Today we kick off a month of Syfy Channel movie reviews starting with a book that will guide you through them, How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters: Fight Back When Monsters and Mother Nature Attack (say that three times fast).
How to Survive a Sharknado is a fun little book covering various scenarios in Syfy Channel films that all share a common theme: humanity has messed around with Mother Nature and boy is she pissed. Despite being called How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters, this survival guide focuses a lot more on the “Other Unnatural Disasters” part of the title. The first Sharknado movie gained quite a bit of popularity as a “so bad it’s good” film, but Syfy Original Films have been like that for a long time. Curious filmgoers should not that back when Syfy Channel was called Sci-fi Channel, these films were referred to as Sci-Fi Picture Originals. Any of their movies made from 2001 to 2009 will fall under this category if you go to look things up.
This handy-dandy survival guide is divided into two main sections and each of those is made up of two sub-sections. The first big section is Unnatural Disasters and begins with Fighting Mother Nature. This sub-section highlights situations from films that are a combination of natural disasters and animal attacks such as Arachnoquake and of course Sharknado. The second sub-section is titled When Earth Attacks and covers films that deal with extreme (i.e. statistically improbable/impossible) natural disasters like Ice Twisters, Stonados, and Swamp Volcanoes. Part II of the book is simply dubbed Monsters and that is what it deals with. Its first sub-sections covers monsters that attack on land, such as Bigfoot or a Sabretooth Tiger, while the second deals with creates that attack at sea like the Sharktopus or its rival the Pteracuda.
Not every piece of How to Survive a Sharknado is pulled directly from a Syfy Channel movie. There are some unnatural disasters that author Andrew Shaffer made up for this book. These are most prevalent in the Fighting Mother Nature section which features events that are similar to (and just as outrageous as) a Sharknado, such as a Boaricane (boars + hurricane instead of sharks + tornado) or a Dinoami (dinosaurs + tsunami). The back of the book contains a filmography section for the film origins of each creature/disaster covered in the book, but it is not 100% complete. For example, even though one of the monsters covered is a Sabretooth Tiger none of the Syfy movies featuring the big cats are listed.
Each monster/disaster entry in How to Survive a Sharknado is composed of vital information, a brief introduction, a history of the monster attack/disaster incident, what to avoid doing if you find yourself face-to-face with this thing, and how you are going to survive your experience. Every entry also has a side note or two with varying information related to whatever is being covered, from extra survival tips to how to make some seafood steaks after a Sharknado has littered your street with fresh, free fish.
If you are a fan of Syfy Channel movies, How to Survive a Sharknado is a very fun little read. As a pocket sized book with a little over 200 pages and lots of pictures readers can easily go through the whole book in an afternoon. It does not cover anywhere close to every film Syfy Channel has made (the Filmography section lists 23 films; Syfy has made over 10x that many) but is a good starting off point for people interested in B-grade monster/disaster movies. To keep things going for interested readers, Literature is Life will be reviewing films NOT covered in How to Survive a Sharknado for the rest of our Syfy movie month, leading up to the review of Sharknado 4.