Posts Tagged ‘The Asylum’

You heard that right, an Asylum produced, SyFy original is going to cinemas! Well, that’s a first.  On the heels of unprecedented success of original Sharknado premiere ( see our review- Sharknado (2013)) two weeks ago on SyFy  (and twitter frenzy that followed) Sharknado is getting a  series of midnight theatrical showings! Regal Cinemas agreed to host midnight shows of Sharknado on August 2 at around 200 theaters across the States including Regal theaters in New York and L.A. Also The Asylum is promising us some new and never before seen footage so it seems we’re getting a Director’s Cut!


Pretty obvious what internet was doing that night.

Now, that’s not all folks-  SyFy will also air Sharknado again on July 23rd , and they will make the deal sweeter with an all night Shark- themed marathon consisting hits like Sharktopus (with Eric Roberts!), Swamp Shark also even fantastically named Two Headed Shark Attack! Also a follow- up film is definitely in production and you can expect Sharknado Invades New York City on SyFy at some point in 2014.

And this is what ClevverMovies had to say…

If you live in the States here’s the list of cinemas near you where you can catch this masterpiece. Remember, it’s one day only so do your best to be there- trust me, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Sharknado on the big screen!

sharknado-leadSharknado poster with appropriate Twitter quotes. Thumbs up for Will Wheaton!

The film starts with a dubious transaction between the captain called Santiago and an obviously a Yakuza enforcer. After proclaiming that sharks should be afraid of men and not vice versa the ship gets shaken by a storm. Captain insists of keeping the course and going through the storm and then something amazing happens. Sharks start jumping aboard and start literally eating people in one bite!!! The Captain survives a bit longer, as sharks decide to prolong his agony by eating him bit by bit while FLYING around him- now that’s the spirit!

Next thing you know the screen goes red and… Baywatch intro starts! Ok, not exactly Baywatch (as it has way less in the hot babes department) but still extremely close. And, ok- no Mitch Buchannon here but we have Ian Ziering- the blond, curly dude from Beverly Hills 90210! Here he is a middle aged ,experienced surfer, also a owner of a small bar by the beach. Also he’s desperately trying  to get into pans of certain  Asian surfer chick, probably to prove he’s still “in prime of his life”. Unfortunately we didn’t get to find out how game he is because Asian chick gets brutally murdered by a shark appearing out of nowhere. Then the shark goes on the rampage and gets as fare as it can go, killing unsuspecting people even in the shallow waters.

syfy Original Sharknado 2013 tvrip_sifi.avi_000678719

All that commotion doesn’t seem to present any problem for the old alcoholic George who grabs the butt of the skimpy dressed waitress. She lashes out on him, pouring a drink on his head but just a moment later changes her tune and gets him another drink. He must tip well or something. Next thing you know the storm blows away the window of the bar and you guessed it blows some sharks in. Brave waitress kills a shark with a pool stick, arms herself with a shotgun (that they keep behind the counter) and joins the owner Fin, hes New Zeland friend and the old pervert George. George even brings his bar stool with him presumably because that’s the most precious thing in his life. They kill couple of sharks in the imaginative ways including blowing up the shark that’s holding a gas tank in it’s teeth and then they get in the car and head out to Fin’s ex- wife. Waitress Nova seems extremely disappointed that he has an ex- wife.

They try to take the high road and head towards the Beverlie Hills (nice touch) but even the streets are infested with sharks! They get to his ex’s house but the tragically loose George in the way. He was of course swallowed by a giant wave… and then swallowed by a giant shark. Not the best way to go you’ll agree. Fin opens the door and then we see he’s ex, none other than washed up whore Tara Reid! I can’t believe he actually came back for this!!! Not only is she upleasent and irritating her new douchy boyfriend joins in on the fun too. Thankfully he gets mauled by a shark mere moments later.

Our motley crew then menages to eliminate the dangerous beast with a help of a large cabinet (used to pin shark down) and one trusty shotgun! After water goes all ruby red New Zealanders merrily proclaims “Looks like it’s that time of the month”.*


Finally convinced Fin’s ex and his spoiled teenage daughter join them in trying to get the fuck away from the ocean as they can.They bump into a school-bus stuck in the water and Fin decides to put on his best Bruce Willis face and saves the day. They surprisingly menage to do just that but storm starts again and a bus driver experienced the unfortunate fate of roof falling on top of him. At least he wasn’t eaten alive, right? They get back on their way but soon they figure out that the car is leaking and they menage to just barely escape as it explodes! Desperate they go into the local stores for some supplies but New Zealander finds a badass armored Jeep that the storm brought and soon they are back on track. Despite police blocks almost everywhere the somehow find the way to Van Nuys Airport and there they finds Fin’s overly enthusiastic son- the pilot and some of his friends. They arm up with cool things like C4 explosive and chainsaws and decide to strike back against the enemies- tornado and sharks by blowing tornado up!!! THIS IS  ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! THEY ARE GOING TO ACTUALLY BLOW UP THE TORNADO! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Also we find out the waitresses origin story- her family was killed by sharks!  This just gets better and better!

