TV film 'Sharknado' inches to cult status with midnight showings
By Eric Kelsey
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three weeks after its premiere, "Sharknado" is still raining down great whites and hammerheads for the U.S. cable television network Syfy - and even splashing them across movie screens.
The campy, low-budget TV disaster movie about a hurricane that unleashes an aerial shark attack on Los Angeles has proven that a B-movie can still be a big cult winner, especially when social media acts as its marketing machine.
"You can't replicate something like this, you can't force-feed it - it just sort of happens," director Anthony C. Ferrante said ahead of special midnight "Sharknado" showings in 200 U.S. theaters on Friday.
Syfy already has ordered a "Sharknado" sequel and although the film is not yet a month old, it is drawing comparisons to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," the 1975 cult classic that has made its mark as a midnight feature.
"Sharknado's" debut on July 11 drew an audience of about 1.4 million - slightly under Syfy's average for made-for-TV films - but it generated a significant 5,000 tweets per minute at its peak.
Top-shelf tweeters included "Rosemary's Baby" actress Mia Farrow, "The King of Queens" actor Patton Oswalt and "30 Rock" actor Judah Friedlander, who each enjoy large Twitter followings.
"The irony is that I thought we'd probably get the horror fans but the best we could hope for is the midnight cult following just because it was so strange and then it blew up," Ferrante said.
The film, which stars former B-list actors Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, has its lead characters attempt to save Los Angeles from "sharknados" with chainsaws and bombs as the killer fish eat their friends and destroy landmarks such as the Hollywood sign. Continued...