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(CNN) – It all started with Jaws, the cult classic movie that sent millions lunging for dry land. Now, nearly 40 years later, the summer feeding frenzy started anew on Thursday with the SyFy Network luring viewers into its latest bloodbath – Sharknado.
The channel’s newest gem combines – you guessed it – a twister with toothy projectiles.
“These movies envision a scenario in which maybe the victory is not quite as solid as we thought and in order to do that you can't just have normal sharks, you have to have gigantic, dinosaur sharks," said Matt Zoller Seitz, a TV critic for New York Magazine. "We're envisioning a foe that is worthy of us."
Sharknado not only left Los Angeles awash in bloody debris, it left the Twitter-verse flooded in fishy puns and hashtags. The unlikely topic was the top trend on Twitter last night drawing attention from celebrities and politicos with #Sharknado reaching more than 5,000 tweets per minute.
Actress Mia Farrow tweeted simply, “OMG OMG OMG #Sharknado” while Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker got fired up tweeting, “There’s no room in this fight for guppies!”
But despite the shock and awe, Sharknado is not the first low-budget wonder to throw sea creatures flailing into the air.
Surely you remember Sharktopus and Dinoshark? If you haven’t seen them just ask the 5.5 million people who have.
It’s almost unbelievable as the premise itself, but 2010’s Sharktopus had nearly as many viewers as the season six finale of Mad Men.
So how did we get here?
To this land of film where Ian Ziering, the movie’s star alongside Tara Reid, is our only hope? Profits, of course.
With a budget of roughly $2 million each and a viewership of more than equal that number, the SyFy Network can’t go wrong making campy, carnivore films.
“These movies are not accidents. These movies are made very deliberately to be the kind of movies that they are,” Seitz said. “They succeed for the most part and I think the unpretentiousness is a big part of the appeal."
So get yourself a bigger DVR. It seems these fins have fans and they’re going to keep popping up … everywhere.