Logo for sci fi movie Sharknado 5 on DStv

Ian Ziering, Bret Michaels, Tara Reid

In this cult sci fi movie, bartender-turned-international shark hunter Nova uncovers a druidic relic under Stonehenge used to control sharknados, back in ancient times. When she removes the relic, she awakens a primordial sharknado that warps space and time, and draws battle-hardened sharknado experts Fin and April Shepherd to fight again, when their son Gil is trapped in the toothy storm.


With much of America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado – and its up to Fin and his family to travel around the world, to stop them. The film takes in London, Australia, Egypt, Brazil, the US and Japan as the sharknado wreaks global havoc.


The SyFy channel debuted a deliberately silly film called Sharknado in 2013, which saw a tornado filled with sharks literally raining terror on Los Angeles. The film paired low-grade special-effects and cheesy dialogue with cameos from C-list celebrities – and became something of a cult sensation. Five films later, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming sticks to the same format – and even manages to throw in a political reference with the tagline ‘Make America Bait Again’.


Global Swarming’s celebrity cameo list is as long as expected, with appearances from Fabio (as the Pope); Charo as the Queen of England – and Chris Kattan as the British Prime Minister. Gilbert Gottfried plays storm chaser Ron McDonald, and Today Show amchors Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb appear as themselves. Also cast in cameos are Clay Aiken, Tony Hawk, Olivia Newton-John, Bret Michaels and Margaret Cho – with many more surprises along the way.


The film franchise is also famous for referencing classic films – right from the Indiana Jones-inspired font in the title sequences. In Global Swarming, keep an eye out for references to An American Werewolf in London, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mad Max: Fury Road and Grease – as well as a threatening ‘Sharkzilla’ which targets Japan.


Director Anthony Ferrante says that the film series has come full circle from something of a ‘love to hate’, to a fan favourite. “Kids love it. Families watch it. They like it because it’s a movie-going experience that they can just have a party, and it’s kind of wholesome despite people getting their limbs ripped off,” he says. “I think what it’s morphed into is this thing where we have these two leads – and Cassie has been in three of them - that have followed us through the course of these movies. It’s an ongoing story that people are invested in. They like the fact that it’s just silly and fun and ridiculous and absurd. There’s this energy of desperation making these movies. It’s not always polished, but they see that we’re having fun and that we’re doing it for them”.