The interwebs are going crazy right now about a trailer for low budget monster movie Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus - which you can watch here.
The production company behind the film, The Asylum, have developed a unique reputation for their shameless brand of B-Movie mayhem.
In business since 1997, Asylum specialise in the so-called 'Mockbuster' (though they prefer the term ‘tie-in’).
And they're more than just a nichey 'net thing. In 2005, Blockbuster ordered 100,000 copies of their film H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds - released just before the big-budget Spielberg version hit screens.
Since then, Asylum have used their particular skill set to cash in on the mega-budget marketing of major studio releases such as King Kong (King of The Lost World), Pirates of the Caribbean (Pirates of Treasure Island), and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (AVH: Alien vs. Hunter)...
Join us for a look a some of Asylum’s past output, the upcoming buzz machine Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, and a few films we hope they might make in the future...
The Film: A race of alien robots have conquered Earth and forced humanity underground. After 400 years, a small group of humans develop a plan to defeat the mechanical invaders in the ultimate battle between man and machine.
Inspired by:Transformers (2007)
Actors we recognise: None.
Similarities: Alien robots come to earth. The title.
Differences: 400 years in the future. Lesbians.
Verdict: The film actually borrows it’s plot from The Matrix, Blade Runner and Demolition Man, rather than Transformers. Budgetary problems are patched over by the distracting addition of some lesbians.
Apparently, the lower the budget, the more lesbians are required.
The Da Vinci Treasure (2006)
The Film: An anthropologist must unlock the code hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci in order to find the greatest treasure ever - one that could change Christianity forever.
Inspired by:The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Actors we recognise: C. Thomas Howell (Pony Boy from The Outsiders), Lance Henrikson (Bishop in Aliens)
Similarities: Hidden codes in Da Vinci’s work. Treasure hunting.
Differences: Anthropologists. World-wide hunting. Murderous treasure hunters.
Verdict: The film plays out as a mix of Dan’s Browns book and Indy knock-off National Treasure. Howell and Henrikson both have distractingly attractive side-kicks.
C. Thomas Howell also starred in Asylum’s HG Wells’ The War of The Worlds. Henrikson turned up in Pirates of Treasure Island.
Sunday School Musical(2008)
The Film: Two competing groups of high school students must rally together and enter a song and dance competition in order to save their local church from closing.
Inspired by:High School Musical 3: Senior Year(2008)
Actors we recognise: None.
Similarities: Kids. Musical.
Differences: Sunday School. Saving the church
Verdict: Asylum started a special division called Faith Films in order to cater for the religious market in the US.
So, sadly, this Faith Films flagship movie contains none of the comically overt sexual references of regular Asylum output. Shame.
The Film: 2033. A terrorist threatens the US water supply. To stop him, the Governor of a prison state organises a race, giving the convicts a shot at freedom if they can foil the terrorist plot.
Inspired by:Death Race (2008)
Actors we recognise: Insane Clown Posse. Wrestler Raven from WWE.
Similarities: Prison. Car Race.
Differences: Terrorist plot. Cross country.
Verdict: The plot contains elements of Escape from New York and the original Death Race 2000.
The Insane Clown Posse - one of the acts scapegoated after Columbine - play future versions of themselves imprisoned for inciting a school shooting. Tasteful.
The Day the Earth Stopped(2008)
The Film: 700 giant intergalactic robots appear in all of the world's major capitals with an ultimatum: Prove the value of human civilization or be destroyed.
Inspired by:The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Actors we recognise: C. Thomas Howell, again, who also directs. Oh, and Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Similarities: Alien Visitor. Ultimatum to change or die.
Differences: Hundreds of giant robots rather than one small alien man.
Verdict: This one plays out as a companion piece/loving homage/forehead-slappingly shameless rip-off to The Day The Earth Stood Still. Asylum were threatened with legal action by 20th Century Fox, but as yet no charges have been filed.
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
The Film: A US Navy Submarine conducting manouvres off the California coast finds itself in the middle of a battle between two massive sea creatures; a prehistoric mega shark and a giant squid. They must race to survive and save the coast from destruction.
Inspired by: A departure for Asylum, as it doesn't tie in with any current Hollywood production. It's more of a generic giant-monster B-movie thing.
Actors we recognise: Lorenzo Lamas (TV's 'The Bold and The Beautiful') and Deborah Gibson ('80s pop star)
Verdict: It's the new Snakes On A Plane - masses of 'net buzz with a so-bad-it's-almost-good end product. Still, how can a movie that features both a giant shark and a giant octopus be anything less than awesome?
Asylum already have designs on this year’s blockbusters, with Transmorphers: The Fall of Man and The Terminators both going straight to DVD this summer.
But what might they do with some of the biggest releases from the next few years?
NEXT: Asylum does Avatar?
In the future, a paraplegic human soldier is sent to fight on an alien world. Then, er... something about 9-ft blue aliens…
Asylum take:Avatar Warriors. A group of soldiers in a Veteran’s Hospital learn of a plot by terrorists to take over the internet.
They plug into the 'net as idealised digital versions of themselves in order to fight back.
A mix of TRON, The Matrix and A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Based on the Greek myth, Perseus must quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save the Princess Andromeda.
Asylum take:Clash of the Monsters (aka Medusa vs. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus). Modern day re-telling of the classic Greek myth.
Perseus must battle Medusa, the Kraken (Giant Octopus) and a Mega Shark in order to save the Princess Andromeda.
Could also tie-in as a sequel to Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Epic.
During the Iraq War, a crack team of commandos are imprisoned in a military stockade for a crime they didn’t commit...
Asylum take: Team A. In a desolate and lawless future wasteland, a gang of old army comrades roam the landscape in an ice-cream truck, handing out justice and snow cones where necessary.
They decide to take down the shambolic military government and bring peace - and ice-cream - to all.
Lesbians will feature prominently.
C. Thomas Howell directs and, emboldened by RDJ in Tropic Thunder, reprises his blacked-up role in Soul Man as Mr T.
The Expendables (2010)
A rag-tag team of mercenaries head to South America to over throw a dangerous dictator.
Asylum Tie-in:The Expendable Mercenaries. C. Thomas Howell, Judd Nelson, Lance Henrikson, Lorenzo Lamas, Insane Clown Posse, WWE’s Raven and several ex-pop star actresses are America’s only hope when a brutal dictator takes power in California and threatens the rest of the US.
The team must go behind enemy lines and take down the Californian Dictator by first seducing/distracting him by sending in a crack, elite team of lesbians or something.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
After the events of Twilight, Bella, Edward and the Cullens celebrate her 18th Birthday.
When Bella gets a paper cut, one of the Cullens tries to attack her. Fearing for her safety, Edward and his family leave town.
Heartbroken, Bella take solace in the company of Jacob and his friends. But Jacob also hides a secret - he and his friends are werewolves...
Asylum take:Moonlight. A bisexual teen moves to a small town. She hates it at first, but then meets a dazzlingly beautiful girl, who turns out to be a bisexual vampire, from a family of bisexual vampires.
The bisexualvampires take the teen in as one of their own, with sexy bisexual results.
But... little do they know, a pack of werewolves have picked the teen to hunt for sport, and they must prepare to battle against the wolf pack for her bisexual life..
Which Asylum movies would you like to see? Let us know in the comments.
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