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SyFy’s disaster double whammy: “Sharknado” and 9 other horrifying weather movies

(SyFy) (SyFy)

Thursday night, SyFy debuts the movie “Sharknado”, starring Tara Reid.  The premise? Tornadoes suck sharks out of the Pacific Ocean before unleashing them over Los Angeles, terrorizing the city.


Without even having seen the movie, it looks to be legendary for its awfulness – which probably makes it worth watching.

Here’s the preview…

The movie fits perfectly into the genre of terrible, low budget disaster flicks which are such train wrecks that they’re hard not to watch (and the secret to their appeal).

Replete with melodramatic, bad acting, they tend to follow this kind of script (although each movie introduces its own wrinkles):

* Some kind of ridiculously unrealistic storm – of epic proportions – threatens a city or even civilization.

* A scientist knows it’s coming but an evil, cynical politician does nothing because he doesn’t trust the scientist and/or fears he’ll incite mass panic.

* The storm hits, while the main characters – screaming at the top of their lungs – are chased by the storm. Meanwhile, cars turn into projectiles, buildings are obliterated, and casualties mount.

* In the end – the scientist somehow saves the day and the most likable main characters survive.

Sharknado’s inclusion of flesh-eating fish makes it a disaster double-whammy, preying on society’s fears of both storms and sharks. It ought to be good.

Below find previews for 9 other made-for-TV weather disaster movies of this sort. I found them Googling “worst weather movies”. No doubt, I’ve missed some gems.

In the spirit of transparency, I have only watched one of these 9 movies in its entirety: Category 6: Day of Destruction. I’ll never got those 175 minutes back but I was entertained at the time, I suppose.

Let us know if you’ve seen any of these films and any impressions you had…

Ice Twisters (2009)

2012 Ice Age (2012)

Absolute Zero (2006)

Metal Tornado, (2011)

500 mph Storm, (2013)

Polar Storm, (2009)

Super Cyclone, (2012)

Category 6, Day of Destruction, (2004)

Arctic Blast, 2010

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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Dan Stillman · July 10, 2013

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