After ‘Sharknado,’ Ian Ziering battles a ‘Zombie Tidal Wave’
When you don’t have sharks left to fight, what’s next?
Well, zombies ... at least in Ian Ziering’s view.
Also back in Fox’s current “BH90210” sequel series, the actor is returning to action-horror turf after surviving six “Sharknados.” He and a fellow veteran of that movie franchise – writer Thunder Levin – devised the story for “Zombie Tidal Wave,” making its Syfy debut Saturday, Aug. 17. Ziering is a producer as well on the thriller, which also brings back another “Sharknado” alum, director Anthony C. Ferrante.
“After doing those movies and realizing the need for content, I figured, ‘Why don’t I try to do something on my own?’ ” Ziering reflects. “I’ve got a production company, and I always wanted to branch out. It was right around the time of ‘Sharknado 2: The Second One’ that I recognized the formula Syfy looks for in its movies, and I pitched them ‘Zombie Tidal Wave.’ And I knew that once I got the green light from them, finding financing would be pretty easy.”
Though he was ready to go at that point five years ago, Ziering explains “Zombie Tidal Wave” was delayed because “we kept making ‘Sharknados.’ Once those came to an end, I was able to get into production with this, and we shot it in Thailand. I’d had enough with shooting in freezing climates! Plus, the landscape there is really conducive to this movie; it creates a perfect visual context.”
Ziering’s successor to “Sharknado’s” chainsaw-wielding Fin Shepard is Hunter Shaw, who also has a unique weapon – “Hell, yeah!,” Ziering confirms – derived from zombie lore that the actor-producer researched. “There’s something I find fascinating about a fish-out-of-water scenario,” he says, “with an ordinary man who has to rise to the level of doing extraordinary things. When failure isn’t an option, people can achieve great things ... and I like characters like that.
“Hunter is someone who has distanced himself from society,” adds Ziering. “He’s a retired firefighter who lived in New York and lived through 9/11, and all the death and disaster was a system overload for him. As much as he enjoyed helping people, it was crushing for him not to be able to save everyone. He’s got a boat and sails the seas, and now, he finds himself on one of the outer islands of Southeast Asia.”
Biological experimentation generates the zombies the tidal wave ultimately delivers, and as with “Sharknado,” Ziering (also seen lately in DC Universe’s “Swamp Thing”) hopes there’s more to come. “As with everything, you aim for the stars,” he reasons, “but it all depends on the audience’s reaction to this. We have ideas for a half-dozen or more stories to continue this.”
Ian Ziering stars in and produces Saturday’s new Syfy movie “Zombie Tidal Wave.”