BEVERLY HILLS

"This is a twister with teeth!"

So declares weather man Al Roker as the action amps up in "Sharknado 2," the wild, crazy, and oh so deliciously outlandish sequel to last summer's cheesy TV sensation.

The film, directed by Antioch native Anthony C. Ferrante, made its public debut Monday night at the TV critics press tour during a pool-side party at the Beverly Hilton. Those in attendance hollered, cheered and laughed while sipping on potent drinks called Shark-tinis and as puffy, inflatable sharks hovered above.

The event, attended by stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, stood in stark contrast to the distinct lack of hype that with which the Syfy Channel released "Sharknado" last July. But upon its airing, the low-budget film unleashed the kind of incredible, out-of-the-blue social media storm that assured nothing connected with this franchise will ever be quiet again.

Indeed, while the sequel, which debuts July 31 on Syfy, features just slightly better production values, it is louder and splashier. In short, there's more bite for the buck -- and more chain saws.

Also, more people have joined the campy fun. "Sharknado 2" is stuffed with cameo appearances, including Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, and Robert Klein, to name a few. And as the horror mounts, "Today" show partners Roker and Matt Lauer provide breathless, straight-faced updates.


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The premise remains the same, only the cities have changed. This time it's New York, not Los Angeles, getting hit with an epic, freakish storm that sends thousands of chomping sharks hurtling through the skies and onto the streets.

We're not about to spoil the party, so you won't get many details about the razor-thin plot right here. Just know that the film starts with a plane flight into JFK that gives new meaning to the word "turbulence" and that sharks infest the subway system and even storm their way onto CitiField during a Mets game.

Alaso know that Ziering, who actually spent a few brief, scary moments in the belly of a shark during the original, once again makes a heroic attempt to save the day -- with the help of a game Vivica Fox.

And somewhere during all the craziness, Judd Hirsch poses the question we have all yearned to be answered:

"What does the inside of a shark smell like?"

Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney, or Twitter.com/chuckbarney