Entertainment & Arts

Sharknado 4 confirmed by Syfy as third film premieres

Tara Reid in Sharknado Image copyright Syfy
Image caption The fate of April - played by Tara Reid - will be revealed in Sharknado 4

A fourth instalment of cult TV movie phenomenon Sharknado has been confirmed, with fans getting to decide what happens next.

The announcement was made as Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premiered on US TV on Wednesday on the Syfy channel.

It ended with a piece of space shuttle hurtling towards April, played by Tara Reid, and the caption: "You decide if #AprilLives or #AprilDies".

Sharknado 3 will premiere on Syfy in the UK on Thursday.

As the film reached its cliffhanger, a voice-over informed US fans they would find out the outcome of the Twitter vote and April's fate in a fourth instalment of the franchise.

"Now's your chance to be part of Sharknado history," it said, "You decide if April lives or April dies.

"Her fate will be revealed in Sharknado 4. Because we're not done yet!"

'Precedent-setting'

Reid confessed the twist came as a surprise to her too, telling the Hollywood Reporter: "That was a shocker! I didn't expect that!"

"I think that's going to be a big turning point for the franchise. It gives it some excitement, and it's giving the fans a chance to interact.

"No matter what happens, I'm proud to be a part of this phenomenon."

After the first two films saw a tornado of sharks hitting first LA and then New York, Sharknado 3 sees the action moving to Washington and Florida.

The made-for-television disaster film also stars Ian Ziering as Fin and David Hasselhoff as Fin's dad, as well as cameos from Jerry Springer, Bo Derek and former X Factor stars Jedward, who recorded the theme song.

Image copyright Syfy / AP
Image caption Ian Ziering plays Fin in the Sharknado films

The Sharknado franchise has taken social media by storm, with the first two films generating more than a billion tweets between them. Sharknado producer, Chris Regina, hopes this latest stunt will prove just as engaging.

"I'm hoping that we're going to break the internet this time with the "April lives, April dies" at the end," Regina told Hollywood Reporter.

"I think it's going to be precedent-setting. I can't think of an instance where another network has done something of that nature at the end of an event. Hopefully it's a TV first."

But despite fans' interest in the franchise, it has yet to win over the critics.

"Having now watched "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" I find myself in the position of having to write about it. And I am not sure which is worse, really, or even how to proceed," said Robert Lloyd, writing in the LA Times.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Tara Reid and Ian Ziering have starred in all three Sharknado films

The Telegraph's reviewer Michael Hogan found the film, "so self-referential and in-jokey that the franchise is in grave danger of eating itself."

He added: "It frequently felt more like Victoria Wood's wobbly-setted soap spoof Acorn Antiques than a proper production."

IGN's Matt Fowler writes that it is "often shockingly awful" and concludes: "Sharknado 3 is bad, as it should be. As it must be.

"I only wonder how much time we're all willing to devote to something that's now totally awful by demand."

Fans can vote for what they want to see happen in Sharknado 4 on Twitter or on Syfy's dedicated website.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! airs on Syfy in the UK at 22:00 BST on Thursday 23 July.

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