Killer clouds of plasma no match for 'Sharknado 2'

Tuesday , July 29, 2014 - 8:49 AM

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to watching Syfy …

Last July, the Syfy Network introduced us to the campy B-movie horror flick “Sharknado.” The made-for-TV movie was about a freak tornado out over the Pacific Ocean that sucks up all manner of hungry, angry sharks from the depths of the sea and deposits them — still very much alive and well — throughout a rapidly flooding Los Angeles that is populated by some of the worst actors this side of a Rob Schneider film.

Well, on Wednesday, Syfy will premiere the sequel to that destined-to-be-a-classic — “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” And this time, our dizzy shark friends will be switching oceans to take a bite out of The Big Apple.

If we had cable TV, you can bet the Saals would be hosting a “Sharknado 2” viewing party on Wednesday evening — complete with a menu that included fish sticks and cheese. Plenty of cheese. But alas, I’m much too cheap to pay for my television broadcasts these days, so I’ll likely just wait for it to come out on Netflix.

Still, Wednesday’s premiere definitely sounds promising. The original “Sharknado” was indeed so bad it was good, and if there’s one thing sequels have taught us, it’s that they never measure up to the original. Which, following this so-bad-it’s-good logic, means “Sharknado 2” should be even worse. Or, in other words, even better.

Yes, expectations are high for Wednesday’s premiere. After all, this is the same sweet network that helped bring the world such cinematic unforgettables as “Sharktopus,” “Piranhaconda,” “Frankenfish,” “Chupacabra vs. The Alamo,” and the upcoming “Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda.”

All of this Hollywood nonsense is, of course, taking our minds off the very real potential disaster facing us these days: that of a massive, catastrophic solar storm. Apparently, the Sun likes to let off a little steam now and again, shooting these clouds of plasma out into space. Recently, physicists announced that the Earth barely missed being hit by one of these things two years ago. (Thanks for the heads-up, eggheads.)

If one of these plasma clouds were to strike the Earth’s atmosphere — and according to NASA, there’s a 12 percent chance of this happening in the next 10 years — it would be lights out for Planet Earth. Quite literally. A severely damaged power grid would result in widespread, extended blackouts and crippled satellite communications. And to top it all off, most of us wouldn’t be able to flush our toilets, either, because many urban water supplies rely on electric pumps.

Oh, the humanity.

Not that the Syfy Network will ever be airing a horror movie called “Plasma Clouds!” anytime soon. It just sounds too, well … fluffy. Besides, Syfy likes these hybrid stories that combine two scary things into one. Like these ideas I had for future made-for-TV movies ending in exclamation points:

• “Cactopus!” — An elderly group of snowbirds in a small Arizona town begin disappearing one-by-one at the hands of a large saguaro cactus with eight thorny, tentacled arms.

• “Poultrygeist!” — A suburban family, unaware that their new subdivision was built atop an ancient barnyard, is terrorized by ghostly chickens.

• “Tornadoughnuts!” — After a twister destroys a huge bakery complex hundreds of miles away, pastries begin raining down on a major metropolitan city. Sure, on the surface this sounds like a happy movie. But soon enough, middle aged guys like me start dropping dead of heart disease.

• “Earthquakies!” — Scientists discover that a series of killer seismic events are the product of a rogue grove of quaking aspens located near a fracking site deep in the Rocky Mountains.

• “Tsunamaste!” — A tsunami hits a small Northern California coastal community, washing ashore a horde of zombified yoga instructors in the process. An aging Bruce Willis leads the townsfolk against the menace, dispatching each surprisingly flexible zombie with his catchphrase “Namaste, mother(bleep)er!”

• “Elderado!” — A series of tornadoes deposits Mormon missionaries on unsuspecting folks’ doorsteps throughout the Midwest.

Sorry, scientists, but compared to the ideas above, a movie about clouds of plasma disrupting electricity hardly seems horror-worthy. Ooh, but how about this: The gamma rays from the plasma cloud irradiate a traveling circus, creating a bunch of murderous mutants, and suddenly you’ve got …

“Plasma Clowns!”

Now that’s horror.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at

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