The danger is upon us, people. I’m talking about the growing threat of Sharknado films. We’ve already had at least three outbreaks: the original 2013 film and subsequent sequels in 2014 (“Sharknado 2: The Second One”) and this year’s “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” And a fourth is rumored to occur in 2016.
If you’re not familiar with the Sharknado films, they’re camp, deliberately over-the-top movies by the Scyfy channel about freak weather occurrences drawing sharks, and sharks only, from the depths of the ocean and dumping them in heavily populated areas such as New York and Washington, D.C. You have to roll with the setup in order to enjoy the movies and watch the citizens continually defend themselves with a myriad of weapons—and that’s where we come in.
Here’s look at some of the firearms used by the Heroic Hammerhead Hunters to good effect in the latest release.
Just nine minutes into the movie, sharks are raining down on Washington, D.C., and crashing through the White House roof. Fortunately, Secret Service Agent Grant Imahara knows exactly how to rock his 15-round 9mm. Imahara’s primary duty is to protect the president, but sadly, he allows the chief of staff (comedian Bill Engvall) to become an appetizer for a testy tiger shark. Karma carries the day as a 4-foot sandbar shark consumes Imahara, who can’t get a shot off from his trusty Beretta.
Model 1911, Mil-Spec
Finn Shepard picks up a pair of well-used mil-spec 1911s from the White House Armory and unloads on a flying 7-foot tiger shark. Even with those tiny original sights, he manages to make serious shark soup. Given the notoriety of the round, it’s no surprise when he blows the ill-tempered fish completely in half. Apparently you can’t go wrong with a .45, provided you have two.
Mossberg 500 Cruiser 12-gauge
When you live in the White House, you get to pick whatever gun you want from the armory. This movie president (Mark Cuban) chooses what appears to be a Mossberg Cruiser with a heat shield. We don’t know if he uses buckshot or slugs, but the amount of shark blood makes it clear he chose well. We have to assume that maneuverability indoors was a key factor in the decision to lose the butt stock.
When Finn Shepard picked up that pair of Model 1911s from the White House Armory, he also strapped on a pair of M4A1 Carbines. Who says you can’t dual wield machine guns? I spotted removable carry handles, shorter round hand guards, collapsible stocks, and full-auto capability. It seems pretty likely that those are M4A1 carbines.
The M4A1 is popular throughout the movie. It’s well represented at Charleston Air Force base and also shows up near the dramatic conclusion, when brave National Guardsmen and Finn’s daughter use them to protect the Space Shuttle from a wall of Sharknados. I’m not sure that 5.56x45mm rounds would be effective against non-Hollywood sharks, but in the movie they do a wonderful job of making shark gazpacho. Thirty-round magazines and full-auto capability seem to really help the Guard personnel address high-speed and high-capacity shark precipitation, at least until they get eaten.
Nova’s Mystery Shotgun
Tough girl Nova uses a spiffed-up mystery gun. I’m thinking there just might be another Mossberg Cruiser under all the accessories. It’s hard to tell, because it’s all Hollywooded up with gear. You can see shot shells on a receiver shell carrier, but the heat shield is different. There’s a tactical light with tail-cap activation switch mounted on the top of the receiver, for some unknown reason. There’s a sizable machete mounted below the barrel, and it has a brass-knuckle grip for close-quarters work. In a pinch, it will even fire .75-caliber mascara (we have no definitive word from the ATF whether this type of ammo is civilian legal). Either way, this is obviously the best shotgun ever.
Nova keeps one of these, along with a number of M16s and M4s in her up-armored RV, which features a turret and some type of plasma gun up top. Child star Frankie Muniz uses that to great effect until…well, I don’t want to offer up a spoiler just yet.
Beretta M93R Pistol
You have to be paying close attention to spot this full-auto machine pistol. It’s also socked away in Nova’s War Winnebago, right behind an assortment of nail polish and eye shadow. Somehow, that’s appropriate.
MZ14 Muzzelite Bullpup Kit
Appearing in a broad range of C movies, this Ruger Mini-14 variant became popular in Hollywood for reliable feeding of blank ammunition. You also might have seen it make appearances in “Terminator 2,” “RoboCop 3,” “Total Recall,” and “Starship Troopers,” just to name a few. Here, ESPN’s SportsNation co-host Marcellus Wiley (U.S. Army Specialist Iverson) fires it from the hip while standing atop the Combat Camper. Effective? We’re not sure, because Wiley gets tail-thwacked by an airborne tiger shark. There’s no word on whether ESPN will be looking for a replacement host.
M61 Vulcan Cannon
While there’s no doubt that this six-barrel, rotary cannon that fires 6,000 rounds of 20mm shells would be effective on flying sharks, the movie amplified its effectiveness by indirect means. Hero Finn and heroine Nova dropped a spare fuel tank in a cloud of swirling Shark-icaine (that’s when multiple Sharknados merge) and ignited it using the M61 Vulcan. Yes, the scene was completely realistic, and yes, Finn and Nova know how to fly an F-4 Phantom fighter jet. Roll with it.
No, a chainsaw of any kind doesn’t qualify as a gun, but can we make this one exception? Apparently, gas-powered Husqvarnas don’t work in the vacuum of space, hence the need for a laser version.
For celestial or earthbound shark slaying, I think our movie heroes would have benefitted by bolting on a Panacea Zombie X Chainsaw. I know it’s designed for Zombies, but I’m confident it would do a bang-up job on soaring sharks.
If you need excellent practical advice on how to slay wind-driven sharks, this film is highly recommended. It’s also got some entertainment value, because it’s so bad that it’s actually good. And who could ask more from a film than dozens of cameos from celebrities such as David Hasselhoff, comedian Bill Engvall, bombshell Bo Derek, former Representative Anthony Wiener, columnist Anne Coulter, the Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, comedic magicians Penn & Teller, author Jackie Collins, and the entire cast of NBC’s The Today Show? If that’s not enough, Jerry Springer has a surprise encounter with a Great White…but I won’t tell you what happens.