October 2, 2017 – If horror or science fiction can serve as a touchstone for ‘the times’, then perhaps the Sharknado franchise speaks perfectly to our political climate; its latest chapter, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, most of all. With an alternate subtitle “Make America Bait Again”, it is tacky, it is reality-TV fueled, and most importantly, it serves as a platform, or better yet a trade exchange, for the Coin of the Realm: celebrity and ‘relevancy.’
Click here if you’d like a rundown of what it’s about. I can’t get my head around the plot, even if, on paper, it sounds right up my alley: druids, sharks in tornadoes, space and time travel, secret agents, bla bla bla.
But when watching this horrific shit show on, yes, a large screen at the wonderful Brewvies in Salt Lake City, it struck me that this film is a grand guignol of late capitalism.
Wikipedia offers this contemporary use of the term ‘late capitalism’: According to a 2017 article in The Atlantic, the term “late capitalism” is again in vogue to describe the modern economy. The term had entered mainstream discourse in the United States, albeit with a semantic change or ironic twist. “Late capitalism”, as it became commonly used, has become a catch-all term for various incidents that express capitalism’s distortions, and it is often used in critique and satire. In this usage, there is also a sense that contemporary capitalism cannot go on like it does forever.
And Sharknado is a media driven sensation where celebrities battle for precious seconds of mind share and attention to be seen being eaten by a shark that travels inside a tornado. A platform where newscasters, corporate brands, washed up 2000’s reality stars, former global superstars, politicians and more all appear in the same media production for relevancy and Google search results. Dammit, I want a Harvard Business School case study that analyzes the ROI for Miss New York to secure a guest appearance on Sharknado 5! Would it be larger or smaller than Olivia Newton John’s?
“Did Chillerpop like anything about Sharknado 5,” a reader might ask? Two well-deserved casting chuckles were Charo as the Queen of England and Fabio as the Pope. Current world leadership is probably less qualified and significantly more buffoonish than that. I’m happy that Ian Ziering – always my favorite on 90210 – has become the focal point of this improbable sensation, Tara Reid has … a delightfully annoying raspy scream that always transfixes me.
And I wasn’t immune to loving an out of left field cameo appearance. I’m talking about the Fox (right next to Clay Aiken).
If you have a burning desire to add anything Sharknado to your DVD library, or to support this blog by browsing and shopping Amazon via this link, please consider clicking below.