Monsternado (2023) Review
Monsternado is, as far as I can tell, a first, this obvious rip-off of the Sharknado franchise marks the first time somebody has turned the tables and mockbustered The Asylum. And it probably won’t be a surprise that Scott Jeffrey is involved with it.
Matt (Derek Miller, Firenado, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) is wandering around his house muttering about things that shouldn’t be happening for years or decades when he catches a report about waterspouts heading for the East Coast of the US. This really concerns him because it has some connection the the Northern Lights being seen over the Bermuda Triangle, which proves what he’s been saying for the past twenty years.
Oblivious to all of this, human trafficker Clive Delaney (Jase Rivers, Freddy’s Fridays, Unhinged Retribution) is hanging out in a luxury hotel on the coast. He’s also unaware that FBI Agent Pamela (Danielle Scott, Snake Hotel, Conjuring the Plastic Surgeon 2), and her buddies from INTERPOL, Tina (Lila Lasso, Three Blind Mice, The Loch Ness Horror), and Pepper (May Kelly, Mega Lightning, Graphic Desires) are there to put an end to his activities.
Matt goes to the authorities, who are skeptical enough when he talks about The Bermuda Triangle. When he starts talking about prehistoric creatures, they’ve had enough, even though you can see them sticking out of the funnel cloud. Stranded in the city, Matt seeks refuge in a hotel, yes the same one that our Charlie’s Angels wannabes are in.
Directed and produced by Tyler-James, whom Scott Jeffrey aka Scott Chambers (The Mutation, The Final Scream) swears isn’t a pseudonym for himself and/or Rhys Frake-Waterfield (Croc!, Shockwaves), and written by star Derek Miller, Monsternado almost defies description in how ridiculous it is. How did pterodactyls and giant bugs get in a waterspout? Don’t ask.
Also, don’t ask why people don’t notice the Monsternado as it hits land and comes up behind them. They just keep calmly walking along, even as their friends get sucked into it. Maybe it’s a ninja twister, and they can’t hear it, or perhaps its winds don’t extend past the funnel cloud itself. That might also explain why the unnamed city, which looks a lot like London, has no wind or rain even after the critters show up. But by the time one of the agents pulls a gun on the hotel manager and gives her a fatal heart attack and the twister races down a street without so much as breaking windows, I was beyond being surprised.
I’m not sure if the film was being intentionally ridiculous, trying to duplicate Sharnado’s off the wall plotlines, or if it was meant seriously and the script was that clueless. But whether intentionally or not, it isn’t funny. It also isn’t particularly scary, with the characters wandering around and getting offed by the monsters in a fairly predictable order. The human trafficking subplot is an even bigger joke, it’s simply there, so the three actresses can run around in skimpy outfits. And if that’s what you’re after, at least one of them has shown a lot more in a couple of Jeffrey’s “erotic thrillers”.
As for the monsters themselves, I don’t recall seeing the octopus before, but the rest are just recycled CGI templates from the producer’s previous films. Even the creature from H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal makes an appearance in the prologue, so I guess R’lyeh is somewhere in The Triangle as well. Monsternado’s effects range from acceptable to terrible, with most of them on the lower end of the spectrum and the climactic scenes with the octopus being hysterically awful.
I wasn’t expecting much from Monsternado, but I was hoping it would at least provide a bit of cheesy fun. Sadly, it falls short of even that modest goal and ends up being as far below the films it’s mockbusting as The Asylum’s films tend to be below their targets.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Monsternado on DVD as well as to Digital Platforms on November 14th. If you’re looking for something similar but hopefully better, FilmTagger can give you some suggestions.