Tag Archives: The.Asylum

Commentary: Nazis at the Center of the Earth

nazisNetflix IMDb
Join me for a sight-unseen examination of The Asylum’s heartwarming tale of research scientists in Antarctica falling in and out of love and encountering (I don’t want to spoil it for you) certain challenges. I complain about the dialog and lack of active protagonists, and I root for Hitler OR DO I?

I compare the film to Futurama and, uh, films and examine the artistic choice of slow-motion. I question the science a time or two, and the choice of lenses used on Dominique Swain. I do not question the lenses used on Jake Busey. Use any lens you want; the man can’t be photographed badly.

I’m watching a streaming version. Start when and where I tell you to and don’t make any false moves, if you know what’s good for you.

Commentary: 2-Headed Shark Attack

2-Headed Shark AttackNetflix IMDb
The Asylum attacks! It’s a two-headed shark, Carmen Electra, Charlie O’Connell, Brooke Hogan, and a cast of shark fodder. Along the way, I express bafflement at the purpose of the expedition, I root against certain characters, I call Charlie O’Connell a wuss (and, multiple times, Jerry—sorry), I try to rewrite the story as a JJ Abrams project, and I come up with an idea for a sequel.

Overall, I’m solidly not as disappointed as I could have been. It’s fun in the sun “hundreds” of miles away from anywhere with a gratuitous topless scene and lots of bikinis. Who am I to complain? And, after watching it again, I realize that nearly all the questions I had are actually answered in the film. This screenplay is watertight!

I’m watching the Blu-ray version. Start the movie on the countdown with the “The Asylum presents” title card.

Commentary: A Haunting in Salem

Haunting in SalemNetflix IMDb
The Asylum is back, and they’re bringing the scares for Halloween! Join me as I watch A Haunting in Salem for the first time and enjoy the thrills and chills on my way to enjoying the hell out of this movie. I analyze the legend-within-a-legend idea, the value of renovating bathrooms and kitchens, the rules of daytime vs nighttime haunting, the texting skills of 1950s ghosts, and the curious love of landscape pictures the family has.

Along the way, I quail in fear and disgust at actors’ dirty feet, determine which of the Van Dykes is the least Van Dykey, decide that I want to see woolly mammoth ghosts, come to the conclusion that I may need to murder someone in my own house to give it atmosphere, and lay some word-nerdery on you.

I’m watching the Blu-ray version. Start the movie on the countdown with the “The Aslyum presents” title card.

Commentary: 2012: Ice Age

2012: Ice AgeNetflix IMDb
The Asylum is back! And without commercials! And that guy from Summer School (no, not Mark Harmon) and that girl from Growing Pains (no, not Tracey Gold) drive and fly and walk and otherwise travel from the frozen north to the soon-to-be-frozen slightly-further-south. Join me as I watch it for the first time and gradually figure out what city (or what coast, for that matter) the film is set in (I wasn’t paying a lot of attention at the beginning). I analyze the motives of the protagonists (survive; get daughter) and the antagonists (smash whichever coast we’re set in).

Along the way, I make up a background for the mysterious and otherwise creditless director Travis Fort. I wax poetical about the various vehicles the characters travel in. I contemplate the dangers of “snornados”. I say some things that might get me beaten up the next time I go to New York (our nation’s capital), New Jersey (its retarded brother), and Canada (it only has two cities and its savage people worship glaciers). And I imagine other (copyrighted!) ways of portraying the glacier, such as by giving it an English accent and a hunchback.

Start the movie with the clouds before the “The Asylum” title on the countdown.

Commentary: Almighty Thor (not the Marvel one)

Almighty ThorNetflix IMDb
It’s a genuine mockbuster from The Asylum, so join me and my special guest Wegel Pinsky—if you dare—as we slog thru the adventures of a totally-not-mighty Thor being schooled by a Mexican chick to fight a superpowerful Darth Loki in the forests of Scandinavia and, for some reason, alleys of Los Angeles and repeatedly losing his weapons. It probably doesn’t help that we’ve just come from seeing the Marvel Thor movie in the theater and more-or-less enjoyed it.

We try to figure out just what the characters are trying to do and why the chick with the weird name and weirder accent knows everything and Thor knows nothing. We try to figure out why Richard Grieco is just wandering around. And we try to figure out if this is the worst movie we’ve ever seen or just one of the worst movies we’ve ever seen. We enjoy the terror dogs from Ghostbusters and the lindworms from—I don’t know—Lind? Do not operate heavy machinery after watching this film.

Start the movie after the “The Asylum” title has faded out and the “SyFy Presents / Almighty Thor” titles are about to fade in.

Commentary: Titanic II

Titanic IINetflix IMDb
It’s the Asylum again, back for another sight-unseen commentary, this time with 100% fewer giant monsters! I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it certainly makes for a higher quality film, easily besting the original 1997 James Cameron romantic-tragedy epic boo-hoo-fest, which I hated like Pol Pot and Baby Doc Duvalier.

