan
Debra Wilson– New Bryan
Alaska Thunderfuck– Morgana
Neil DeGrasse Tyson– Merlin
Leslie Jordan– Benjamin Franklin
Darrell Hammond– George Washington
Ben Stein– Alexander Hamilton
Dee Snider– Sheriff
Chris Owen– 30 Year Old Gil
Gilbert Gottfried– Rand McDonald
Tori Spelling– Raye
Dean McDermott– Gilly
Christopher Knight– Grandpa Clark
Bernie Kopell– Charter Boat Captain
Bo Derek– May
Gary Busey– Wilford Wexler
John Heard– George
Al Roker– Al Roker

Directed by Anthony Ferrante
Screenplay by Scotty Mullen, based on characters created by Thunder Levin

Rated TV-14
Runtime– 86 minutes

Buy it here