Everyone’s favorite Syfy franchise is back — and it’s bigger, badder, and shark-ier than ever. Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (yes you’re reading that Star Wars reference correctly) premiered Sunday night to offer more sharks, tornadoes, and cameos than any previous Sharknado movie.
Taking place five years after the events of the third film, Fin (Ian Ziering) and his gang have to deal with the “traditional” sharknado as well as a few curve balls: a lightningnado, oilnado (that quickly turns into a firenado), a cownado fighting a sharknado, and the final climactic battle against a nuclearnado. With three different opening title sequences, you would think the film couldn’t get anymore epic, but you’d be wrong. April (Tara Reid) can spontaneously create lightsabers from her hand. That lovely addition is just one of hundreds of moments that need mentioning, but we’ve headed straight into the eye of the storm to compile the best of the best here.
Extreme spoilers and many images that may frighten the art house film crowd to follow.
1. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… SHARKNADO! The first (of three) openings is a fitting Star Wars-esque text crawl.
2. Cheryl Tiegs makes the first celebrity appearance — not so much as a cameo, but as Fin’s mom, Raye. She takes care of a 5-year-old Gil… who, if you will remember, was born inside of a shark at the end of the last film. (Tiegs is clearly not on set in this opening shot; it looks like she’s talking to a wall while a PA reads lines to her off-screen.)
3. Here we go! Carrot Top, the first “real” cameo! What other way to introduce him than as an Uber driver in Las Vegas, picking up Fin and his cousin Gemini (Masiela Lusha) as they try to meet up with Matt, Fin and April’s older son (Cody Linley).
4. It seems the producers want as many cameos right out of the gate, so they throw in Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe playing craps and Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas himself, singing to no one.
5. Matt and his fiance, Gabrielle (Imani Hakim, a fresh face to the Sharknado franchise), get married on an airplane, and the “wedding” is officiated by Dr. Drew.
6. When the sharknado hits the fan, the Astro X program, set up in the end of last film, is supposed to neutralize the threat, but even The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Brandi Glanville and Erika Girardi are unable to stop it as convincing scientists.
7. A Chippendales dancer hip thrusts a shark flying at his crotch.
8. Even though there’s no beach around, Fin takes his new daughter-in-law, Gabrielle, for a spin as he surfs through the air in a car, using the doors as wings.
9. Fin and David Faustino sword-fight sharks aboard Adventure Island’s boat.
10. Despite how the movie tries to persuade us to think she’s not, fans did decide to save April. She’s alive and endowed with a core that needs charging (think Iron Man), thanks to her scientist father, Gary Busey.
11. April pulls an old Ford truck in her training montage.
12. She also has a voice-controlled arm that can wield lightsabers. “May the force be with you.”
13. The Queen of QVC, Lori Greiner, makes a televised cameo as the creator of a “Sharknado Preparedness Kit.” Shark Tank meets Sharknado!
14. Fin, Matt, and Gemini need to stop a bouldernado, so they hit up a chainsaw store run by Dog the Bounty Hunter and Caroline Williams, who brings as many Texas Chainsaw Massacre jokes as she can muster, including references to her “brothers,” Chop Top and Gunner.
15. There’s an oilnado … and then it completely combusts, as oilnados do.
16. Reporting these many sightings of new tornadoes is Ron the anchorman, played by Gilbert Gottfried.
17. Stacey Dash is the Mayor of Chicago, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West (the movie said it, not us). It wouldn’t be a Syfy film without a political joke… right?
18. There’s also a lightningnado, chasing the nation’s largest ball of twine full of sharks, chasing Fin in Steve Guttenberg’s car… fittingly named Christine.
19. A sharknado meets a cownado, and a cow kicks a shark in the face.
20. Surviving the pandemonium of so many ‘nadoes, the gang heads to grandma’s farm, where Fin finds the ultimate chainsaw weapon, a T-cross Kylo Ren inspired sword.
21. Fin and April reunite! April had survived believing her entire family was killed. (Come on, April, they’re main characters.)
22. Stassi Schroeder, Lisa Vanderpump’s ever-present thorn in her side from Vanderpump Rules, plays a highly convincing manager of Astro X’s New York department.
24. The end of the film brings the Shepard family, and Stassi, face-to-face with a nuclearnado at Niagara Falls. It’s okay though, Fin borrows his dad’s mechanical suit, which allows him to fly. Oh, and April can fly all on her own.
25. Despite their great efforts, all of the clan end up eaten by sharks. But don’t worry! Young Gil wields a baby chainsaw to save them all. Fin is the last to emerge, and just when you think it’s too late, April hooks up her internal wires to two baby sharks to act as defibrillators and saves him.
Well, that’s it. They’ve done it all. What could they possibly think of for Sharknado 5? A KardashianNado taking on the OlsenNado, perhaps?