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Nov 01

Stonados (2013)

"I'm not 100% certain, but I think a big rock did this."

“I’m not 100% certain, but I think a big rock did this.”

Twitter Plot Summary: A science teacher and a weatherman team up to prevent a freak tornado filled with stones from destroying Boston.

Genre: Sci-Fi

Director: Jason Bourque

Key Cast: Paul Johansson, Sebastian Spence, Thea Gill, William B Davis, Jessica McLeod, Miranda Frigon

Five Point Summary:

1. She has the smallest tour group ever. Do you think she gets job satisfaction?
2. Exposition involving a science teacher and a weather man. Suuuure…
3. Has he not thought to warn the authorities rather than just shouting into a megaphone at people? Also: weather technobabble!
4. Oh look, exploding stones. Of course.
5. How do you make driving through an assault course of exploding stones look dramatic? Erm… well the answer is you don’t.

From the same great minds that gave us Sharknado (or at least, that would be the case in an ideal world) we have the equally atrocious Stonados. Same concept but instead of sharks in the tornado, it’s stones. Big, big stones. Sold on it yet? Well you should be, because Stonados takes all that is big and dumb about Sharknado and turns it up to 11, albeit in smaller more controlled bursts. It’s also got far better acting than that Tara Reid-starring travesty of a movie. This can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on your attitude towards low budget sci-fi/horror movies. Stonados succeeds just because it’s a silly idea backed up by serious Z-list performances.

The story, such as it is, sees a freak storm create tornados that suck up big stones and threatens the city of Boston. Er, that’s about it. Into this weather-related mix are a science teacher (convenient) and a weather man (oh, even more convenient) who just happen to be old friends. it’s up to this pairing to work out how to stop the freak tornados and to save Boston. One would assume the answer to that is “let the government deal with it”, or so the theory goes. Our two guys are insistent that something big is coming, but the authorities don’t want to hear it until it’s too late. Same old, same old. You’d think they’d just up sticks and move out of the area whilst shouting “I TOLD YOU SO!” out the window. But maybe that’s just because I know where it’s going. The key to these cheap SyFy TV movies is that, no matter what the situation, the ordinary people caught up in events feel obliged to help. Don’t worry about the mortal danger that will probably follow you and your family, as long as you save everybody else, all of whom probably couldn’t care less.

Even from a great distance, they could feel the extreme effects of Meat Loaf's chronic flatulence.

Even from a great distance, they could feel the extreme effects of Meat Loaf’s chronic flatulence.

Efforts are made to make the oncoming storm seem much more dramatic than the special effects can imply – some serious, dramatic music mixed with the concerned faces of local Bostonites, occasionally in slow motion, are counterbalanced by blatant CGI. The fact that every death is hilarious seems almost an afterthought. Unfortunately there aren’t more comic death scenes (there’s quite a few, but not enough), and there isn’t a constant sense of threat, more one that comes and goes as it sees fit. Which technically, being a weather related phenomenon, is probably an accurate concept. But when the stones start exploding, that’s when things get genuinely silly. Thankfully, as previously mentioned, one of our lead characters is a science teacher so he conjures up a ridiculous plan that will save the day. Because apparently everybody else with a scientific background was on holiday that day.

Of course being such a cheap production, and being made for TV, it will never look amazing, and the running time ensures it doesn’t stick around any longer than is necessary. Meanwhile the script includes just enough to keep you engaged – relationship stuff, a family missing a parent, and silly yet surprisingly tame death scenes. In every other respect it’s typical daytime SyFy fodder, but a little more abstract silliness would’ve elevated it above and beyond the likes of Sharknado. Go figure.

Favourite scene: The woman who didn’t believe them tries to make amends by apologising. And then…

Quote: “I think we might have ourselves a very big problem.”

Silly Moment:¬†Well, it’s clearly the fact it’s a tornado throwing giant rocks at people. That good enough for you?

Score: 2.5/5

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