Why Zombie Tidal Wave is an excellent successor to Sharknado

ZOMBIE TIDAL WAVE -- Pictured: Ian Ziering as Hunter Shaw -- (Photo by: BROBOND ENTERTAINMENT/SYFY)
ZOMBIE TIDAL WAVE -- Pictured: Ian Ziering as Hunter Shaw -- (Photo by: BROBOND ENTERTAINMENT/SYFY) /

The brilliantly campy team that brought you the Sharknado universe unveiled the next (hopeful) franchise in the mix, Zombie Tidal Wave. And it’s hilarious fun.

The team of Ian Ziering (Hunter Shaw in Zombie) and Anthony C. Ferrante (director, writer) have created a unique vision. They did it with Sharknado 1-6, and now we got the first iteration in the Zombie Tidal Wave universe. Their unique vision is inspired by the campy classics of old, in the case of Tidal Wave, the Italian cult filmmaker Lucio Fulci, whose blood-soaked beloved films spanned five decades and earned him the nickname, the “Godfather of Gore.” Lucio Fulci would have been proud of the gorily exuberant Zombie Tidal Wave revealed on Saturday. In these overwrought times, these films provide humor, self-deprecation, but most of all, a lot of engaging fun.

Zombie Tidal Wave—and Sharknado movies before—are just a big party. It’s a successor to crowd-engaging events like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the first Zombie proved that it’s a very worthy heir to the Sharknado franchise.

“What you want to do is get your beer and your popcorn and watch the show,” explained Lincoln Bevers, who acknowledged that he’s the film’s “douchebag” during San Diego Comic Con interviews, a tidbit that Ferrante gleefully echoed. Dressed in an obnoxious pink (and hot-looking) golf shirt—in the debilitating heat of Thailand, the equally obnoxiously named “Blaine,” Bevers was perfectly cast as the quintessential 80’s jerk. He lived up to his reputation.

Zombie was delightfully goofy, and we need to see more.

There were so many priceless moments that nailed this genre, that Sharknado/ZTW is giddily bringing back. The moment when Hunter Shaw (Ziering) turned to Sheriff Kameo Akoni (Erich Chikashi Linzbichler), and said with all the serious gusto Ziering could muster, “It’s zombies,” the movie had me in the palm of its hand.

“It’s so much better than Sharknado 1,” said Ziering at San Diego Comic Con. “We’re not trying to deliver James Cameron. I’m working within the playing field, for the audience that I’m trying to appeal to, and I think we’ve done that.”

Zombie Tidal Wave also took Twitter by storm and unleashed a flurry of creatively funny tweets.

The wheelchair zombie was everything, and I absolutely lost it at this point.

The nod to Lucio Fulci was awesome, including the cheekily named The Fulci’s band, that produced another hilarious must-see moment, with Will Jay battling zombies with what else? A ukulele of course.

Uncle Ray—aka Shleton Jolivette—had some of the funniest lines, including “Jada, don’t you have something else to do?” When he kept running into his zombified niece, who seemed to always find him in the hospital they were holed up in.

The one liners were like butter: “Zombie nuts roasting on an open fire,” or this moment:

There was no chainsaw this time, but Hunter Shaw employed a variety of weapons, including massive electrocution, a taser-Samurai sword, grenade launchers, even a longboat motor propeller (another gem), but perhaps my favorite moment came when Shaw enticed the blue zombies to follow him, pied-piper style, which I think is now my favorite meme from the movie.

I loved the nod to Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (and other movies), deploying a woodchipper to dispatch some of the blue monsters.


Fun fact? I don’t know of any other director who has helmed six movies of the same genre in a row, a tidbit Anthony C. Ferrante was happy to talk about at SDCC.

“One of the things that I realized with Sharknado is that I think I’m only one of the filmmakers from beginning to end that has done six movies consecutively. [Stephen Spielberg] had five with Indiana Jones… Blake Edwards came close, but he didn’t do Inspector Clouseau, so I even beat Blake, even though he did do more Pink Panther movies. He took a break and that was technically cannon.

“It’s weird, but I have to have some badge of honor with these.”

You can see more of the interviews here:

dark. Next. SDCC: Snowpiercer is finally coming to the small screen

Zombie Tidal Wave was an event (you can watch it on replay), and it was a blast. Ziering and Ferrante are keeping the summer tradition of bringing a schlocky, entertainment event to create parties around every August.

Let’s hope that SYFY gives the nod to greenlight a second movie. In these times, we could all use a very good laugh.