Map: The Bizarre Geography Of 'Sharknado'
We're not going to tackle the hilarious premise of Sharknado: that a tornado has enough force to pick up a shark right out of the water and drop it off at TCL Chinese Theater (that's been done). Nor are we going to consider whether the best way to beat a sharknado is riding helicopter to the edge of the funnel and throwing bombs into it (don't knock it 'til you've tried it).
No matter how much craziness was happening on screen—a chick in a bikini stabbing a shark with a cue stick, our hero escaping a shark's intestines with a chainsaw, Tara Reid trying to act—we couldn't help but pay attention to the bizarre, strangely condensed geography of the movie. If only the ocean, our skyline and most iconic landmarks were all in one place!
Our heroes start out in a Santa Monica untouched by the forces of gentrification. From a laid-back, beachy dive along Santa Monica Pier they head to Beverly Hills (where the emergency services are "second to none"). They're trying to make it up the 405 Freeway to Van Nuys, which is where things really go off the rails.
Nevermind how ridiculously difficult it is to take cross the Sepulveda Pass. It's the shooting locations that drive us nuts. The characters, who are supposed to be near the 405, take a jaunt along the 6th Street Bridge downtown. We even get a view of the downtown skyline. The Hollywood sign ends up being ripped off its perch in Griffith Park and crashing right on top of a failed actor (one of the most disposable Angeleno stereotypes). One "shortcut" through the Sepulveda Pass and untelevised high-speed car chase later, they end up at their final destination: an airport in Van Nuys where our characters (quite literally) enter the belly of the beast.
Check out our own "Sharknado" map that traverses 38 miles:
View Geography of Sharknado in a larger map