I’m sure it’s the question on everyone’s lips: what is the notorious schlock film production company, The Asylum, planning to offer up in 2010?
To start with there’s the just released Princess of Mars (US-2009; dir. Mark Atkins), based on the first of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series of books and starring Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Tracy Lords (official website). This one is well ahead of its big budget rival, which is still in production from Disney Studios.
And you know about the upcoming Sherlock Holmes (US-2010; dir. Rachel Goldenberg), right? No, not the Robert Downey Jr blockbuster, but the one with a much lower budget that features steam-driven killer robots, giant monsters and a huge mechanical dragon (which you can check out in action here). Minimal classic sleuthing perhaps, and cheap CGI, but it’ll be fun, I’m sure. An article I read recently on Wired said that it “stars no one you’d recognize”. I guess that means the writer hasn’t been watching Torchwood (which is rather un-wired of them) — especially as that UK Doctor Who spin-off’s most recent series, Torchwood: Children of Earth, is a brilliant piece of scifi TV. One of Torchwood‘s main stars is Gareth David-Lloyd (the guy on the right in the pic below), who plays Dr Watson in the Asylum pic.
OK, so Princess and Sherlock are Asylum films we’ve had on our somewhat masochistic “to-view” list for a while. But what comes after them?
You may or may not know that the Asylum’s biggest success of 2009 was Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (US-2009; dir. Ace Hannah), which Undead Backbrain introduced to the world (at great expense, of course). For a start we were the first to release the classic shot of the giant shark eating the Golden Gate Bridge — a picture that then went viral on the web and made the Backbrain’s visitor stats skyrocket:
On top of that, Undead Backbrain’s YouTube site was the first to upload the trailer — and as a result was awarded Number 2 status on YouTube’s Most Watched list for a month or so. Recently Yahoo released their Top 10 Most Watched Film Trailers for 2009 — and among the big blockbusters was the trailer for Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, which made Number 8. Put up on Undead Backbrain on 11 May, the trailer is now, on the first day of the New Year, sitting on 2,101,408 views. Quite an achievement!
Oh, perhaps I should mention that Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus also achieved the rather dubious distinction of being named Entertainment Weekly’s Worst DVD of 2009. Ridiculous, of course. It may not be technically up there with the blockbusters, but in the low-budget range it was at least amusing (saved in part by a tongue-in-cheek attitude) and certainly nowhere near the worse thing I saw on DVD in the past year. Do the people who compile these lists actually watch anything beyond the obvious?
If you’re interested, at the time of the film’s release Undead Backbrain interviewed Mega Shark‘s director, who spoke frankly about the process of making such an ambitious SFX film without a discernible SFX budget.
Anyway, given that they gained such levels of “any-publicity-is-good-publicity” success by way of a giant monster film, what sort of giant beastie will the Asylum be tackling next? Well, Kaiju Search-Robot Avery has caught a hint or two from Asylum sources and here’s the goss.
Yes, it’s Mega Piranha! (note: the above image does not actually come from the film…. I created it, so don’t blame The Asylum.) At the moment, there’s no available details, but we’re working on it. In the final film the Mega Piranha is likely to be smaller than the one in the image above, but hopefully it will be bigger than the ones on these old posters for Joe Dante’s Piranha from 1978 (note: the actual piranha in that movie were more-or-less normal size, if inordinately vicious).
Another upcoming Asylum title of interest is 7 Voyages of Sinbad, presumably using cheap CGI to remake Ray Harryhausen’s famous stop-motion monster classic, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, the way the upcoming blockbuster Clash of the Titans uses expensive CGI to remake that particular Harryhausen films’ giant critters. There’s got to be giant monster or two in that, right?
- Source: Avery and The Asylum