There are no pop stars in this one, just a solid performance by Bruce Davison, a welcome bit by Brooke Burns, and a decent job by writer/director/star Shane Van Dyke as well as by the lips attached to Marie Wesbrook. I make fun of some names, some effects, and various ship nonsense. At times, I long for a mega shark and pray for the iceberg to eat a helicopter, but overall I liked it and was rather impressed by it. If this had been put out by a major studio with Roland Emmerich money for effects and advertising, it would have been a genuine blockbuster. (Which is different from saying it would have been a good film, by the way.)

Start the movie after the “The Asylum” title has faded out and the “Titanic II” title is juuuuust starting to fade in.

Commentary: Mega Python vs Gatoroid

Mega Python vs GatoroidNetflix IMDb
It’s another Asylum monster/pop star extravaganza, this time with both Debbie Gibson and Tiffany [last name unknown], as well as a Martinez. ‘Which Martinez?’ you ask? THE Martinez. And a host of pythons and alligators-that-look-more-like-crocodiles-to-me rise out of the Everglades to attack Florida, which I again write off as a total loss. (Seriously, America, we’re fully insured, right?)

There is pop music (some of which is pretty damn good), cars, and helicopters that change shape in mid-air. There’s a herpatologist who can fly a helicopter and an animal rights activist who cares passionately about releasing non-native predators into Florida swamps. Other highlights: swallowing, biting, shooting, and cleavage. Plus, a secret surprise I guarantee will surprise you with its secret!

I praise the acting (I think; it’s tough to remember all the crap I say, sometimes) but ding the directing (close-ups of people getting eaten is fundamentally cinematically different from people getting eaten).

Start the movie after the “The Asylum” title has faded out and the “Mega Python vs Gatoroid” title has just faded in over the airboats.

Commentary: Mega Piranha

Mega PiranhaNetflix IMDb
Over-sized piranhas are attacking Venezuela! Join me as I watch the film for the first time (I’m calling these “sight unseen” commentaries now) and attempt to figure out what is going on; why fish bark, roar, and oink; and why everything seems to have been shot at 6 o’clock in the evening. Listen as I identify the multiple artificial ticking clocks, write off the entire state of Florida, and calculate the growth rate of genetically modified fish on a scratch pad several times—oh wait, the characters do that last one.

I research the extensive film biographies of Tiffany [last name unknown], Barry Williams, Paul “I’m not Paul Hogan” Logan, and director Eric Forsberg and come up pretty dry. However, they all do a pretty great job, so I have no complaints. Oh wait, I do complain that the titles aren’t left on screen long enough. (I’m a slow reader!) And I complain that there aren’t any subtitles or extras on the Blu-ray. That’s right—I’m watchin’ this puppy on Blu-ray! (from the $5 bargain bin) No more commercials! Bonus: brown lady boobs!

Start the movie after the “The Asylum” title has faded out and the “Mega Piranha” title is about to fade in.

Commentary: 2010: Moby Dick

2010 Moby DickNetflix IMDb
Barry Bostwick and Renée O’Connor team up to hunt down a gigantic whale somewhere in the south seas in this 2010 tale of a man, a whale, and a dream of killing that whale. Watch with me as I:

  • Watch it for the first time
  • Compare it extensively to the original Herman Melville novel (it’s about a guy hunting a whale)
  • Pick apart the intricacies of the plot (guy hunts whale, whale tries to eat aircraft in peace)
  • Analyze the symbolism (leg = penis; whale = thing that eats penises)
  • Get my 1978 Battlestar Galactica references all wrong (Starbuck = Apollo, Cassiopeia = Serina, robot dog = son, “biddi-biddi-biddi” = Twiki from Buck Rogers)
  • Review whale biology (female whales have udders, right?)
  • Never, ever compare it to Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, which this is better than

I praise the sets, CGI, directing, and acting—where appropriate (I’m lookin’ at you, guy-with-the-blank-stare-of-a-cow). And I complain that everything is lit like an Italian restaurant. Enjoy!

Start the movie with the countdown just as the mountains fade up.

Commentary: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs Giant OctopusNetflix IMDb
Avast and ahoy, matey! There be monsters here! Deborah Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas arise out of the ’80s to attack a defenseless mega shark and an innocent giant octopus with submarines. Join me as I watch this SyFy channel video nasty for the very first time and marvel at the fake buttons, Ed Wood sets, and hot scientist-on-scientist action. I sing a little Debbie Gibson and call Lorenzo Lamas “Fernando Lamas” a couple of times (they’re father and son).

Also, I misquote Jaws* and Jerry Maguire** somewhat.

* “The thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.”
** “D’you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds? … D’you know that my next door neighbor has three rabbits?”