Sharknado2Now that’s a parenting!

Then they go out and heroically face the tornado. Kiwi rigged the bomb in jeep just in case and the waitress joins Fin’s son Matt in the helicopter. They slowly approach the first tornado and drop the bomb into it! Bellow Fin is putting sharks down with his guns like he wants to claim a prize. New Zealander unfortunately dies, and one of other kids too- pretty epically I might add, first he looses his arm via one shark and then gets squished to death by another.

Death from above!

After blowing up the of tornadoes they fail and waitress gets eaten alive!!! Son barely menages to get to the ground in one piece.. Now it’s all up to Fin! He drives jeep straight into the tornado and even menages to jump out of the car before the explosion.Then as if that wasn’t enough he start destroying the sharks and literally jumps into the mouth of one with a chainsaw just to butcher it from the inside and come out with the prize- Nova the waitress, still breathing! Fin then naturally reconciles with his ex wife and they enjoy the beautiful sunset with ground filled with dead sharks as fare as eye can see.

Verdict: It is our firm belief that The Asylum decided to ignore the very founding stone of their existence and that they actual spent more than a million dollars filming this, and shows- it really does! Script writer Thunder Levin knows he is working with a completely ridiculous premiss but he actually takes time to establish all of the main players and even offers a somewhat reasonable (if extremely far fetched) explanation for this peculiar disaster and constructs some over the top fin scenes that will definitely not leave you indifferent . Anyway without any trace of doubt I can proclaim this is the best Asylum movie and the very best original SyFy Channel product, that doesn’t really means much but still it’s an achievement.

Next time, be prepared!


Warning: The robots in this movie look nothing like the one on the cover!

First thing we notice as the movie starts is that the director is Leign Scott (I presume he is the Asylum version of Ridley Scott although as we will soon find out his shooting style is much more reminiscent of Edward J Wood.)

Do you really wish to continue after this intro?

Intro informs us of evil alien machines in plot that seems to borrow heavily from (surprisingly) Terminator and Matrix with a hint of the expected source of inspiration-
Michael Bay’s Transformers. Decimated humanity escapes underground and stays there for 300 (or 400, it constantly changes) years!!! It will be interesting to see how we evolved and muted in those conditions. And then I get my answer- humanity now consists of 70% woman population, all clad in heavy leather and fetish wear. They look like a deranged bunch of sex predators. On the other hand man look like a bunch of pathetic nerds, but they still do manly jobs as we see as they lead the troops to the surface to deal with a approaching treat. Team lead by Captain Blackthorn survives a complete disaster pretty much as we expected and never makes it back. One of the soldiers dies seemingly from bad techno music, ’cause we don’t see anything else around.

So, military officers decide to make a final, desperate gamble… they release The MITCHELL from his cryogenic prison. Now what’s the deal with the Mitchell dude, I guess we will find out. They unfreeze the dude and he ends up being just some random scrawny looking fellow with  a would be British accent.


Who needs John Connor when you’ve got… THIS dude!

He insists on bringing his bearded friend from prison too and soon they are assigned with a dangerous mission.Oh, yeah we also find out that love of his life Kadira decided to start playing for the other team and married Lady- General Van Ryberg. Guess the lack of real man down there had taken its toll. After some pathetic demonstration of hand to hand combat debriefing starts… and then it seemingly lasts forever. The only thing that breaks the horrible monotony is the ridiculous chick-fight that ensues between  pilots who supports Mithcell, lead by Xandria Lux and  sluts who likes chilling in a cave and not doing anything (pilots who dislike the sky, well, that’s first). At this point I start to wander are these women real actresses or somebody just sold us a porno without sex scenes, ’cause it looks mightily like just that.

I truly don’t know what’s worst here, “acting” of “fights”

Somewhere around the 40th minute of the film we  finally see the surface again, and that makes it better- but only slightly ’cause we are served with some pretty lame CGI straight from a get go and the acting looks incredibly like a bunch of 5 year olds playing war (with some keyboard sound effects added as a bonus).  After being overwhelmed one of the soldiers throws laser frisby  and starts completely wrecking things. The most laughs erupt at the sight of the giant mecha styled robot who has transform itself into a cannon so he can fire at human forces. The idea is nonsensical but the design work and animation are not that much better thou. Then Mitchell runs into the remaining members of the first team from the beginning of the movie, still lead by chubby blonde dude and they decide to join forces. They hold their line against the giant robots as long as they can and eventually menage to retreat.

Faced with imminent defeat Mitchell calls for another attack but gets into fight (of words) with a General Van Ryberg  because he left her “wife” on the surface. Interesting how they just keep insisting on that marriage but that same wife seems ready and willing to hop back into Mitchell’s bed any moment. In the meantime the scientist, Dr. Alextzavich uncovers the terrible truth- the alien robots are in fact – THE ALIENS!!!


