Sharknado premiered on Syfy Thursday, delivering a made-for-TV movie that shows exactly what its title promises – a tornado chockfull of sharks, live sharks.

Set firmly in Los Angeles, tornados rip along the 405 and up the Santa Monica beaches, dispensing hungry sharks and they speed along. Deaths are numerous, and amputations even more so. The madness that’s unfolding is met by local residents April (Tara Reid), Fin (Ian Ziering), Nova (Cassie Scerbo) and the rest with disconcerting nonchalance.

What’s the cause of all the sharknados? As KTLA suggests in the Syfy movie, the fingers should all be pointing at global warning. The wacky plot is matched with uninspired dialogue and elementary graphics. While it might sound like something destined to disappoint, Sharknado has gotten a general consensus from critics that it’s so bad it’s brilliant.

“It isn't just the lowly production values (rubber sharks, Etch-a-Sketch storm clouds) or how the actors react to airborne sharks with the matter-of-fact casualness of porn stars stumbling upon a laundry room orgy. It's the whole over-the-top insanity of it all, the splendid and glorious belief that if you say even god-awful lines firmly enough, if you look hot while drawing some weapon with which you clearly have no familiarity, if you acknowledge the yawning chasms in plot by saying things like "This is crazy" and "Do you trust me?" often enough, your audience will stay with you.”

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“[Sharknado] should be judged on how well it fulfills the standards of a movie with the title Sharknado. So we must ask different questions of this movie. We must ask: Does it entertain? Does it make us squirm while laughing while reconsidering our commitments to a pescatarian diet? Does it, we must ask above all, give us sharks in a tornado? Yes, yes, and hell yes.”

James Poniewozik, Time

"For all it's faults, and there are many, I actually enjoyed Sharknado. I don't really know how, as it quite possibly was the dumbest thing I have ever watched, but I did. The filmmakers obviously cared very little about actual story, but when your story is about a tornado filled with sharks, does it really matter how much it builds on that idea?"

Amanda Denton, The Hollywood Gossip

Shaknado is bad to the bone. It’s absurd. It’s ridiculous. If you’re a fan of low-budget horror movies and you miss it, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Sharknado tops Syfy’s previous gem Sharktopus as effortlessly as a hungry fish drops out of the sky into the swimming pool at a retirement community.”

Davin Hinkley, New York Daily News.

Sharknado will air again on Syfy Thursday, July 18 at 7/6c.

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