You might be surprised to learn that, even on its worst day, the Sharknado franchise brings in nearly 3 million viewers. That's "million." Not a typo.
Learn that and more fun facts in this week's story from movie critic Steve Persall, who interviewed Sharknado director Anthony C. Ferrante. The purveyor of Syfy's staple series is appearing at Tampa Theatre, along with a screening of his original finned film. It's all tied to Shark-Con at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Why does this movie franchise work? There are theories, including the fact that people really, really dig sharks. But I have my own.
They're so bad, they're good.
There's a tipping point a film reaches, when it's so affected, so badly written, so hackneyed, it becomes nearly perfect. It's a kind of transcendence. So Bad It's Good is my favorite kind of movie to watch with friends, over some So Bad It's Good food, like a pizza out of the Walmart deli case.
Sharknado certainly qualifies, but what else? Suggestions to get you started on your own SBIG journey:
The John Waters flick is a subversive take on suburban life, but the important thing to know here is that it was filmed in "Odorama." That's right. You can order scratch and sniff cards and follow instructions when told. The results are pleasing and horrifying all at once.
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)
Folks dress, dance and sing for this like they do the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This musical is about a repo man, but instead of taking back your car, he takes back your body parts. It was produced in part by former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules and stars Paris Hilton. Enough said.
R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet (so many years)
This is technically Kelly's rap opera, with 33 chapters from 2005 to 2012. But it has a DVD element to tell the story of Sylvester, who hides in a closet after a one-night stand. It goes awry. And more awry. It's really too much to explain. The singer of questionable repute recently said he has 35 more chapters coming.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Let us never forget the time Samuel L. Jackson bravely battled all those snakes on the plane after that gangster put them in the cargo hold. The profanity here is practically poetic. A finer scramble for antivenin man has never witnessed.
The Room (2003)
Tommy Wiseau's independent gem of weirdness about a love triangle has history's most awkward sex scenes. It also has the kind of cult following that can only be amassed through dialogue as dynamic as this: "You don't understand anything, man. Leave your STUPID COMMENTS IN YOUR POCKET!"