Just like a Kinder Surprise!

 Special breed that he calls Transmorphers (for no reason- they don’t transform or morph) are in fact meat on the inside aka some sort of cybernetic organism. The fact that they haven’t  figured it out in 400 years shows that humanity is ovbiasly useless and doomed from the start. Also, another thing- this fact doesn’t really change anything ’cause there’s really no difference in fighting a mostly robot cyborg and regular robot per se. Also, one more revelation occurs, Mitchell is also a robot!!!! He is the first android made by the good Dock in hope of saving humanity-and he never had a clue! Not even when he found out cryo- sleep doesn’t work on him? Maybe a fact that he never had to eat? No? Somebody here has no knowledge of a dramatic structure, and severely lacks common sense, don’t you agree?

Mitchell incredibly quickly reconciles with his true nature and instead of deciding that he was used and he needs to kill some humans and then joins his true brothers  (that would truly be a twist)  he decides to sacrifice his main power cell (battery, whatever) and in doing so sacrifice himself in one final attempt do defeat machines. Another childish battle ensues with the addition of poorly animated aeroplanes this time. In fact the aerial battle looks incredibly like arcade video games from the early 90s.  Mithchell with Kadira, Doctor and his Android (lover?) flying on hower- bikes find a way into the Machine’s main tower (that is incredibly easy to locate). He then procides to kill some of the robo- guards and use his power cell to disrupt their main tower and in … turn off the machines. Of course we also had a touching scene between a Karina Nadir and himself in which they professed their eternal love to each other but that didn’t stop her from returning to her superior officer and lesbian lover mere moments later. Then we finally see sky clearing (like in Lion King or something like that) and we have our victory. Than we are presented with the criminally weak CGI attempt of fireworks and an ugly blond with her mouth wide open staring at the sky and then thankfully it is all over!* This was really a test, I tell you.


Damn, she’s ugly!

Verdict: the ultimate battle between a man and a machine ends up being anything but ultimate and by the end of the movie you’ll just pray that somebody destroys both humans and machines ASAP so we can all get on with our lives and never speak of this movie again.

The Asylum was founded in 1997 by producers David Rimawi and Sherri Strain (formerly of Village Roadshow Pictures) with an up and coming director David Michael Latt. They originally envisioned making their profit by producing a number of  low to middle budget Horror films per a year. That strategy proved almost fatal as they faced competition in major studios like  Lions Gate Entertainment (who despite being a big studio still controlled the solid piece of the pie in the straight to DVD world too).

asylum logoConsider this logo an early warning system…

Faced with a choice to completely rethink their whole approach or perish they decided to do something that was never done before- at least not with such precision and dedication! They created the new kind of movie- THE MOCKBUSTER!

In 2005 they produced the extremely low budget adaptation of HG Well’s War of the World roughly at the same time Steven Spielberg major picture of the same name, staring Tom Cruise. Blockbuster LCC ordered somewhere around 100,000 copies of The Asylum’s adaptation and next thing you know their business model was born! Rimawi and Strain continued to produce a string of lo- fi tie-ins to popular franchises with striking similarities to popular blockbusters (in the title, cover and to a degree a script too). That’s how we got “hits” like Transmorphers, The Terminators,  AVH: Alien vs. Hunter, The Day the Earth Stopped, Titanic II, Princess of Mars and Almighty Thor!

Their system is simple one. The production company averages two releases a month, shoots last only about three weeks, and most budgets never go past 200 000 dollars, all go direct to video, and they spend absolutely nothing on advertising or marketing. They share their movies primarily in three categories  (based on the budget of course) :  network television films (the dreaded SyFy channel), 1 million dollars or less due to the “star” like Tara Reid, Lorenzo Lamas or Eric Roberts and post- production for CGI monsters effects (think of the movies like Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid or Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus),  then we have Sexy Comedies and Horror Films (their original love), those take about 200 000 dollars each and we are left with (these days extremely overused sub- genre) Found- footage horror, and those are in 100 000 dollars or less range. I think by know you understand the simplicity and pure genius of this model and the greatest thing of them all- people are so stupid they don’t even notice what they bought/ rented until it’s too late!

Asylum collectionChoose, but choose wisely!

Of course things are not all sunshine and rainbows on The Asylum front. Recently Universal Studios filed a lawsuit against The Asylum for their American Battleship, due to infrigement with their Battleship.  Soon Warner Bros. with New Line Cinema and MGM fallowed, commencing legal action against Asylum’s The Age of Hobbits ( brilliant tittle I might add) claiming they were free- ridding campaign for Peter Jackson’s forthcoming film. Asylum eventually released it under the title Clash of the Empires (or Lords of the Elves depending where you’re from), keeping their exploitative theme intact.

ageofthehobbits_largeIs there a single person out there that doesn’t want to see this?