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Thunder Levin: Sharknado & Modern Jewish Films

Jewish Filmwriter Thunder Levin Plagiarizes From Spielberg’s Jaws


Last week, the latest pop culture phenomenon exploded when SyFy network unveiled the new movie, Sharknado.

During the premier, Twitter exploded with 5,000 tweets per minute about the movie. In all, 318,232 tweets about “sharknado” were posted that night.

The movie explores what happens “when a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace.” (sound familiar)

Back in 1975, Jewish filmwriter Steven Spielberg wrote Jaws about “a giant man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers”. Jaws won three Academy Awards and was number 48 on American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time.

In “Sharknado”, Thunder Levin shamelessly plagiarizes from Spielberg but also goes beyond “Jaws”.

“Sharknado” is literally a storm made up of sharks… Michelle Castillo from CBS reported that:

“There were some difficulties, especially because the executives were concerned that the film was becoming too ridiculous. A particular point of contention was the part where the main character chainsaws his way out of a shark. It has since become one of the film’s most iconic scenes.”


Los Angeles Times journalist Mary McNamara wrote:

“Oh sure, it’s easy to pick holes in a story about a weather system that makes it possible for sharks to fly and take to the streets, but that’s the whole point of movies like this: fabulous in-home commentary. Often accompanied by the consumption of many alcoholic beverages.”

While McNamara did mock Sharknado, she ultimately claimed:

“It’s the whole over-the-top insanity of it all, the splendid and glorious belief that if you say even god-awful lines firmly enough, if you look hot while drawing some weapon with which you clearly have no familiarity, if you acknowledge the yawning chasms in plot by saying things like “This is crazy” and “Do you trust me?” often enough, your audience will stay with you. Which is the creative spirit that drives this town, shared by the masterpiece and the utter mess alike.”

Therefore, Sharknado reflects the current film industry and modern American culture as a whole. Thunder Levin plagiarized the same themes examined by Spielberg in “Jaws” and took them to an outrageous extreme. Yet, his audience was somehow still entertained.

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